How To Take Nice Instagram Photos by Kaila

 Hello friends! For today’s post, I will teach you how to take nice instragrammable photos. I actually got this idea from Grace (one of my readers) because she asked me about how I edit / take my photos for this blog.

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I actually wrote a tutorial way, way back (2011) about photography as well. Here’s the link: Compact Camera Cheat: Photography without a DSLR : )

I’ll write another comprehensive blog entry about all the FAQs about my photography equipment (from digital camera to DSLR).

Random trivia: Did you know that I used to dream about becoming a professional photographer? I was so into learning photography during my teenage years. But I began to love storytelling through my blog instead (using lots of bandwidth-hungry photos haha). And for many years, I make sure that my images / visuals are effective and creative at the same time. I hope they are! Hehe : )

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DISCLAIMER: This tutorial is not about getting instagram followers.

I’ll just simply teach you some basics of art direction / prop styling & taking “nice” photos using your iPhone / mobile phone.

I’ll also tackle the following: How to add filters / edit your photos & how to compose your subject(s) well. : )

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 BTS mode : )

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First, you must enable the “GRID” function of your phone’s photography settings.

To those who are curious, I’ve been using iPhone 5 for almost 2 years and just recently, I got an iPhone 6 Plus (mainly for work). This is actually optional, but the grid is so helpful for me! : )

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I always make sure that I take photos using natural light.. because it is the BEST light source. I used to take no-brainer instagram photos with random shadows & highlights everywhere… but now, I’ve committed myself to only upload instagram photos that I can be proud of, haha. Is this maturity or my OCD? Just kidding : )) I cannot have OCD because I’m a messy yet organized contradiction rolled into one person, haha.

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Morning light near the windows ~

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Before taking that snap, take a look at your subject first. Compose the photo you’re visualizing & turn on your creative side. Use your imagination ~

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I usually take 3 photos at the maximum (from different angles / tilts) … especially when I’m in a hurry. Call me OC but I don’t wanna regret spending time arranging / composing the entire photo and then it turns out, it’s a blurry photo actually. Yikes!

During instances when I need to become a ninja iPhoneographer, I’d just take one sneaky shot of course, haha.

I only take multiple shots of my art-directed photos : )

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After that, I open VSCOcam. It’s one of my favorite photo editing softwares. I also use AFTERLIGHT from time to time : )

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Load the photo/s from your camera roll to your VSCO editor

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My favorite presets at the moment are HB1 & HB2. I love “cool yet colorful” photos : )

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I usually tweak the settings for each photo as well. : )

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Exposure

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Straightening ~

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Sharpen (at most, +2)…

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Save! : )

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Being a toy collector / kawaii hoarder has been advantageous for me because I can use many props for a photo composition.

How To Take Nice Instagram Photos

Let’s try again ~

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(Edited)

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(Original)

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 (Edited)


 Kaila’s tips:

  • Practice makes perfect. I used to get shy when I take photos for my instagram (since in Japan, you cannot turn “off” the shutter sound…. huhuhu) but for the sake of my blogging career, I pushed myself to get used to the -slightly awkward- feeling of “must-take-nice-photos-before-eating” moments. Especially when you’re alone with your kawaii food in a cafe.. & everyone’s quiet.. and you take 3 consecutive snaps with different angles, lol. #BloggerProblems
  • You can also take photos from another angle (not only from the top~) for variation! : )
  • Find your own style & “signature look” … and develop it. Your feed will represent your personality / personal branding (if you are an online persona / etc.) so make sure it will also reflect your uniqueness. ^^It is absolutely OK to be inspired, but to blatantly copy someone’s style… is not really right. : )
  • Follow other instagram accounts for daily inspiration~
  • Quality > Quantity (what I learned the most after I realized how much Instagram has changed over the years)
  • If you like taking photos using your DSLR, you can buy a wifi adaptor (?) which you can use to connect your DSLR & mobile phone. Since I don’t have one, I usually download the photo/s first and pick the best photo & upload it using my dropbox account . Make sure that you have dropbox app installed on your phone too~
  • There are memory cards that have built-in wifi magic as well. I have one, and the brand is called “Flash Air”. However, it only works with digital cameras.. not DSLRs.
  • Do remember that the overall creativity factor of your photo is not only based on your equipment / gear, it’s the whole photo / idea composition. And I think that consistency with your filters is another factor to consider as well, haha. But sometimes, I’m guilty of not following it too.
  • Always keep in mind that life is much more fun and exciting outside social media / instagram. And don’t be too obsessed with the goal of capturing the perfect instagram photo (to the point that you begin to neglect other important things / priorities in life and everything is “staged”.. ohnoesss).. just treat it as a fun hobby. For me, composing or arranging my props / styling my photo is a fun de-stressing activity. I now treat my photos as a piece of my art / how I see the world / my perspective. Haha.
  • What to instagram? #WIP projects, BTS, your #brekkie lol, photos with friends, artsy-fartsy doodles & lettering, places, notes-to-self, etc~

 Just Some Extra Candies

(a.k.a. What Would Kaila Upload)

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Caption: How to store your mini toys : ))

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A wooden texture background is always a nice addition : )

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 Hope you learned something! : ) I cannot guarantee that these would give you more followers, haha! Maybe a nice feed, yes? 😀

Please do let me know if you have blog entry suggestions / requests too ~ I might grant it! Hehe!

Love, Kaila

8 thoughts on “How To Take Nice Instagram Photos by Kaila

  1. Thank you so much for answering my questions !! I really learned a lot ! I’ll remember all the tips and how to’s you’ve shared although I wish I could just borrow your photography skills so hella amazing !!

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  2. Great tips, I’ve been trying to brush up on my photography skills. The camera on my cell phone Isn’t the greatest, editing apps help a lot.

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  3. Pro tip: when shotting your figures/toy from upside view: stick some Play-Doh in the back of it, so it stay nicely as it’s supposed to being seem as if you were shotting from front. Just becareful to not show the Play-Doh in the photo. (sorry for lame english).
    Also, I love your blog so much. ♥
    (I’m more of an anonymous follower 😡 )

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  4. I was just wondering, how bright is your camera screen when you take the pictures? I tend to keep mine dim, and I’ve noticed that will change how the filters appear to change the photo. Any advice?

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  5. Thanks for the tips on editing! I love your blog so much and follow you on instagram too! I was just wondering, are the pictures you have been posting lately…. bigger than before? I have to zoom out a bit to see it since its so big, it wasn´t quite that large before ^^”

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  6. ..(pronounced as al-ya xP )

    Anyhoo thanks so much for this Kaila! I’ve just downloaded VSCO cam and I loooove it! ^^ I’ve taken some of your advice when I uploaded pics in y instagram a while ago^-^ yay!
    take care now! I’m thinking if I should continue blogging as well since I dunno if someone/someone will be reading them lol demo you’re an inspiration! More power and God speed^^

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