Thanks to Instagram, kids today may never need to face the embarrassing moment of getting their awkward childhood photos dug up during family gatherings. While the app itself is designed to be user-friendly, mastering the art of taking the perfect shot can take more than a simple click of the camera. Below, we've put together some pro-tips that will instantly help improve the quality of your photos and get your kids looking effortlessly stunning on screen (and on print)!
Tip 1 | Natural Lighting
Whether indoors or outdoors, natural lighting is always going to be the best lighting of choice. Not only does it work like a filter, natural lighting will help your photos gain a much softer look. Artificial lighting can cause the subject to be back-lit and can even give the overall look an ugly yellow cast. If you’re shooting indoors, try positioning your model near a good source of natural lighting (e.g. a window) and away from any distracting lights coming from lamps.
Tip 2 | Rule of Thirds
We’ve all heard of the ‘Rule of Thirds’, a golden principle in photography - but how many of us know what it means and how it exactly works? Luckily, smartphones these days come with a handy grid tool that's designed to make our work, as amateur photographers, simple and stress-free. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest you enable the "grid" option in your smartphone camera settings now, so you can get started on capturing those picture-perfect moments with ease!
Tip 3 | Neutral Tones
When it comes to choosing the right backdrop, everything should be kept minimal. You can ensure this by opting for neutral tones, such as white, grey, black, beige, and pale pink. White walls are particularly ideal, as it provides a flexible canvas for unlimited creativity. If you're new to photography and styling, we recommend you to start with a clear canvas (i.e. white wall) - this way, you'll avoid potential complications when designing your shots!
Tip 4 | Capturing the Right Moment
Taking photos of young children can be tricky sometimes, especially when they're active by nature. That’s why, taking candid shots of cute little moments will help you achieve the best natural look. And, of course, there’s nothing wrong with letting your kids work their inner-models too! Allow them to express themselves freely through poses and facial expressions they're most confident with - who knows, modelling may be their calling.
Tip 5 | Editing (makes all the difference!)
While there are many great photo editing apps available today, we like to keep the process simple by sticking to the tools available on Instagram. By "editing", we're not referring to the standard filters that used to rock our social media feeds back in 2012 - we're talking specifically about the editing options available when you click the 'edit' button (next to the 'filter' button) after selecting an image you want to post. Using these functions, you can play around with a wide range of editing techniques that will give your shot a distinct minimalist look. There’s no one-size-fits-all style of editing, but you can use the following settings as a guide to get you started:
- Saturation (level -50)
- Contrast (level 30)
- Structure (level 10)
- Sharpen (level 45)
- Lux (level 25)
- Highlight (level -50)
- Shadow (level 30)
- Brightness (level 60)
- Saturation (level -50)
Tip 6 | Posting on Instagram
Finally, share the shot! After putting so much hard work into creating it, it only feels right to share it with the rest of the world (a.k.a. social media). When posting, keep your captions simple and to the point. Also, don't forget to take advantage of those hashtags! The little waffle-like symbol has the power to increase your reach and engagement significantly.
Extra tip: instead of placing your hashtags as part of your caption (max. 30), try adding them under your image, as your first comment. This way, you can keep your caption as minimal as possible, as the hashtags will disappear within the comment section of your image.
Have an Insta-worthy shot you'd like to share with us? Remember to tag @huxbaby and @hux.journal!