With 500 million daily active users, Instagram is the world’s most popular photo-sharing app, with users sharing photos of everything from selfies to food. However, in this age of social media, many users are hungrier than ever for likes, putting pressure on capturing that perfect photo to impress friends and followers.
For the bigger events, such as wedding days, you’ll want photographs to capture the magic and show everyone looking their best. Trying to capture the location, the couple, and the inevitable selfies in just a few postable images can be overwhelming. Here are some top tips to follow for getting snaps worthy of Instagram’s Explore tab.
Keep your photos as simple as possible
When taking photos for Instagram, it’s important to remember the size limit of the photos. Looking at a detailed photo on a small phone screen can be overwhelming, so it’s best to avoid having clutter. The phrase ‘less is more’ goes a long way on Instagram. If you’re posing for an Insta selfie, it’s best to stand in front of a plain wall, so the focus stays on you for the shot. Avoid any harsh shadows by standing about three feet in front of the wall, and work your angles to find the ideal shot.
If you want all the wedding photos to look cohesive, it’s a good idea to pick one filter for all of your posts. Having just one filter is a subtle way to introduce a theme to your feed, and makes scrolling through your page much more aesthetically pleasing. This also means that you avoid the tedious process of scrolling through each filter to find the ‘right’ one, making your uploads even easier.
Focus on the details of your setup
While you should be keeping your photos as simple as possible, you can also capture the details of your overall room setup. Depending on the wedding venue, it can be tempting to include a shot of an entire room to capture the location, however this will take attention away from any stand-out pieces, such as a centerpiece or a particular part of the interior design. For example, weddings taking place in stately homes, such as Sandon Hall or Birtsmorton Court, will feature stunning designs in all the rooms, which you’ll want to capture. The best way to do this is to get closer than you think, and focus on the intricate details, such as ornate chandeliers, or antique wallpapers.
Choose one part of the venue or room to focus on, and capture the beautiful designs. This creates a more impactful shot for your followers, which is much more aesthetically pleasing than a cluttered photo of the entire room.
Work with the lighting while you can
If the ceremony is an all-day affair, you want to take advantage of the different stages of natural lighting you can get. For summer weddings, avoid taking snaps in the direct sunlight when the sun is highest in the sky, as this can create deep shadows on your and your subject’s faces. Instead, find some kind of shade to soften the shadows. Whether you’re taking photos indoors or outside, try and get the light on the side, as opposed to straight on, for a much more flattering look. For the selfie takers, stand by a window and turn about three-quarters of the way into the light for flawless skin, and to make your eyes pop without the need for an Insta filter.
For evening receptions, you’ll want to take advantage of the sunlight while you still have it. However, you can still capture some great photos with your smartphone in low light conditions. Tapping to focus allows your camera to adjust the exposure reference to match the area, which drastically changes the light level of your photos. If you do need an extra boost, try the filters Amaro, Rise, or Walden, which automatically brighten photos with a simple tap.
Photograph the candid moments
Weddings are famously high energy and very emotional, making them the perfect opportunity to capture some candid shots. Moments like speeches and first dances are ideal for these, as they capture the bride and groom simply enjoying the day. According to professional wedding photographer Christina Szczupak, some of the best moments on a wedding day “happen before the actual ceremony”. Snaps of the bridesmaids with the bride, or the groom with his groomsmen make for excellent photos as they’re more relaxed, and will definitely be a welcome tag on social media.
While you may be focused on taking the perfect shots on a wedding day, some of the best photos come when they look less posed. Last summer, the trend of plandids (a portmanteau of ‘planned’ and ‘candid’) rose massively, which showed posters looking effortlessly fantastic. To take the perfect ‘plandid’ photos, find your lighting, get your angle, and physically start moving around. Shoot photos using the ‘burst’ mode, which can help capture the minute details of a changing expression to help you find the perfect shot without looking too forced.
Following these easy tips can help you capture the best memories of a wedding day, while also ensuring you have fun with it. Try it on the next event, and watch the Insta likes stack up on every post.