Taking good photos of yourself on Instagram can be a difficult task. Whether you're trying to capture your latest hairstyle or outfit or a special moment, the quality of your photos can make or break your Instagram game. 

With the right Instagram tools and techniques, you can elevate your selfie game and start taking gorgeous photos that will captivate your followers. 

In this guide, I will explore some tips and tricks to take amazing instagram photos of yourself.

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

9 Tips To Take Good Pictures of Yourself on Instagram

A study showed, posts with photos that match a certain set of values on Instagram get 3% more likes, and have an average of 19% more engagement on Instagram.

This is important if you’re trying to become an influencer on Instagram, or trying to establish your online shop to sell on Instagram.

That’s why it’s all the more important to step up your photography game on Instagram.

Here are 9 tips to take stunning photos of yourself for Instagram.

1. Check Your Camera Settings

Before you take any photos make sure your camera settings are right. Most phone cameras are very powerful but the most tricky part is learning how to use them. Always look at what you're working with before taking photos.

Take yourself on a tour of each camera setting to understand what they do, and how each can benefit a situation.

No matter what type of selfie you’re taking, it's important to consider the art direction of your shot. To get the perfect angle, you can make use of hands-free devices such as a tripod, and use voice activation to take the perfect shot. 

For the most professional-looking photos, it is best to use pro mode. To find it go to your camera settings and turn on pro mode.

In Pro mode, you can adjust plenty of settings, such as:

  1. Contrast 
  2. Highlights 
  3. Shadows
  4. Saturation
  5. Tint
  6. Temperature
image use pro mode from camera settings

2. Make Use of Lighting

Lighting is the most important part of taking the perfect photo. Understanding how to use light is the first and most important rule of getting great photos using only the camera on your phone. 

The harsh lighting tends to wash out your skin tones and throw shadows into sharp focus. Try using the pro settings on your camera to make your photo look more professional. 

When taking a video  switch on pro video on your camera settings making the video look more clean and natural.

Avoid using your flash, natural light creates richer and brighter photos. The flash can wash out your subject in your photo, take photos near windows or well lit places. Experiment with taking your pictures mid-morning or mid-evening for soft, flattering light.

When you're looking at the photo below you can see precisely where the light and darkness meet as the light gets brighter and where the light starts fading into the shadow to complete darkness.

3. Add Layers to Your Picture

Photos that include layers, with patterns or objects in the background as well as the foreground are naturally more interesting because they offer more depth. Try adding more furniture in the background to add more layers and depth to give your photo more character.

You can try adding some flowers or decorations in the foreground when taking a picture. Make use of a blank wall with a beautiful painting in the background with a table or a nice chair. 

Here’s a beautiful example of layering in a photo by Alice Gao.

The photo offers a table and flower in the foreground, with a blank wall and chair in the background. The background has muted colors, that help the flowers in the foreground stand out.

4. Strike the Right Pose

Do you do the same pose over and over again? What might have worked before, can become repetitive to your followers and you’ll see a steady decline in engagement.

Try new poses, different angles, or a different setting that will make your photo look more interesting and engage your followers. You could even create a GIF with plenty of different poses playing back to back.

Try changing your hair or your outfit with different poses. Try tilting your head or pouting your face. You can use your hands and arms to give motion to your poses, but keep it natural. 

To keep things interesting, here are some selfie poses you can use:

  • Sexy selfie poses
  • Silly selfie poses
  • Mirror selfies
  • Serious selfie poses
  • Happy/Smiling selfie poses

Here’s an example.

For all three photos, Juline strikes a different pose, showcasing a full range of emotions.

5. Consider Using Props

Props are another excellent way to take a good picture. A prop or two can go a long way in building a better photo. From holding a beautiful coffee mug to houseplants, adding something extra to your photo can bring it to life. 

Do you have a pet at home?

Holding your cat or dog as a prop is an excellent way to get a lot of likes. Not to mention the cute Instagram captions you can use. 

This can change the aesthetics of your photo depending on your pet's reaction. Here’s a cool post from @mrigakishan showing off her purrfect cat.

6. Use a Tripod

If you don't already use a tripod, then you should consider getting one. Who knows whether you might find yourself in a situation where you’d love to take the perfect photo, but no one’s around.

That’s where tripods come in. Simply set up your tripod, get the perfect angle and backdrop, and let loose taking self pictures. For the best results when using a tripod, use a remote trigger or voice activation to take the picture.

If a tripod isn’t your thing, you can also consider a selfie stick for your phone. Selfie sticks allow you to get better angles and wider shots, without the need of another person.

