When it comes to Instagram, it’s all about the image and having an interesting subject and good composition is only half the story. To wow your audience on Instagram you are also going to need good lighting. Good lighting can be the difference between a hit and a miss on Instagram.
Here are some tips for getting the best possible lighting for your photos;
1. Natural Light is Best
Taking advantage of the best light source available, the sun, is the easiest and most effctive way to light your subject. The sun adds richness and warmth. Here are some simple rules when taking photos outside
Taking photos on cloudy days is often better than bright cloudless days. Too much sunlight can wash your subjects out and create shadows. Clouds can diffuse and soften the light and still showcase strong and rich colours and they also cast fewer shadows.
If you are taking photos on a bright day, avoid midday when the sun is at its brightest. Also you can diffuse the light yourself using the shade from a tree. Having a light-colored umbrella positioned between your subject and the sun can diffuse the light as long as umbrella itself isn't in your photograph's frame. Having natural light to the side of the subject is probably the best option . If you have the light behind the subject you will not see any detail, instead you will see a silhouette and If you have your subject looking into the light they may squint.
2. Taking Photos Inside
Again natural light is the best source so take photos in the daytime unless of course you want a candlelight to night time effect. Move close to windows ( having he window behind the camera will offer the most light on the subject ) Try to avoid artificial light as much as you can as it can cast shadows and yellow tints.
Firstly try and find a spot inside where you can get good light. Experiment in different rooms and areas for the best light.
If you're inside and have only one harsh light source, like a lamp, simply put a piece of paper or a light cloth over it. Reflectors are a good way to reduce shadows and improve light in a photograph. If you've ever seen a professional photo shoot, you may have seen the photographer or the photographer's assistant using white or metallic cloth stretched over a frame to reflect light onto the subject.
3. Using a flash
If you can't get enough light then using a flash can help. Don’t use a flash as your main source but Instead, use flash to add light in a scene, eliminating shadows. For example, if you wanted to take a picture of something by a bright window, you'd likely only get a silhouette, since all the light would be coming in from the window behind your subject. But, by using your flash to fill in the scene, you'll illuminate the details on the front of your subject, too. Don't use a flash around reflective surfaces like mirrors or windows -- all you'll get is a picture of the flash reflected back at you. Also remember for the flash to work as it's supposed to, you'll need to put your subject within the range of your flash.
4. Taking pictures of items
If you are taking pictures of items , for example ,shoes, accessories, Pieces of art or jewellery then a lightbox is the best solution. The are fairly inexpensive now or you can make your own, simply search on you tube for some explainer videos.
5. Using an SLR camera ?
If you are using and SLR then play around with the aperture setting - this will determine how much light is let into the shot. When it seems dark in reality , the camera will do its job in lighting the frame up.
6.Use an app
Instagram has great filter for brightening up your photos but also there are others and Snapseed ( FREE form Google) is a great app to add light to underexposed images. There are lots of other functions to play around with as well to create cool shots.
Well I hope these tips helped. Do you have anymore that were not mentioned here? Would’ve to hear about them in the comments below.
For daily tips and inspiration you can follow me at www.instagram.com/alexstearn