How to be less hipster, more pro with the “everyone can be a photographer” app.
Instagram’s not only great for ‘food porn’ – smart photographers use it to make money too, like leading snapper Justin Mott. He shot a whole project for a client using just a smartphone, Instagram and his thumb. Exclusively for Stuff, he reveals his top tips for taking kick-ass Instagram shots.
Tip 1: remember, it doesn’t do miracles
Don’t rely purely on the app to make your picture look sexier – anyone can do that. Think real photography. Layer your picture with interesting subjects, textures, or scenery, and think foreground and background. Pay attention to composition and colour. Instagram should be used to add the final layer of sexiness. It can’t work complete miracles.
Tip 2: don’t underthink light
Interesting light makes for interesting pictures. And Instagram is great for highlighting images with beautiful light. Learn to recognize gorgeous light and begin the hunt for light patterns and shadows. Then be patient and wait for something interesting to happen. Break the rules and don’t be afraid to shoot directly into the light.
Tip 3: don’t be lazy
When you see something you like don’t simply stop, take your phone out and shoot it. Move around a bit. Find a good angle, look for something interesting to shoot through. Get high. Oh yeah, and get low too – perspective is what separates the novice from the pro. Don’t be afraid to lie on the ground and shoot from the floor. When people walk by and think “What is that guy doing?” is often when I’m getting my best pictures.
Tip 4: pick your filter wisely
Tip 5: easy on the edits
Be careful with some of the extremely exaggerated filers like Kelvin or Tiltshift – they can look too fake and are overdone. Yes, Instagram itself is gimmicky but try to strike a balance of believability in your image and filter combinations. If you want to go even further with post-production, run your images through software like Adobe Lightroom to get them perfect.
Tip 6: find you style and stick with it
Photographing what interests you is a start, but how you photograph it is the next step to finding your style. Then choose a filter that suits your vibe and be consistent. This will help to win followers who actually like and share your images online.
Although Instagram has some cool filters my favorite filters are from VSCO. They have amazing film filters for a cheap price, I use them both on my phone images and my DSLR images. Check out the VSCO website.
Here is a link to the full article featured in Stuff Magazine Singapore. Check out more photography tips! Look for #AskMott across social channels and tag your posts with this hashtag to ask me any questions you have about being a better photographer