7. Follow the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a composition that refers to the arrangement of a photo. The rule of thirds works like a grid that divides the photo up into thirds. If you want to know how to take the perfect selfie, then following this rule is crucial.

The goal is to put the best aspects of the photo in the intersections of the grid, to create a balanced and natural-looking photo. If you're having trouble finding the grid by yourself, try going to your settings and turning on grid mode.

image use rule of thirds for images

Divide up your frame in three evenly-spaced vertical lines and three evenly-spaced horizontal lines. Where the lines intersect is where subjects in focus can be placed. 

The example below shows a flower being held precisely at the intersection of the two lines.

8. Insert Stickers and Filters for Some Extra Flair

One of the more interesting ways to take creative selfies for Instagram is through filters and stickers. This helps a lot if you are you struggling to keep your followers happy and motivated. Instagram filters can give you a boost. Photo filters can add different moods and more colors to your photos.       

Add festive frames with the Christmas frames option, or create a vibe using some black and white filters. These frames are not only perfect for sharing on Instagram and other social media platforms, but also for creating Christmas cards that you can send to your friends and your family.

Look at the photo below using a filter that creates festive faces for the whole family to enjoy.

9. Finding The Best Backdrop

The perfect backdrop can make whatever is in the foreground either pop or get lost in the mix. That’s why it’s essential that you pick the best backdrop possible before striking a pose.

Try standing in front of a big building for a city vibe. If you’re feeling green try getting a backdrop of trees or a big garden full of flowers. There are so many ways to make your photo look better and bigger using a great backdrop. 

Below is the perfect example of a good backdrop. The trees are on the side, with the road and road lines perfectly aligned in the middle, and the subject in center focus.

5 Things To Avoid When Snapping Pictures of Yourself for Instagram

It may be tempting to put yourself in harm's way just to get the perfect selfie, but beauty shouldn’t come at such a high cost. Posting content that goes against Instagram’s guidelines could even result in your account being outright banned, or even worse, shadowbanned.

Here are 5 things you should avoid when snapping selfies for Instagram:

1. Don’t Risk Your and Others' Safety

Taking photos from high, unsafe places is an example of risking your safety. Posing with a wild animal is another. It’s important to take necessary safety precautions and respect the guidelines when doing such activities.

Try not to take selfies in crowded places, rather wait for everyone to leave then you can take a selfie, to respect other people's choices regarding social media.

Posting a lot of photos of yourself on social media with your precise location can cause unwanted attention, harassment, or even people stalking you on social media, and this is a big risk for you and your loved ones.

2. Avoid Harsh Lighting

Take photos during the golden hours, the time of day just after sunrise or just before sunset. If you've already taken your photos try editing the photo to look softer, try using a softening filter to reduce the harshness of the light.

Avoid harsh shadows. Harsh shadows can be distracting and unattractive. Instead use natural light by standing in front of a window, opening a door, or taking pictures outside on a sunny day.

Try not to use your flash when taking a photo. This can cause unwanted shadows and reflections that look unpleasant in photos. Always use natural light for a beautiful finish.

3. Avoid Bad Reflections

Bad reflections coming off windows, screens, and even a dirty camera lens can look unpleasing. Avoid taking photos where there might be bad reflections such as in front of a window, and make sure you always clean your camera lenses before taking photos. 

Avoid using your flash because it can also cause harsh reflections and shadows. Try holding your camera under your chin for a more precise photo to show off your outfit without showing any of your surroundings.

Make sure when you're taking a photo in your bedroom to pick up all your dirty clothes and to tidy up your bed before you embarrass yourself on social media.

4. Never Take Just One Selfie

Sometimes one photo can't show the full experience of a wonderful moment. Taking more selfies from different angles and positions can give you a more complete perspective of that experience, as well as provide you with options to choose the best ones.

5. Avoid Illegal Substances and Firearms

Consider the message you are sending by posting such selfies on social media. It can give the impression that you condone or even promote the use of illegal substances or firearms.

Promoting illegal substances on social media is an offense, you are promoting it to underaged children. Don't ever promote it on any social media page.

It is best to avoid taking selfies with illegal substances with the use of firearms altogether and to be mindful of the message that you are sending on social media.

Post Your Stunning Selfies Today!

Now after learning all of these tips, I am sure now you know all of the essentials of how to take good photos of yourself. If you've got any inspiration from this guide, do not hesitate to take photos for yourself.

When it comes to knowing how to take good Instagram photos, there’s no one-way solution.

Simply remember the rule of thirds, good lighting, use a variety of poses, and always make sure your backdrop is perfect. 

If you do, you’ll be snapping professional Instagram photos in no time!

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