Tip #1: Strike a pose! Several, actually…
Lately I’ve been attempting to use my Instagram account as a way to experiment and have fun with photo styling. To do so, I’ve been integrating a new bag of tricks. I think it’s all in the angle, cropping and effects, and here I’m sharing a few of my secrets (shhh!)…
First things first, download the app VSCOcam, like right now.
No.1 THE BLACK & WHITE PORTRAIT
Friday night, my husband and I stepped out for a date night across the street, and I had him take a few quick snaps of me against a blank wall along our walk. I knew I wanted it to be an off-center shot and black & white, but it was fun to strike a few poses and we got a good laugh out of it.
The off-center effect (tough to get sometimes in square format) always looks more artsy to me. And I think people photos/portraits look better in black & white. What do you think? (I intentionally cropped this one in close to focus on the accessories.)
No. 2 THE OVERHEAD SHOT
I’ve been using this one a lot lately. I like both very stylized/perpendicular prop shots as well as the “randomly placed” prop shots. I usually like these to be very bright, almost overexposed. Desk shots or outfit shots on the bed always work well using these effects. And try using a white backdrop.
No. 3 THE SCENIC SHOT
If you haven’t noticed, I like palm trees…a lot. It might be the Hawaii girl in me, but every chance I get I try to catch them in different ways: a beach scene, a sunset, a blue sky shot. In every one, they’re abstracted in some way: off to the side, as a sculptural element, or in the foreground framing the shot. Oftentimes we’re not so lucky to capture an amazing nature shot (#nofilter) so here’s how I’ll make my own:
No. 4 THE STRAIGHT-ON SHOT
Another angle I use in my shoots for work as well as on Instagram that always proves to be successful is the straight-on shot. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that this simple angle is used in interiors photography quite a bit, and is without fail the most striking. (Patrick Cline’s photography for Lonny is a great example.) If you can, always go for the straight-on shot, rather than at an angle.
No. 5 THE WHITE SPACE SHOT
It’s crazy how much better a shot will look with the subject matter cut off or off to one side, and unframed. If you’re going for an angled shot, this is a great way to keep it contemporary, especially if overexposed.
Overall, my latest rule of thumb has been “the simpler and brighter the better.” What are your favorite tricks?