HOW TO TAKE INSTA-WORTHY PHOTOS OF YOUR HOME
There’s no better place for home decor inspiration than your Instagram feed. But have you ever wondered how seemingly everyday folks are taking amazing magazine-quality photos? Turns out, you don’t have to be a professional photographer -- or a social media influencer -- to take seriously shareable images. These handy tips will help you level up your IG grid.
Be In the Moment
It’s tempting to take a pic of your whole room, but keeping the shot to just one moment within the space -- like a console table or shelf -- will amp up the impact. It’s visually easier to take in, and you can draw the focus to your design choices. Notice in the photo below how the accents on the shelf are spaced apart? This white space gives the look room to breathe. If there’s too much stuff, your killer style might get lost in the shuffle.
Tip: When styling shelves or other flat surfaces, pull your decor toward the front edge to lure more eyes into your pic.
Play around with the angle of your shot. Drop down to the same height as your focal point, which will usually be well below your eye level. Taking a picture from a lower vantage point can have a more dramatic look. For example, in your living room, a photo that is level with your sofa will bring out the plushness in the tufts. The table in the image below is 20” high, so this shot was taken from a pretty low angle.
Add elements in the foreground and background to add depth to your look and your photo. Intriguing items close to the camera and further into the distance draw eyes deep into your look.
Tip: You can catch even more looks if you add contrasting and textural elements, like leafy botanicals or a chunky throw on the corner of your bed.
Find a Focal Point
It might be human nature to put the focal point smack dab in the center of your shot, but photos actually look more natural when they’re not completely centered. So, perfecting this concept might take a little practice. It’s what the pros refer to as the “rule of thirds.” The idea is to visualize your shot broken up into thirds, horizontally and vertically. Then, place your focal point over the points where the lines intersect. Like this.
It’s easy to do. You snap a pic on the fly, only to see later that it’s not quite straight. And for some, a slightly off-kilter image could be enough to keep them scrolling. So -- again, with the grid -- imagine lines running through your shot. Use a straight line in your subject to help you square it up. Your camera may also have this feature to help you out.
Here, the line of the countertop helps keep this image straight.
Lighting can be tricky. You’re always best off with no interior lights on and no flash -- just bright, indirect natural light illuminating your space. Because every home and room is different, make a mental note of when the natural light is brightest in your home. A glaring sunny day with sunbeams splashing across the room will be too intense. The best lighting will be on a light and cloudy day because the clouds serve as a natural filter. You can also use sheer curtains to filter the light, as in the photo below.
Keep It Real
The most natural and relatable photos look like they were taken during average moments on an ordinary day. So add signs of life throughout the photo, like a coffee cup or an open notebook. You probably don’t want to include the pile of dishes in the sink, but don’t be afraid to go with the lived-in look. And by all means, include your kids and pets. Just don’t try to get either one of them to sit perfectly still. Invite them to stay and play in the space to capture the most organic look.
Know Your Phone
Phone cameras have come a long way, so you shouldn’t have to do too much editing. But feel free to play around with your brightness and exposure settings to brighten or darken your photos, depending on the mood you’re going for.
If portrait mode isn’t already your friend, it might soon be. It sharpens the focus on the subject and blurs out the background to create depth-of-field. It works best for still objects in bright, natural light.
Share Your Styles
Ready to share your Insta-worthy shots? We’d love to see the creative ways you style your Pier 1 finds. Tag @pier1 and #Pier1love on Instagram with your unique Pier 1 pieces for a chance to be featured.