Get Inspired

Your ultimate guide to 10/10 Instagram pics

Oh, Instagram—the endless void of positivity (both toxic and genuine), dog vids and memes. But while we heart the explore page, it's time to refocus our attention on our personal grids. Whether it's a gorg selfie or a pic that shows off the whole squad, there's a few simple ways you can make your posts shine brighter than they already do.

1. Lighting


When you look at a photo, the first thing you notice is the lighting. After all, it determines whether you can even tell what the picture is or not. For best results, take your photos with the light coming from in front of you—unless you're going for a silhouette effect. Golden hour isn't just a trend, either! That time after sunrise or just before sunset is optimal picture-snapping time. 

2. Angles


The angle of your shot can change the total mood of your photo. For a more whimsical look, shoot from above or below. A straight-on angle gives your photos a more personal feeling. Deciding between horizontal and vertical is key, too! Try out *all* the angles and choose which ones to post later on. 

3. Rule of thirds


Straight from the professional photographer's playbook, the rule of thirds can give your photos a whole new dynamic. The rule of thirds breaks your image into three sections, both horizontally and vertically (making 9 sections altogether). According to the rule, the subject of your photo should be positioned along the gridlines in some way. To take this effect up a notch, try positioning your subject off-center. Try centering on one of the intersections instead!

Pro-tip: You can add the grid to your iPhone's camera by going Settings > Camera > Grid.

4. Play with color


Whether you're trying to create an overall aesthetic for your feed or just for one post, color is your special ingredient.  Try a monochrome palette to play with shades and patterns or go for a mix of complementary colors (complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel). Some examples include orange and blue or yellow and purple. If you're totally lacking inspo, check out Coolors—they'll generate a color palette for you. 

5. Give yourself options


The most general, and probably most important, thing to keep in mind during your process is to take as many photos as possible. Remember, you can always delete a bunch of photos, but it's not as easy to go back and try and recapture the moment. You can either just keep clicking the shutter button or set up your phone and record yourself in a video to capture more nuanced shots, which you can screenshot as still photos. 

The Instagram inspo doesn't stop here! Check out these other articles:
📸 Why you should share your pronouns
📸  9 positive Instagram accounts to follow ASAP
📸  4 *amazing* poets you can find on Instagram

We can't wait to see your ah-mazing photos!
Tag us on Insta @girlslifemag for a chance to be featured.

Top image: @madelame
Slider image: @brooklynandbailey


by Riley Yates | 3/1/2022