On Sunday, I headed to the 180 Piccadilly Flagship Cath Kidston store with Alex & Sarah. You’d probably expect me to go on and say how we were doing some casual window shopping, right? Wrong! We were there to learn how to take better Instagram photos at a special workshop. May saw three new free workshops (in collaboration with Indytute) pop up at the 180 Piccadilly store: ‘Vintage plate upcycling’, ‘My Cool Shed: how to make small spaces beautiful, with Jane Field’ and ‘Master Instagram in an instant, with Jess Macdonald’. I am a self-confessed Instagram addict! I was incredibly eager to take part and learn some new skills, so it only made sense that we were the first ones to arrive at the workshop!
Jess is a key player on Instagram, with over 32K followers on her @missundergound account.
She also co-founded Instagrammers London and IGers UK – this lady knows her stuff! I eagerly took notes on my phone during the workshop and threw my hand up every time Jess asked a question – yes, I am THAT person! I’m sure my enthusiasm was charming…at least that’s what I like to tell myself. Anyway, I was taking notes to share them with all of you on here, so no judging, ok? Read below to find out Jess’s tips on how to take better Instagram photos and gain more followers, and to also see my ‘challenge photos’ from the workshop.
How to Take Better Instagram Photos
No Instagram Filters! That probably sounds a bit insane when you’re talking about Instagram, but it’s true. The Instagram filters can flatten your images and take away the colour and impact from the original photo. Instead you should…
Use Apps! Jess recommended Vsco (my personal favourite) & Snapseed as two of the best. She also said that you should feel free to use the filters on Vsco because they are made to enhance your photo. Just make sure that you don’t go filter crazy, and try to always use one or two of the same filters.
The 3 Ss: Sunsets, Silhouettes & Symmetry: They can make your photos pop and look amazing!
The Rule of Thirds: This is a simple photography tip that most people may already know. It’s my go-to rule! It’s a bit much to write in note form though, so read all about it here.
Borders: Either use ’em, or lose ’em! Yep, either stick with the Instagram square, or only use borders (of the same size). I have been guilty of mixing both, but will avoid that from now on.
Selfies: It can be a bit awkward trying to take your own photo, which means that you don’t always get a great image. Instead ask someone else to take your photo.
Take someone else’s photo: If you see someone interesting or someone with amazing style, ask them if you can take their photo. Don’t be scared! Just make sure you get their permission!
Hastags: Use them, but keep them relevant e.g. No #London if your photo wasn’t taken in London. Also remember not to use generic terms such as #nice #pretty etc.
Invest in a portable battery: So you won’t have to worry about running out of battery whilst you’re being the pro-photographer that you are!
Make relationships and reply to your comments: It’s all well and good liking someone’s photos but you won’t make relationships with users based on just that. If you like a photo or have something to say about it, leave a comment and let them know. At the same time, if someone comments on your photos, reply or say thank you.
Jess’s Recommended Instagram Users
Jess recommended 3 inspirational Instagram users:
After Jess had given us some tips and tricks, we were asked to take part in a special photo challenge. We were told to take one Lifestyle photo (think table top, birds eye view), a photo of the Cath Kidston window, and a Selfie/Portrait.
My entries for each challenge category.
So what do you think? Did I do the themes justice? I was very happy with them. I had so much fun messing around and taking photos with Alex, Sarah, Jaz and Rubo. We played with beach balls, hopped inside the displays and basically treated the store like a big playground. All with the consent of the lovely Cath Kidston staff, of course! A big thank you to Jaz for hosting the event, and Jess for her insight, and for inspiring me to take my photography to the next level!
You can find me on Instagram: @bloomzy