Lock your grid game DOWN.
At this point in time, it’s fair to say we’re all pretty proficient when it comes to taking a decent photo on our phones – we know our best angles, we’ve got the filter thing down, and have you seen our flatlays? Yup, we got this.
But then, why does it seem like everybody else takes better and more professional-looking photos than us? What do they know that we don’t?
One person who does know a few things about taking a grid-worthy ‘gram is Miss FQ’s digital editor Kelly McAuliffe, who is responsible for making sure the Miss FQ Instagram account looks fire at all times. She teamed up with Huawei (and got hold of their newest phone model, the very photogenic nova 3i with a gradient purple cover that basically doubles as a fashion accessory itself) to put together some useful tips and hacks that will have your photos and your ‘gram looking super slick in no time.
Let’s start with selfies
You’ve worked out which is your good side and know to hold the phone to get the most flattering photo (a high angle FYI) but now what? Here’s my favourite rules for taking an off-the-chart selfie:
1. Think about the background. Yes you’re the main focus, but if you find an interesting or clean white backdrop you’ll add so much more interest to the shot.
2. Look into the lens. This creates eye contact which means people will connect more with your image.
3. Smiling is contagious so smile in your pics! Nothing beats seeing someone who is happy.
4. Took a great pic but have a basket of washing sitting in the background? Use one of Kim Kardashian’s favourite tricks and crop out anything in the background you don’t like (this applies to your body too).
5. To accentuate your good features and play down any flaws, make sure the light is hitting you straight on.
6. The Huawei nova 3i has a beauty mode meaning there is no need for Facetune – yippee! Simply select a level one to ten, with ten being a fully airbrushed look with your features optimised and skin tone and texture smoothed by the phone’s AI (artificial intelligence) camera. This will minimise the post-production needed and you can even post the image straight to Snapchat direct from the gallery.
7. If all else fails, add a cute cat or dog ear filter! The Huawei nova 3i has got plenty of face and background filters to play with, not to mention 3D Qmojis.
8. If logistics are proving awkward to snap your selfie, don’t forget there is a fingerprint-activated touch pad on the back of the Huawei nova 3i which makes unlocking and snapping a selfie super easy. You can also use it to scroll through all your images – we love this feature!
Nailing the perfect outfit shot
Working for a fashion brand means snapping outfit pics of models or my colleagues are as much part of my day as answering emails. Whether you’re behind the camera or in front of it, there’s a few things you need to know:
1. Have your subject stand at a slight angle so they aren’t completely face on – this has a slimming effect and also adds dimension to the photo.
2. Standing can be awkward so ask your subject to try out a range of poses until they find one they’re comfortable with. Or ask them to keep moving and walk towards the camera while you snap away!
3. Your background is extremely important. Look for cool textures and colours that can contrast with your subject’s outfit. The Huawei nova 3i can automatically detect what environment you’re in and optimise – for example, it can make the sky bluer and the grass greener and will sense a dimly-lit room and turn the screen into a ring fill light.
4. If you’re asking someone to take a photo of you, be specific about what you want – show them on the screen where you want your feet placed for example.
5. If there’s more than one person in the image, the Huawei nova 3i has a smile detector which will take pics when a smile is detected – great for getting a good group shot!
Food and flatlays – the *ahem* bread and butter of the ‘gram
When it comes to food, the best shots are the ones which have you screenshotting and bookmarking the restaurant or recipe for a rainy day. To ensure your own content gets its fair share of screenshots, follow these tips:
1. If you’ve got quite the feast lined up, then be sure to incorporate more than just your plate – aim for a bird’s eye view (you might spot the truly hardcore foodstagrammers standing on their chairs as it really does get you the best shot!)
2. Try to hold the camera up to fill the background with other things on the table such as your drink, cutlery and even your dining companion’s meal, but be mindful of your own position as your hands and body can cast a shadow on the table.
3. If it’s all about one particular dish (or #plattergoals like above), then go for a classic close up. Huawei AI image stabilisation means it’s easy to capture blur-free shots just like a professional photographer, from up high to up close.
4. For flatlays generally, make sure the hero item is clearly visible in your shot and use smaller accessories to fill in the white space around it.
The key to a good looking grid is consistency, diversity and experimentation. You don’t want your Instagram to look like everyone else’s, however you can pick up a few ideas from others, such as:
1. Create a consistent look and feel by thinking about the overall tone or colour you’d like for your grid to pick up and use an editing app such as VSCO to add filters, adjust saturation and create uniformity.
2. Also think about changing up your images so there is a diverse range of shots – nobody wants to see selfie after selfie, no matter how good you’ve got at taking them! *wink* Think about breaking up selfies with other imagery such as outfit shots, beautiful scenery, still life, food pics, flatlays, group photos etc.
3. Take inspiration from other people’s feeds but don’t copy directly. The more cool shots you see, the more you’ll develop an eye for a good photo.
4. Take lots of photos – you might get it right the first time, but it’s always best to take plenty of shots so you can compare. The Huawei nova 3i has a whopping 128GB of storage, meaning you won’t run out anytime soon!
5. Don’t be afraid to try things – photography is an art form and shouldn’t be measured on likes. You should be able to look at your feed and feel like it’s fond memories and a representation of the things that you like.
This article is brought to you by the new Huawei nova 3i, a stylish smartphone for the fashion-minded, and an absolute steal at only $499. Available now from selected carriers and retail partners.