six tips for instagrammable iphone photos

Flat lay and product photography is one of my most favorite things to shoot. I love the creativity that it takes to get good and interesting photos while showcasing one or two items. It can take some practice to figure out what kind of items work best for you, but once you have it figured out you will start looking at all the small, colorful items just to add to flatlays. 

Today I am sharing six tips for getting a great shot with your iPhone! 

lighting 

If you do nothing else, look for great light! The more natural light you can find the better. Find that area in your house that lets in the most light. This might be near the front door or on the bed in the spare bedroom. Wherever it is, find it and use it. Watch for shadows and off coloring.  If you are shooting red or pink and the color is off, maybe you need to think about a more natural area to shoot from. This might also mean having to wait until full daylight to capture great photos. 

If you are doing product photography, a white board set up might also be helpful to reflect sunlight back onto the items your are photographing. 

groupings

Grouping items in odd numbers makes photos more interesting. I normally try to keep everything in three or five items. This is a concept used often in design and is a good rule to follow when doing flat lays and product photography, as well. Also, add in good props that add color and consistency. However, I think it is good to note that the props you throw in should be related to the main focus of the image. For example, if you are shooting lipstick or something small then throwing in a few colorful items like flowers, makeup brushes, jewelry trays, vintage handkerchiefs, etc. 

Layering items and adding texture is also a good way to add an extra source of depth to your photos. These items could range anything from a piece of marble tile, photo albums, notebooks, vintage books or a furry rug. The list is endless-- look around your home for items you already have that fit the bill. 

I used a piece of card stock scrap book paper from Hobby Lobby for my background and added in layers with a vintage doily and handkerchief. I keep all of these items in a bag for easy access and try to have multiple colors on hand to match any product or wedding I am shooting. It makes it super easy on a busy wedding day. 

I used a piece of card stock scrap book paper from Hobby Lobby for my background and added in layers with a vintage doily and handkerchief. I keep all of these items in a bag for easy access and try to have multiple colors on hand to match any product or wedding I am shooting. It makes it super easy on a busy wedding day. 

editing

Consistency in your Instagram feed helps create a cohesive feel to your brand. This is especially important if you are a blogger, photographer or creative. A beautiful photo takes a lot of key components, but don’t hide the beauty by using pre-edit filters or over editing your image. Editing can change the whole feel of an image. A lighter editing style can relay the feeling of airy, light, fun style and a darker edit can make your viewers feel dreary, tired and dark! It is important to find your style and make your style consistent throughout your feed. Instagram filters are great, but only if they are used to a minimum.

Instagram, of course, has many filter overlays that are easy to throw on an image before posting. If you have one that you like and want to make that “one” your consistent style than go for it. However, you can also edit the image without using a filter. All you have to do is click “edit” at the bottom left hand corner and up pops tons of different options to pick from. I am a light and airy photographer, so if I have a photo that I have taken on my phone I want to publish on Instagram, I edit it in Instagram like this. There are many different options to play with, but I normally only up the brightness and then hit “next.”

 

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editing on insta

Instagram, of course, has many filter overlays that are easy to throw on an image before posting. If you have one that you like and want to make that “one” your consistent style than go for it. However, you can also edit the image without using a filter. All you have to do is click “edit” at the bottom left hand corner and up pops tons of different options to pick from. I am a light and airy photographer, so if I have a photo that I have taken on my phone I want to publish on Instagram, I edit it in Instagram like this. There are many different options to play with, but I normally only up the brightness and then hit “next.”

focus

I actually just learned this about my iPhone, but you can actually decide where you want your focus to be, hold the point on the screen and it will lock the focus to that point and then you can recompose the photo to get as creative as you want without ever missing focus. I knew you could select your focus point, but I didn’t know you could lock it. You can use this to really get creative with your composure and apply the rule of thirds concept, as well.

The yellow "AE/AF LOCK" button at the top of your screen is how you know that your focused is lock. From there you can recompose the photo without losing focus. 

The yellow "AE/AF LOCK" button at the top of your screen is how you know that your focused is lock. From there you can recompose the photo without losing focus. 

color scheme

One of the most important thing I have figured out with my own instafeed it colors matter. My own instagram feed gets better interactions/responses when they contain pinks, purples or turquoises. It might be worthwhile to experiment or look back on past post to see what colors are getting the best responses from your followers and then think about that color when you are doing future post (if high interactions are important to your feed/people finding you!) 

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think outside the box

Don’t look for the ordinary image that everyone is shooting. Think of what is different. Try for something that is taking the same subject, but making it totally unique to you. If you are shooting a cup of coffee, stand up and shoot from up top. Think of your background too. If you need to move your subjects to a better location, pick up those dirty clothes, dust the table, etc.—all easy things that can take your photo to the next level. Make it unique. Make it you. 

Click the arrow to see a few more examples. The second shot with the ipad was taken with a cell phone. 

 

Comment below with any questions! 

Good luck!