You might have seen some of my Instagram photos from my road trip and thought I was pretty glam but it’s all about balance isn’t it? Sometimes you take beautiful travel photos and sometimes you sit on your couch watching Zoella vlogs in your pajamas and sports bra because you’re out of clean clothes from your travels. You win some you lose some.
But over the last year I’ve learned A LOT about taking photos and getting good shots for social media. So I thought I would spread the wealth and help take you from your pajamas on the couch to glam Insta girl/person life.
Fake it until you make it
I’m not the best at getting my photo taken. When I used to get school pictures I’d always be the kid who had to do retakes because my photos were just awful. But through looking through other people’s instagrams I’ve been able to get an idea about what poses work and what don’t. Then essentially I just fake it and hope for the best.
I’ve also learned through taking thousands of bad photos that the best poses involve a little movement. Just keep moving and your pictures will look more natural and less forced.
Telling someone what you want your photo to look like
Now along the lines of “keep moving” you’ll need something take your photo who understands that. When you pass your camera or phone to someone you want them to start snapping away rather than waiting for you to stop moving. I usually tell the person taking my photo to “just take a bunch”. Then if they don’t get it I ask them to just keep taking photos as I’m moving. The movement shots are always gold.
If you want to take that a step further, I have a very kind partner who will look at a lot of bloggers instagrams with me to get an idea of what I want. I often instruct him as well what I do and don’t want in a shot. If I’m in front of a monument I make clear how much of the monument I want in the shot and how much I want of me.
I was wearing comfy runners on this trip and by the end my partner knew not to get those in the shot. If you tell people what you want a shot to look like you’re more likely to be happy with it. I know some people go a step further and will take the shot with their photographer as a stand-in to give a concrete example.
The Travel Poses
Even if you’re moving around it’s good to have a couple of go-to poses. I don’t know how many times I’ve whipped out my phone to take a picture then stood there saying “I don’t know what to do”. A hair adjustment, or moving your sunglasses often works for natural movement. But when traveling I take some inspiration from Helene in Between and like to get some back of my head or side of my face shots while looking at the landmark.
Now I’ve told you this you won’t be able to stop seeing those poses in my photos but hey if it helps you then no problem.
While I’m on the go I take photos with my DSLR for the blog but then whip out my iPhone to get good day-of instagrams. This means they need to be edited. I use a program called “Afterlight” on my phone to edit them quickly. I’ve picked one filter that I like and always use, but I take it down to 50%. Then I adjust brightness, saturation, and the colouring in the highlights, mid tones and shadow tones. I make sure to pick similar colours so my photos have a similar but realistic quality.
It’s not really an instagram theme so much as just keeping things consistent.
Asking Strangers for Photos
I always find the hardest part of a vacation is trying to get cute photos of my partner and I together. We asked a few different strangers on the trip to take photos of it and a few offered. Two things I’ve learned from this 1. I’m much more awkward in these kinds of staged photos and 2. most people have no idea how to take photos.
SO many people would instruct us to go stand on a set of stairs while took the shot from under our chins… they’re not cute and will not be on the blog. They also all switch the camera into portrait position immediately as if taking something landscape is unheard of. I don’t really start instructing strangers on how to best take our photo. I just hand them the camera and hope for the best.
Which in the case of this trip, is a lot of bad, under the chin, blurry pictures.
In preparing for this trip I did A LOT of research. I looked at endless amounts of pinterest lists, blogger recommendations, tourism websites and more to compile it all into a well-organized spreadsheet, and eventually map. (Side note: would you be interested in a post on how I planned the whole thing?) But I also researched instagram hashtags for each place. I looked up good travel ones, ones my favourite travel bloggers used, and city specific ones. Then I saved them in my notes. That way when you’re on the go and want to post something you don’t have to look all of this up, it’s already waiting for you to just copy/paste.
You can check out my instagram for some of my favourite ones.
That’s it for now. I’ll start posting the travel guides from each city next week, but I’ll be spreading it out a bit with other posts in between so it might take a bit.
Where are you traveling to this summer? And do you have any good tips on how to take the best photos while traveling?
Don’t forget to follow me on bloglovin’ so you don’t miss all of the travel posts, and more, that I have coming up.