I was sitting in a coffee shop the other day and overheard two friends talking about their weekends. It seemed one of them had a rather adventurous time while the other stayed at home and did mostly nothing. When the less eventful friend was asked how her weekend was, she replied: “It was alright, I wouldn’t post about it in my Insta stories or anything…” I had to stifle my laugh over this comment, not only because most of my weekends are nothing to post “Insta stories” about but because this is how we now seem to validate our existence. If you can’t Instagram about it, did it even really happen?
So here is the true dilemma, when everything in life is Insta-this and Pinterest-that, then we truly need to present ourselves to our peers in the best way possible. If a picture really does tell a thousand words, how can we make sure those words form a proper sentence?
There are a few very simple things one can do to take the best possible photo in any life scenario. Filters and editing Softwares definitely help but if you’re in a pinch, a quick checkpoint of your surroundings is all you need to elevate your image creation.
To start, don’t be afraid to rearrange the scene. While having dirty plates in the background and an unmade bed might have actually been how you spent your night, it won’t hurt you to tidy up and simplify the area. You don’t need to look like House and Home is on the way for a profile of your living room but no one wants to see your mess on social media, we have enough of our own at home.
If you’re happy with where you’re shooting make sure to take more than one photo. While you may want to show every little detail, there is something to be said for creative cropping. Get in close to what you’re shooting and don’t be afraid to cut parts of your subject out, this isn’t school photo day and you don’t have to be front and center. Your mom isn’t buying copies of your Insta posts for her mantle.
You want to portray your subject in the best way, so make sure you use natural light. Stay away from yellow tinted lights or bulbs and avoid shooting in direct sun. The best time to take your photos is on overcast days. You want to give yourself less light to work with so your photos don’t look unnatural. Choosing to shoot in natural light also helps you develop a colour story for your social media, you want your friends to scroll through your stuff and know it’s you. The same way people know your voice when they call you, they should know your Instagram voice when they look at your posts.
If in doubt, just remember, less is more. Sometimes all you need is a white wall, a marble countertop, and a rustic wood chair and voila! You’re Insta-friendly without even trying. Or you know, you could just turn your phone off and relax for a bit…. Just kidding! I’m checking my feed as I write this…