You probably know that feeling when, scrolling through the Insta world, you start wondering how on earth some of the pictures are self-made. From glossy selfies to elaborate compositions, some of the shots look so good they would better fit the cover of a fashion magazine.
But it turns out, we don’t see much of the real deal that’s going on behind every picture. And trust me, there’s a whole lot to uncover.
Luckily, influencers are now sharing their “The Setup and The Shot” images side by side so we can get an idea of how much creativity, skill, and savviness it takes to make a single drop-dead gorgeous image. Looks can be deceiving, they say, so never judge a pic before seeing its backstage.
Bored Panda reached out to Jordan, an Instagram photographer and social media influencer based in Virginia Beach, better known by his Twitter handle @Jayflvcko__. Jordan said that when it comes to producing an Instagram-perfect picture, it should have a deeper meaning behind the photo. “I personally feel some people don’t truly understand how one simple picture can be worth 1000 words and a million captions,” he said.
Moreover, Jordan said that photographers customize their setups to come up with a good shot, and “it is always the one that brings out details in every picture.” “The kind of setup I made to come up with that shot was a regular pink sheet for a bed that I used as a backdrop and put in the water,” Jordan commented.
Often, to produce a unique shot, influencers use DIY setups and makeshift tricks that take both time and effort which remain invisible to people.Inspiration is key when it comes to Instagram photography.
For Jordan, it’s all about the emotion and colors that “give off a distinctive vibe that can be used to set the mood in a photo.” Music is also a source of endless inspiration, just like his family and the people around him.
These days, when everyone has an Instagram account, building your personal brand and standing out from the rest may be harder than ever. After all, scrolling through some of the viral posts and jaw-dropping images, it feels like influencers are now full-on social media professionals who take the Insta world to a whole new level.
It doesn’t mean you can’t do it too. Of course, there are some basic principles of composition and lighting you should know. Because the blurry and random vacation shots you take on your DSLR are not likely to help you make it in the big game.
All you need for the beginning is a pretty decent smartphone camera, which most phones have anyway. You may be tempted to edit the original shots immediately, but remember that filters look rather obvious and there’s nothing worse than overexposure. In most cases, little editing with natural light captures the Insta magic so much better than artificial lighting with elaborate filters.
Then, remember to keep your eyes open and pick the right time of the day for shooting. It’s no coincidence that photographers love golden hour—it makes the colors dewy and creamy, and your skin looks like it’s covered in gold.
Most importantly, don’t forget to get creative. There are no rules when it comes to a truly captivating picture, so get ready to experiment. Instagram photography is all about developing your own style and look that will make you stand out.
Note: this post originally had 154 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.