Believe it or not, 99% of my Instagram photos I take on my own! Some of them you can’t even tell I’m a one-woman show. The best decision I made for my blog and Instagram was learning how to shoot by myself. This way I don’t have to rely on anyone else and I get the right angles. It’s way easier to shoot content for yourself because you can recreate the exact picture you have in your mind! Sometimes it’s hard to explain your idea to someone else and have them take the picture the way you would. So if you’re looking to step up your Instagram game and learning how you can start taking your own Instagram photos then just keep reading!
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Things you need:
This is the product that was a game-changer for me. If you are a content creator who doesn’t have their own personal photographer 24/7 then you NEED a tripod. You also want to make sure to look for a tripod that comes with a Bluetooth clicker so you don’t have to use the self-timer feature.
This is the one I’ve been using for almost 3 years and it’s my favorite! It’s decently priced (it’s on sale right now for only $14!!!), compact, and easy to travel with but also extends to over 4 feet in height! The Bluetooth clicker also lasts so long in terms of charging power so you don’t have to charge it often. I use it for 6 hours at a time about once a week and barely even charge it once a month. I’m a shorty too so a 4 feet tall tripod works perfectly for me but if you’re tall then this is also a great option because it extends past 5 feet.
Of course, you’re going to need some sort of camera to take your pictures. I take all my pictures on my iPhone X and I love it. It’s easy and convenient + the quality is pretty great. However, I’ve been contemplating getting a new camera after seeing how amazing some other bloggers’ Instagram photos turn out but it’s all about preference! If you’re just starting off as a creator I would stick to an iPhone camera. If I do get a camera in the future I’ve had my eyes on the Canon G7X Mark III. It’s small, amazing quality, and a good beginner’s camera + if you’re going to get into video content it’s the camera most Youtubers use!
Lighting can either make or break you, trust me. No matter how good your camera or setup is, if you’re taking photos in bad lighting then the pictures won’t come out great. We all have different aesthetics but I like all my pictures to have an airy, clean, and bright look. You can check out my Instagram here to see examples of my content.
My favorite type of lighting is natural sunlight! That’s how I shoot a lot of my Instagram photos. I have a big window in my room that I stand in front of and shoot content there. You want to make sure you’re always facing towards your light source and not having it behind you. Two years ago when I used to live in my college apartment, I barely even had a window in my room so the lighting was horrible, and I used studio lights. Even now sometimes I use them because of how early it gets dark out. This is the set I use and I love them! I definitely think they’re a good investment to make if you want to take content creation or photography seriously. Even though I love natural sunlight, sometimes it’s hard to plan your schedule based on the sun. The studio lights are easy to set up and I’ve been using them for over 2 years and they work perfectly!
Another important part of content creation is your background. I like to set up my room according to my aesthetic since that’s where I take most of my pictures. For example, I have a gallery wall above my bed which looks great in the background of my pictures. I also have a minimal and cute desk setup where I love to shoot content. When I was planning out my room I made sure to get everything in white because I knew that color would look best on my feed and help with the bright and airy vibe I’m going for. So, I would recommend having a spot in your room or house with the right colors that fit your aesthetic.
Another option is to have a backdrop like this. Many people also hang up a white bedsheet and use that as a background which is a cheaper option. If you’re taking flatlays I love using a white shaggy rug as my background, this is the one I have in my room. You can see examples of my flatlays here and here. You can also use props such as jewelry, makeup, cute notebooks, planners, and magazines.
I’m in no way an expert or a photographer but I’ve definitely racked up some tips these past 8 years as a content creator.
- If you’re shooting with an iPhone, always use the back camera for better quality.
- If you’re shooting product shots with an iPhone use the focus and lock feature so the picture doesn’t keep autofocusing as you move around and your item stays in focus.
- Setup a full-length mirror behind your tripod and camera so you can see what your photo looks like and make sure you’re in the frame.
- Use the grid feature on your iPhone if you want to make sure you’re standing directly in the middle of your frame.
- Have some go-to poses that work for you! My favorites are the classic looking away, looking over your shoulder, and the arm up in the air pose.
These are my tips and tricks on how I take my own Instagram photos + now you can too! If you guys have any other tips make sure to comment them down below.