You may have noticed over the past few weeks that I have become completely besotted with Instagram. I find that it is a wonderful way to capture adorable everyday moments with Rory that I would otherwise miss.
Things like the wind rustling her fur in a hilarious manner, awkward sleeping positions, moments of mischief, or just general day-to-day cuteness are mine to remember always thanks to this clever little app. Are the photos amazing quality? In all honesty, no.
But it’s better than nothing when your trusty DSLR and lens are safely packed away from the pitter-patter of little paws. Plus with amazing companies like Artifact Uprising or CanvasPop you can turn a simple Instagram photograph into a high-quality, forever piece of art. So even if you’re not a professional photographer, you can still capture some pretty memories!
However, taking a memorable Instagram photo is a little more involved than simply point and click — especially when a frisky pet or two is involved. So here are my personal top seven tips for taking better Instagram photos:
1) Keep it simple
It’s easy to become tempted by ‘the scene’ when taking an Instagram photo. In other words, you might want to try and cram everything beautiful in front of you into one single frame. Major faux pas! Keep the visual subject matter simple. Rather than focus on all of the dogs playing at the park, focus simply on your pup’s body and emotion. Keep it simple, uncluttered and clear in order to be memorable.
2) Be colourful
Your pet’s world is a vibrant place — embrace that! Bright colours always make an image pop and definitely make it more eye catching! A bright coloured toy, a bright coloured wall, collar, flower or sweater can really make an image stand out from the crowd and add interest to your digital album.
3) See the world from your pet’s point of view
Dogs see things very differently than we mere mortals. Don’t be afraid to embrace that perspective to create images that are completely different from the norm. I personally like to take photos behind Rory’s head to ‘see’ what she is seeing. Or I bring the camera down to her level. This creates images that are more compelling and interesting to look at.
4) Bump up the contrast
Typically in photography super ‘contrasty’ photos are a no-no, but I find in most cases on Instagram bumping it up can add an element of ‘glam’ to your photos. This is especially effective when applying black and white photos, although it also makes a big impact with many coloured photos too. Bold and beautiful!
5) Don’t go filter crazy
Instagram’s appeal is the ease with which you can ‘edit’ photos thanks to a series of preset filters. These can be great if used sparingly. In other words, don’t saturate your Instagram album with a different filter on ever image. This creates a disjointed aesthetic. Instead pick your favourite filters and stick with those to ensure your album has a clean, consistent look. Oh, same thing for borders too — I personally really dislike having different borders on different images, so instead opt for no border at all to maintain a similar aesthetic.
6) Don’t be afraid to edit
While the concept of posting instantly to Instagram is compelling and appealing, sometimes it is nice to give your camera phone pics a quick touch up in a photo app (or even Photoshop) before publishing in your stream. I don’t do this for every Instagram photo, as I do want to share Rory’s spontaneous antics, but every once in a while I will snap a pic that is just too cute or unusual not to give a little extra TLC to. (FYI you can edit a camera image in Photoshop as well, then email to your phone to Instagram. Just use the hashtag #latergram or say as much in your caption so people know that the image isn’t happening in the now).
7) Shoot in natural light
For a camera phone, natural light gives a much nicer look. If you shoot indoors at night for example, under Tungsten lights your photo is going to be ‘noisy’ (aka not as crisp) and most likely have the colour distorted. So try to shoot moments in soft, natural light for the best results.
I really adore being able to tote Rory’s online photo album around on my phone and add to it as moments unfold. I hope these tips will inspire you to start experimenting with Instagram too!
I’m starting a community pet photo album so that we can share our pet pics collectively! If you’re interested in joining and showing off your Instagramming skills, simply tag the photos you want to share with #PawshMag and we can all comment, laugh and ‘awwww’ together over our adorable furry friends. Here is today’s #PawshMag pic!