Did you know that around a hundred million photos and videos are uploaded on Instagram every day? As a user myself, I do enjoy looking at amazing photos shared by the thousands of talented folks on the platform. But don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of these pretty photographs. These great shots require a fair amount of talent, creativity, and dedication. Not to mention, a great eye for detail–and some neat photography tricks.
Regardless of your photography skill level, you can always achieve photographs that are Insta-worthy by following these neat tricks.
Use your eyes.
Before you take that perfect shot, the first thing that you have to consider is the view. Take a look at the background. How are the colors? Check the angles. How’s the perspective? Check your subject. After all, the camera is only a tool that enhances what we see with our eyes.
Natural light is your friend.
Before you whip out your camera’s flash, consider harnessing the power of natural light first. Using natural light results in more defined borders and more vibrant colors. The built-in flash usually causes the subject in the photo to appear flat and washed-out.
The best time to take a photo outdoors using natural light is in the early morning or before dusk. If you’re indoors, you should take your photos in a well-lit room. You should also try taking photos near windows where natural lights can pass through uninterrupted.
Don’t be afraid to cut.
Cropping and trimming are every photographer’s best friend. Cropping lets you enhance the visual composition of your photograph, and effectively places the focus wherever you want.
Edit to a minimum.
It is perfectly okay to touch-up your photos every now and then. Heck, even professionals do it (that is why Photoshop was invented!) There is nothing wrong with editing your photos to achieve a certain look. But always remember to keep editing at a minimum. An overly-edited photograph can look uncanny. If you are doing more than color corrections (like deleting your subject’s peach fuzz), you are overdoing it. After all, sometimes, those built-in filters are enough to enhance an already beautiful picture.
Sometimes, for a photograph to pop, all it needs is a colorful background. If you’re photographing a simple subject—say, a pair of plain, black sneakers—choosing an intricate or colorful background can give it all the pizzazz that it needs.
If your subject is alive and already bright enough, choose to settle for a less intricate background instead.
Choosing the correct background can make your subject appear more fun, sophisticated, lively, and professional-looking.
Have a clear subject.
Many photography tricks focus on a single subject. No matter how many items you have in your photo, only one object should stand out immediately to the viewer. This item can be larger or more vibrant than the rest.
A photograph that does not have a single point of interest can appear cluttered. It forces our eyes and brains to work extra-hard in order to make sense of everything. And because our brains are not wired to deal with such chaos, we tend to view such photographs in a negative light.
In taking a photograph, decide on what you want to focus on, and work on enhancing your subject next.
Know how to spot a “Kodak moment”.
If you want to snap the perfect photo at the perfect moment, then you have to be ever ready. Whether it be with a camera or a smartphone, a photographer should always be ready to snag that photo-worthy moment.
The setting sun’s last rays on the horizon, a baby’s first smile, or a steaming batch of cookies fresh off the oven—all can be perfect subjects of the perfect photograph, especially when taken at the perfect moment.
To make your photograph appear more dynamic, try incorporating movement to your shot. For example, instead of taking a stationary photo of a girl in a flowery dress standing on a meadow, try adding a bit of action to make it more interesting. The girl could have her arms raised, or have her feet off the ground in a show of movement.
Instead of taking a boring photo of a calm ocean, why not take one with huge, rolling waves? Photos that showcase movement radiate energy, and tend to be better at catching attention.
Most professionals would rather under-expose their photographs, rather than over-expose them. It’s because it’s easier to brighten a dark photo and still maintain its integrity. But darkening an image that is just a tad too bright can ruin the photo’s quality.
Employ the “Rule of Thirds”.
According to the Rule of Thirds, an image can be divided into imaginary thirds (horizontally and vertically), or into 9 equal parts. The grid that is formed then gives four focal points made from the intersecting points of the four lines. For a more impactful image, consider placing your points of interest in any of these four points.
The Rule of Thirds is a great framing technique because, according to studies, our eyes usually go to one of these intersection points, instead of to the center of an image.
These photography tricks are just a few of the industry’s best practices of producing the best photos. Now that you’ve learned some of the industry’s loosely-kept secrets, you’re ready to take those feed-worthy photos that you can share with the world!