How To Take Your Photo Skills To The Next Level Part 1: Taking the Photo
by Jessica Heimerl
In a recent post, we explained how to authentically boost your Instagram following. One of the tips was to have a certain aesthetic/theme for your Insta feed. This can’t be done with just uploading any old photo though; there are so many great tools that are available to ensure you get the most out of your picture, and when you get the most out of it you get more eyes on it.
We focus on taking the photo in the first part of this series, meant to teach you best practices to take your social media photos skills to the next level. There are so many tips out there for taking the best photo and we could go on and on about them, but here are your basics for capturing the perfect photo.
Composition is something I tend to be a huge stickler for with most of my pictures. The Rule of Thirds is a great tool to instantly make your photographs more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Try looking at the scene you’re capturing as a grid with horizontal and vertical lines, dividing the image into three sections. The focal point should be off center to the right or left. Remember, The Rule of Thirds isn’t necessary every time, it just depends on your subject.
Lighting can just destroy your picture if you don’t have it right. Lighting gives off a certain vibe to your image, and you definitely don’t want to give off the wrong vibe. If you’re trying to announce something happy and exciting in your post, you don’t want the lighting to be dark, grainy, and full of shadows, am I right?
Full disclosure, I have gone out of my way to completely rearranged the lamps in my apartment and make my own light diffusers for a single picture to be posted to my personal Insta account - but hey, it was worth it to get the perfect image!
My favorite light to use though, by far, is natural sunlight. I try to wait until the afternoon when the sun is shining just right into my apartment to take the perfectly lit picture. Moral of the story: know the mood you you are going for so you can read your space and create an environment to make your post that much better and more successful.
Cropping & Framing
Once you've captured your image, you need to make sure there isn’t anything unrelated or distracting to the subject floating around. Pay close attention to your background - you may have a perfect photo at glance and then later realize your finger made a smudgy appearance on the side of the photo. You don’t want that to take away from the main subject, so you'll need to do some cropping.
Cropping is a simple tool that cuts out and resizes an existing image. It's a wonderful and simple editing tool that can be done within the photo library of your phone, or in photo editing applications that are mentioned next. You can even take a normal picture and use crop to your benefit and apply The Rule of Thirds...or just use it to crop that finger blob out.
Along with cropping, you can also frame your photograph to better draw eyes to the subject. Framing can be done by taking a picture through a window or doorway, through overhanging branches, or focusing on an object at the end of a tunnel. It provides the right context for the photo, along with giving it a sense of depth. Just remember to pay attention to the entirety of your photo when framing, not just the focal point.
Let us know how these techniques worked for you and share your photos with us by tagging #corvidaecollective in your post. Watch for Part 2: Editing the Photo next, where you'll learn to edit your photos for the post.