What I’ve learned about taking Instagram worthy photos

It’s no secret that I love to take pictures.  I come from a family who likes to take a lot of pictures…way back to my grandfather who would develop and enlarge photographs  in a studio in his  basement.  I was fascinated by the process!

Then along comes the iPhone and everyone (including myself) is taking slews of photos of just about everything.  Sometime after the iPhone came along, I simply stopped using a camera.  Then a few years ago my daughter asked for a camera for Christmas.  She had wanted one for a long time.  I thought, what’s the point when you have an iPhone?  But I did my research and got a recommendation from a friend whose pictures I love and bought her a little Sony RX100 III.  I was amazed at how great her pictures were and how easy they were to transfer to her computer or phone. This girl takes copious amounts of pictures!  I found myself borrowing her camera whenever she was in town.

Long story short, I finally bought myself the same camera for my birthday.  Am I the only one who buys herself her own birthday presents?  It’s portable enough to take anywhere and so fun to use.  Then my daughter gets me involved with Instagram.  She had been using it for a few years and I didn’t even understand what it was or how it worked. I didn’t know that it only fit square photos and was horrified when my photos didn’t fit into the frame.  I didn’t even know you could edit them!  My daughter rolled her eyes with an exasperated “Oh mom” look and showed me a thing or two.

I’ve learned a bit more since then and my IG feed is mostly home and decor shots with a few shots of Santa Barbara and other places in between. With filters and cropping tools, there really is no reason to post a bad picture!  I’m also a Virgo (read perfectionist) and was an art major so I treat those little squares like small pieces of art.  I rarely use the IG filters.  I like to use a free App called Snapseed to edit my pics.  I also don’t want to over filter so that it isn’t a true representation of my home or yard. (You’ve seen the ones where those flowers or sunsets can’t possibly be that color!)  I just want them to be appealing and inspiring.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is take LOTS of pictures.  I take tons!  You’re almost certainly guaranteed that one of them will be a winner.  Also try taking your photos at different times of the day.  I have a bright house almost all day long.  Sometimes it’s even too bright!  I find that early morning or dusk are the best times especially for outdoor shots when the light is not so harsh.  Cloudy or overcast days can be good too…not that we get many of those here in Santa Barbara!

The Little Glass House
Morning light and shadows
The Little Glass House
Early morning light in the back yard
The Little Glass House
Dusk can be such a pretty time to capture an outdoor shot

Try taking photos from different angles, whether it be from low (crouching down on the floor) or standing on a step stool to get a different perspective.  If anyone ever walked in while I was balancing on a step stool, I’m sure they’d think I was nuts!

The Little Glass House
View from a step stool

I don’t use any fancy photography equipment.  I’m just in love with decor and the way the light moves through the house during the day.  You may say that sounds like a lot of trouble just to take an Instagram photo!  But in a way, it’s kind of like compiling a scrapbook of little moments in time.   I am constantly switching things around (just ask my husband) and adding new art and flowers. I hope to put out quality photos that are a glimpse into our home and surroundings.  IG is a great resource for decor and beautiful, inspiring photos.  So go out and snap some little squares but most of all, have fun!

7 thoughts on “What I’ve learned about taking Instagram worthy photos

  1. Love your photographs! I’m interested in getting a new camara and was thinking about a Nikon, but your Sony might do the trick! I just want something that takes quality pictures, but can be transferred easily to my phone! It almost seems like what’s the point of taking pictures if you can’t post a few!!!!


  2. I love your decor photos, they are one of the best quality on IG! Thanks for the camera tip, I was thinking about buying one but I had a hard time deciding which one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a Nikon camera and I always say it is the best thing I ever bought for myself. The pictures are beautiful and I am not even using all the possibilities it has yet. Great tips you gave about shooting from a higher or lower angle. Never thought of that and now I will try it out of course. Discovered your blog and love it!


    • Thank you for taking the time to comment Petra and happy that you enjoyed the post. I know there are so many more features on my camera that I have yet to learn how to use as well! Enjoy your day…


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