So you want to be a social media mommy? Here are my top 10 tips on photo taking!
Let’s be honest…Social Media Motherhood is trending. It’s the it “thing” right now. Everyone is doing it, you, me, your next door neighbor…I mean the better question these days is who isn’t a social media mom?
Alright, so if we are all in this together, let’s actually be in this together. Let’s throw all our tips out on the table; no secrets between us, okay? Luckily, for all of us, there is more than enough followers to go around! 150 million daily active users on Instagram, eh…I feel like we may be able to split them between us.
Obviously the main part of being a social media mom on Instagram is your visuals; it’s all about the pictures people, I mean duh! As much as we all know that, do we actually pay attention to what we’re posting? So often we just snap a photo, upload it, write a few words, and post it thinking if we post real life, real life will be sure to follow us back, right? Wrong.
I mean lets be honest, you’re not on Instagram so you can look at pictures of my messy house, I’m sure you could just look around yours is you wanted to look at that (oh and don’t even pretend like your house is so much cleaner than mine, I see you miss laundry-for-days mama). You’re also not on Instagram to see another picture of my cat Aunt Sally. And you’re really not on Instagram so you can look at grainy yellowed selfies of me with my duck lips -am I right?
Social Media, Instagram specifically, had become an escape from the norm; it gives mommies a chance to not only connect with other moms, but also escape reality even if just for a short time. Instagram has become a place to inspire and be inspired, so keep that in mind when capturing your next photo.
Alright, how about some practicals?
1) Be in the photo. Social media is about being social and people like people (you got that!?), lol the long and short of it is that people like to see your face. It’s statistically proven that photos with a human figure in them get more likes than photos without. And becasue they’re following your Instagram account, your followers probably expect to see you once in awhile! Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, selfie’s are good for your self esteem, which is good for your confidence, which is good for your sex life…So Take More Selfies, Have More Sex.
2) Use natural light. If at all possible, take your photos in natural light. That yucky yellow tone can be edited out (mostly) in photo shop afterwards, but nothing can beat natural light! And while you’re at it, don’t stand in bright, glaring light or direct sunlight, if at all possible find a shaded area or the soft filtered light that comes in through a window.
3) Try different angles; up, down, over, above, from the side…There are lots of different ways you can take photos. This may seem obvious, but I run across a lot of feeds that have the same shot; baby in the middle, take a picture…Dog in the middle, take a picture…You get the picture… So be creative! Try coming at things from a new angle. Try taking a close up or getting really far away. Now I do have to say that you may find a certain distance or angle that your prefer, and that’s not all bad, it can lend a certain consistency to your feed, but try breaking out of the box once in awhile -it can be fun!
4) Speaking of consistency…O.M.G. For the love of all things sweet and holy stop using every gosh darn filter on the planet! People like a cohesive look and feel, so instead of scrolling through all the filters, choose one or max two that fit the look you’re going for and stick with those. And if you’re a filter whore, go into your Insta settings and get rid of them so you won’t be tempted; yes, you can do that.
5) Arrange your feed. Try using an app like Snug to preview what your feed will look like with that next photo before you post it. You can upload a few and even move them around so you get a sense of how your feed will flow together. Once you start getting a certain feel to your feed, you’ll more naturally be able to choose what type of photo to post next, but Snug is a really helpful app to help you get there to begin with. This is also how people get those nifty patterns and stuff on their Insta feed!
6) Edit your photos similaraily. This kind of goes along with number 4, but is equally as important. Editing can make or break a photo, but unless you’re editing them all the same, your feed can still end up looking wonky. This takes some practice, but once you get into a routine of how you like your photos (i.e. bright, dark, warm, cool) it’ll go pretty quickly. Snapseed is the main app I use to edit my photos, I love how simple it is and it has everything I need right there. I also have used MaxCurve and VSCO on occasion; it doesn’t really matter what you use, just choose what works best for you and go for it.
7) Declutter; simple is usually better. I do know some mommies who take the most artfully cluttered photos I’ve ever seen, you know, where they actually make the mess look good? But that’s just not me. My mess looks like mess plain and simple. So I make a point to use clutter free surfaces or quickly throw all the toys to the other side of the room before I take a shot. (Actually, and this is just a little freebie I’ll throw in there because I love you all so much, being a social media mom can do wonders for helping you keep your house clean! I can’t tell you how many times I lamented a ruined photo because of dirty laundry or scattered toys in the background! Having a clutter free mentality can actually be a huge asset when it comes to keeping your house clean.)
8) Get creative! Some of the fun of photo taking is trying new things! I scroll by photos all the time where my first thought is “wow! How did they come up with that?” Don’t be afraid to use fun props or think outside the box a little. Get inspired by things around you! Recently I did a mini “series” where I posted 6 photos that were inspired by the book “I’d know you anywhere, My Love”, by Nancy Tillman. I’d read the book a hundred times to my kids and yet I kept going back to it becasue the illustrations were just so soft and sweet! That got me thinking that maybe I should bring the book to life! It was so much fun! I had a blast dreaming up the photos and making them come to life; almost none of them turned out the way I was thinking, but that just made them so much better! You can check out the post I did featuring my little series here.
9) Follow your inspiration. Okay, this one will seem like it directly conflicts with the tips I just gave you, but, there is something to be said about tried and true photos that you see everywhere. Babies in bath tubs, flower baths, flatlays, sleeping pics, coffee cup photos, leggy shots; certain pictures are popular because they’re aestetically pleasing and fun, in short, people love them! I’m not saying you should be a copy cat, but sometimes starting with something you’ve already seen and then building from there can give you fresh creativity. Or worse case scenario, you end up with a gorgeous photo that looks similar to someone elses, let’s just be real, is there really ever anything on Instagram that is 100% unique?
10) Have the right equipment. Unless you have and Instagram Husband or a Prefessional Photographer in your back pocket (both of which are pretty unlikely) you’ll probably find yourself home, alone, a lot trying to get that perfect shot of you and your kiddos. So invest in a tripod with camera holder and a remote timer, I spent about $20 on mine on Amazon and they were on my door step two days later –awesome. They have made my life so much easier. Gone are the days of setting the timer, running back and forth and smiling awkwardly. Now all I have to worry about is getting my little rugrats to hold still and stop pulling my hair long enough to get a half way decent shot.
Well there you have it folks, my top 10 tricks for photo taking. I used to think photography was really “easy” and I scoffed at all the feeds with the artful photos of mamas lying on perfectly white linens with their angelic babie snoozing next to them, and then I tried to take one of those shot. Wow. Just wow. Being a social media mom with an aesthetically pleasing feed takes practice, effort, and some serious creativity to get the perfect shot. Don’t believe me? Try mimicking a few of the photos you see on those feeds with 150k followers and then tell me they don’t deserve their following.
Happy Picture Snapping!
PS) Don’t forget to follow along on my social media mom journey on Instagram; you can find me @HonestlyMommy.