How To Pose/Take Good (Instagram) Photos

Hey guys! So I’ve gotten several requests to cover tips for taking better photos and how I edit my IG pics so I figured I’d give you guys a full rundown starting with this blog post on how to pose/take good (Instagram) photos. You can see how I edit my IG photos and the cameras Stephen and I use here.

I will say that over the years there has been a lot of trial and error in general. Whether it’s learning how to pose for the camera or nailing down your editing technique, both can take time. I used to get frustrated about this and because I just wanted my feed to look as good as possible but I had the motivation and desire to figure it out so I knew I’d get there eventually. So, while it’s still a work in progress, (Stephen and) I have a fairly good grasp (well, better grasp) on posing, how to take photos, and editing. At least for a good IG photo–not claiming to be professional photographers over here. Well, not yet anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

Okay, so let’s move on to talking about posing for photos. Guys, if you saw how many bad photos were on my phone LOL. I mean, sometimes Stephen and I have to literally take 50 photos before I find one I like. Okay, 50 may be a little extremeย but ย it has happened! So, tip number 1: always make slight (body) adjustments in each photo. For example, if Stephen is taking several photos, my body stance may be the same in the first 5 but I will slightly adjust my head during each shot. Like, sometimes I may tilt my head down, up or to the side by the just theย slightest ย amount and all the sudden I love the photo–all I needed was a slight angle change. I’ll also then try a few different poses overall. If I’m standing in the photo, I may put one leg in front of the other for some, and then cross one leg behind the other, etc. It’s little changes like this that can “make or break” a photo. Sometimes you may think how you’re standing is normal and then you go back and look at the photo and think, “WHY THE FUCK WAS I STANDING LIKE THAT???” And I can’t always trust Stephen to tell me when something looks weird. The only thing he ever really says is “Your hair looks crazy. Fix it.” And 9/10 it actually isn’t crazy…

Oh, and in general know which is your best side. For me, if I’m taking a profile shot, I tend to prefer my right side because of the way my hair is parted. You can also practice in the mirror to see which kinds of angles/side looks best ๐Ÿ™‚

Below is an example of 4 different angles of the same photo. In a few I adjusted my face angle/position and in others Stephen adjusted his stance. All of these are unedited but you can see that the slightest differences in positioning make a difference overall. I ended up using the photo on the top left.

Another tip is if you have someone taking your photo, angle your iPhone or camera for them in the way you want the photo taken. Meaning have them go stand/sit where you will be for the photo, get the camera in the right spot/angle for them and trade places. This way they are taking the photo in the angle that you want. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone other than Stephen take my photo and they take it at the most unflattering angle–obvi that photo is unusable! Even Stephen has the tendency sometimes to give me what I like to call “pony legs” –don’t ask me how I came up with this name lol. But basically he makes my legs look super short and disproportionate to my body. I’m like, “Babe, I’m 5’9” and you’re making me look like 5’4″.” Not that there is anything wrong with being 5’4”! But when you’re actually 5 inches taller it does not make for a flattering photo. So, yeah, usually I have Stephen take a few photos from different angles, plus some will be closer up and others will be further back. Point being, take a variety! Below is a great example. The first photo Stephen gave me pony legs and also left no room to crop/edit–like my body takes up the entire frame. The second photo he is a little further away, it’s at a flattering angle, and I don’t have pony legs ๐Ÿ˜‰ The second photo is obviously edited as well.

Exhibit A: Pony Legs
Processed with VSCO with e7 preset
Exhibit B: Good angle + edited

My other tip is LIGHTING. Yes, editing photos is great but good lighting will make your editing 100x easier and will leave you with a much better photo. Natural lighting is the best kind–so this is usually going to be found outside. But just because you’re outside doesn’t mean that all lighting is created equal ๐Ÿ˜‰ Before Stephen and I take a photo he will hold the camera up (usually an iPhone) and we will check the lighting. I will literally move around to different spots and we will see where the lighting is best. Unfortunately sometimes you want a particular background but the lighting just isn’t great. If the lighting is somewhat decent we may take the photo and try to fix it with editing but if the lighting is just bad the we skip the location all together. Ideally you want to be standing in the shade–overcast days are great for taking photos. If the sun is out, you typically don’t want to be standing directly in the sun, again, stand in the shade. But, you want the sun facing your face instead of your back. If the sun is behind you it will end up making your face really dark and not cast any natural light on you (if that makes sense?) Below are examples of bad lighting–these are not edited at all (DON’T JUDGE ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Can’t remember exactly where the sun was here but since there were all these booths in the market, it made it difficult to find a spot with good lighting. But you can see that the photo it just dark, uneven, and shadows on my face. Not flattering.
This lighting isn’t as terrible but it’s definitely not great. There are a lot of different shadows and random spots of sunlight happening.
Again–lots of shadows on my face. Natural lighting (outside or by a window) is the best lighting. When you’re inside it can be hit or miss–like this photo.

Alright guys, I think that sums up my main tips! Anything I missed or that you guys have found to be helpful?

Stay tuned for my next post on how I edit my photos! xx C

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14 thoughts on “How To Pose/Take Good (Instagram) Photos

  1. So good!! Just started my blog in late August and my hubs is my photographer also so this is hilarious. Esp the โ€œpony legsโ€ like Iโ€™m 5โ€™2โ€ and homeboy will make me look like Iโ€™m 4โ€™7โ€ like I need all the legs I can get hahaha. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ˜˜

    1. hahaha! yes tell him that no one likes to look disproportionate–whether we’re 5’9” or 5’2”! hehe but good luck!! glad you enjoyed the post ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. We pretty much always use the iPhone (7 plus or X) for IG but we just bought a sony alpha a6000 for blog photos which we love. we shoot with a 50 mm 1.8 lens, which we had to purchase separately. This is probably their most popular prime lens.

    1. 99% of the time we use the iPhone for IG. We bought a camera recently to shoot blog content with and its an sony alpha a6000. We bought a separate lens for it which is a 50 mm 1.8 lens.

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