Photos speak a thousand words, and to say social media giants such as Instagram and Facebook are changing the way we live and share our images in an understatement. There are plenty of photo editing software and filters to be had, but it’s always a little more fun to boost your photos through your own cunning methods. Here are five ways you can make your photos pop more and catch more eyes on Instagram! Who knows, you could be an influencer in no time.
1. Shoot Through Sunglasses
In a bright, harshly lit area, or just looking to add a natural vintage vibe to your photos? Slip those sunglasses off the top of your head and position them over the lens of your camera. Taking a shot through the tinted lenses can help dampen the over-contrasted effects of direct sunlight, and it can also serve as a built-in filter that adds some real depth and dimension to your photos.
2. Paper Sheet Lightbox
A nice, professional lightbox can set you back $50 or more, and who needs it when you can get some great results just utilizing a piece of paper and a window? Tack the sheet of paper up with tape to hold it in place, then position your subject in front of the paper. You’ll have to experiment with your camera’s aperture and exposure settings, but after some finagling, you will find yourself with a perfect white background to really make your subject pop.
3. Unique Shadows
Looking to play with your lighting and shadows a bit more? You can get some incredible effects by using a simple tea strainer! This hack works especially well in more naturally lit settings, such as sunlight coming in through a nearby window. It can take a bit of practice to get the angle and distance of the strainer right, but they turn out can be a stunning and dramatic touch to a portrait or any still life.
4. Create Seamless Backgrounds
This one takes a little bit of crafty work, but the setup is easy, the materials are inexpensive, and the payoff looks professional and sophisticated. If you’re looking to showcase objects for a storefront or promotion, this is definitely the hack for you!
Purchase two pieces of foam or cardboard and position them at a 90-degree angle. Secure them with tape, glue, or whatever works best for you. The next step is to get a flexible piece of poster board and tape it to the top half of the foam or cardboard, letting it curve naturally down onto the bottom half. Place your subject onto the curved poster board, focus your camera, and enjoy your seamless background! This can easily be recreated with other fabrics or colors.
5. Custom Bokeh Shapes
This one requires a larger handheld camera, but the results can be so stunning that it’s totally worth the extra work it may take to get it to your Insta account. Using a piece of black paper, make a short tube that fits snuggly around your camera lens. Next, cut out a “lid” for this short tube with additional paper. This lid is what you will cut out your custom design on, be it a heart, a tree, a star, whatever you desire!
Tape the lid onto the attached paper tube, then use a low aperture setting and manually focus your camera to focus through the cutout shape. Keep adjusting until your desired bokeh effect is visible in your photos.