When posting a picture I always think of the composition of the picture and if I can add in any appropriate props to make my picture more visually exciting. If you’re planning on posting a picture of what’s in your makeup bag, why not get your makeup bag in there too, add your favourite makeup brushes as props and also something pretty from your dresser. On my dresser I have some candles, cacti, my perfume tray etc so I always look to find something that would look good with the image but is also relevant. If you’re going to post a picture of your breakfast, rather than just posting a picture of the food, add if your drink – a tea or smoothie maybe, your cutlery, if you’re dining outside on a nice day add in your sunnies and your favourite lip gloss. You want the picture to tell more of a story than just posting a picture of the item, think about what it is you want to share then build up your props and picture accordingly.
Some of my favourite places to look for affordable props are H&M home, IKEA, Paperchase, and eBay. The home department in H&M is great, I picked up a copper candle for £3.99 or a marble dish which is a great prop for placing jewellery/makeup etc. They also sell great tea towels and cushions that could be used as a background too, always try to look in places you wouldn’t normally and you’d be surprised what goodies you’ll find! When i’m out shopping I have to admit I always look at items and think ‘that would make a great prop/background for my blog/Instagram pictures’, my friends used to find it bizarre but now they’re used to it and keep an eye out for any good props for me too.
I try to pick up some new backgrounds every couple of weeks so I can rotate them and use one that’s appropriate to the picture I’m taking. A couple of months ago I did a DIY post on how I covered my dresser with a marble adhesive for under £5 (post here) – this makes a great background which I take a lot of my pictures on. The above pink paper is from IKEA and the black and white one is from Paperchase, I picked them up for a couple of pounds and they are great to store and re-use them.
Wrapping paper is also a great background and I’ve found some of my favourite ones in Paperchase or Oliver Bonas – they can be a little pricier but as you’ll be re-using them it’s not so bad. Brown parcel paper is also another great alternative or even a clean white background can look really clean.
Some key tips for taking your pictures:
– Take your pictures in good lighting, I always use natural day light which is great. You don’t need any fancy lights to improve your images just take it close to a window on a clear day.
– Editing your pictures – I tend to use Afterlight once I’ve taken my pictures to edit them. If they are too dark it’s great to increase the lighting and also the contrast. I’m planning on doing a post on my top Instagram editing apps but that’s definitely my favourite one.
– Take inspiration from brands, bloggers and sites such as Pinterest. I always screen shot pictures I like and store them in a folder on my phone so if I’m ever lacking inspiration I can have a look through and know what sort of pictures I’m after.
– Take a few variations – if you’re taking a flat lay or a product image, take a couple of variations and add in different props etc so when you go to publish it you can see which image works best.
– The year of the flat lay – everyone loves a good flat lay lately, search the #Flatlay hashtag to gain some inspiration for yourself! Whether it’s a pink theme, your favourite beauty products or what you’re wearing – give it a go!
How do you tend to improve your Instagram pictures? I hope this post has helped!