INSTA-TIP: How To Instafy Your Crappy Pics!

I looove Instagram. What I love most about Instagram is that everything is so convenient because all the apps you need are on your phone. Take a picture. Edit it through your favorite photo apps. Upload. Done! And trying to get my feed to look really aesthetically pleasing has been nothing short of a challenge, but I welcome the challenge. The magic of Instagram is that all the photos are viewed small so you don't really need a high quality camera to get nice photos. Here are some of my favorite tips for creating that Insta-worthy pic.

Saturation: Let me tell you, almost all of my original photos are kind of ugly. Yes, you can think about the subject and composition and all that before you take a photo but sometimes you just have to take a damn photo without too much thought. This was taken at a Target parking lot, shortly after work. The sun was almost completely set so I didn't have much time to form some amazing composition. I just snapped a photo and was done with it.

Honestly, all I did here was pick a filter I liked, bring up the saturation and vibrancy so the colors of the sunset would be much more vibrant, cropped to a 1:1 aspect ratio and bam. Instafied!

Composition: Now, let's talk about objects. When it comes to a single object, it's kind of rather difficult to try and make it look interesting if it isn't already an interesting object by itself. In this case, this sort of is already an interesting object. The design of the can is visually interesting on its own, but the original composition is a bit lackluster. I took my coworker's plant and used it as a foreground image to bring out a little 'oomph' in the can of Perrier. Using the rule of thirds, I positioned the subject slightly out of center. Edit accordingly with your fav apps and voila!

Mood: These were taken on my drive to work. It was a particularly foggy morning so I thought it would be a cool photo. The original photo was clearly taken from inside of my car, as you can tell from the bottom of the photo. But visually, the original photo doesn't say much. It's a foggy day and well, that's it. But fog is cool because it brings out a mood. I think of Halloween or something dark and scary. Editing the colors can bring out that 'mood' in a photograph, which is what I tried to do here. You don't have to be dramatic about it (unless you want to be!), just subtle tweaks of saturation and highlights can do the trick. Also, cropping out the front of my car cleans up the image more and gives it a less amateur look.

Lighting: Obviously natural light is the way to go if you want your photographs to always look really crisp and clean but we can't always have that. This was a simple photo. I really didn't have much thought behind it beyond wanting to take a photo of my pretty baby. The original makes it a rather bland photo, but even if it looks bland, lighting can make it look 1000x's better! The original was taken indoors at like 9pm. In this case, I cleaned it up in VSCO and softened the saturation so that the lighting wouldn't look so harsh. The end result? Looks like I took the photo in natural light. 

People always ask me about taking photos for instagram but the funny thing is, you really can just take ANY photo any way you want to. It doesn't have to always be about some crazy thought provoking composition. It's just Instagram. It's YOUR Instagram. It should be filled with the things that reflect YOU and your life or the things you love. Make it your own. Apps are there to really bring out these images so they look visually a little more appealing. I love Instagram because you're allowed to be creative and do whatever you want. There are no real rules. Have fun with it. 

My apps of choice: VSCO, A COLOR STORY, INSTAGRAM, TADAA SLR (used in this post!)

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