How to style your Instagram photos

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Recently on Instagram I began to share how I’m styling my photos and where the inspiration is coming from. I do not own a studio and expensive equipment, with a little imagination and creativity I made my own home studio in which I love to spend my time.


I have always admired bloggers with beautiful photos and one day I just decided that I would try and learn how to achieve that. I realized that not all people on this planet have their house decorated by Instagram standards and I decided to find a solution for all of my problems. I’ll give you some basic things that could inspire you or help you look a little differently in styling the environment where you’re taking pictures.

-COMPOSITION-

Most of the time, I follow the rule of thirds and I try not to “cut off” essential details from the photos. The object is in the middle, depending on the background and if it looks good that way. So if I have this clock in the focus, I do not want to cut out one part of the clock, I want to make sure the whole watch is in the focus. If the focus was on the lip balm next to it, then the part of the clock could freely be cut out to give the lip balm more attention. I love to make a visual frame on the photos, like with these petals. It seems to me that it gives the pictures some playfulness and spontaneity.

 

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-COLORS-

Depending on the style you like, adjust the color in this way. Mostly, we all want brighter photos and pictures that give a softer note. To begin with, I would just say one thing – do not complicate with too many colors and make life difficult for yourself. Start with neutral colors and simple decorations that you can easily combine. If you start to combine different colors immediately, it will end in chaos. Believe me, I know. More or less I always make sure that I have three shades that match or the same color scheme.

 

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-NEUTRAL BACKGROUND- 

You don’t have to buy expensive backdrops if you don’t have the budget for it. You can buy self adhesive wallpaper rolls which can be super affordable. For example, this background on the photo is a self adhesive decorating roll and it costed me 1,48€ (11 kn) at Lidl. I just cut a piece of it and placed it where I wanted it to be. I need to point out that I don’t permanently glue it on a surface, I only use it when and where I need to. If you do not have a white table, this is a great and convenient way to get it for an affordable price.

You can also order attractive backgrounds from AliExpress for a few areas that are quite good for beginners. In addition, it is a great idea to buy a plate coaster that you can use for styling your photos. Whatever you decide to buy, look for a mat finish because otherwise you will have to deal with the reflection. I personally love the neutral background because it makes the products more in focus, but it’s totally your personal choice.

 

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-EVERYDAY OBJECTS- 

I’m pretty sure you all have a beautiful clock or a wooden calendar, some cute candles or blankets. The straw hat that has been sitting on the hanger for almost a year now and you’ve walked by it for many times in that period of time. You probably look at those objects every single day and you don’t even know how good they can look on photos until you try it out.

Think outside of the box. So what if you use a spoon as a prop? If it looks good, I can tell you nobody will even notice that spoons belong in the kitchen and not in photos. Flowers can give you a sleek and romantic look on photos and you can rarely make a mistake with flowers. What I’m trying to tell you, you don’t need to have expensive equipment and buy things just to take a picture with it once. Use everyday objects you have lying around the house.

 

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-ACCESSORIES-

One of the first things I bought when I started doing flatlays was – a plate. Actually, I bought two plates – a white one and a pink one. You can never go wrong with white, you can match it with everything. A pink plate comes handy when you need to break all of the white or if your photo seems too ordinary, it gives the photo a nice contrast. The plates is such a good piece on which you can layer your jewelry, your makeup or your watch. It can serve you as a little stand if you need to lift up some of your products. The options are endless.

I accidentally realized that a plain white sheet can solve half of my visual problems. I bought the wrong size of the bed sheets and so the sheet stood for a while in my closet. One day I needed something white for the picture and I remembered the sheet. White sheets or blankets, doesn’t matter, any brighter tone can help you a lot if you do not have bright furniture. You can also use a winter scarf, I used all the scarves I have when I needed some texture on the photos.

 

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-LIGHTING-

Good lighting is essential for a good photo. I currently have one big studio soft box and two DIY lights. Why DIY, you are wondering? I bought two table lamps for 7 euros in Emmezzeta and the strongest light bulbs. The light bulbs must be cold toned. Much can be fixed later in editing pictures in Lightroom, but I think nothing can surpass the best photo at the start.

If you do not have artificial lights, you can still shoot in front of window where the most light comes in. I did that before, without any reflectors, and it looked pretty good.

 

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Here, I hope I helped a little with this post. You do not have to even have expensive equipment to have good photos, it’s enough to have a cell phone with a camera. I’m pretty sure most mobile phones today have good cameras and you can do a pretty solid job with them. I usually edit photos in the Lightroom mobile app, it’s free and really easy to use.

The whole point of this post was – you can do anything if you want to succeed. Everything can be learned if you are ready to learn, learn from your mistakes, and learn how to correct them. I’m still learning, every day I find something new about photography. Every day I try to improve myself, for myself and for the people who support me. There is no greater pleasure than when people love your creative work!

See you next time!

Ana

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