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How to Take Good Instagram Photos (Gracefullee Made Version)

If you haven't caught on by now, I've been taking a different course with my blog lately.
I've gotten a couple of requests on my Instagram photos and thought I'd share some tips when posting on Instagram, which... by the way, is my favorite social network. Hands down. Are you following along? { @bygracelee }

P.S. don't forget to enter the two giveaways for the holidays (umm, $500 VISA gift card?! + a Rakani designer watch + Ray Ban sunglasses giveaway in THIS POST!)

1. Lighting
I couldn't stress it enough: lighting is everything. 
Even for selfies. Try to stand in front of the light so the lighting hits your face. Side note: car selfies are the best!

2. Opt for a scenic background. Or something that stands out. In this case, I picked my sequin skirt for my backdrop - HA!

For this shot, I wanted the focus to be on the customized coffee mug, but I couldn't help but include the iconic Old Well out of focus in the background.

I could've just taken a snap of the city view of Seoul, but instead I decided to get a little creative and snapped the city view through my Karen Walker sunnies. 
Just get creative with your photos!

3. Colored walls are your best friends.
I'm telling ya. 

4. I love walking shots. Especially because it shows your entire outfit without looking posed. And this city view was kinda killer. Am I right? 

5. Clear, clear, clear shots. I'm serious. No one likes blurry pictures. I always make sure to tap the screen before snapping a pic!

6. Maybe it's a blogger thing, but I love detail shots. If I'm wearing an arm party or a set of rings I really like (99.9% of the time), then I take an obligatory #armparty shot.

7. I love me some #onblurpose shots. I tend to get a little cray with this effect during Christmas time because of the Christmas lights bokeh effect. Here are a few example shots and a little tutorial on how I take my #onblurpose snaps

8. Take advantage of the seasons. It's Fall. So take advantage of those pretty colorful leaves and trees! 

9. You can never go wrong with a shoe shot. Also, a tip for shoe shots: focus on color. See how the pink background complements the yellow Hunter boots?

10. I came across someone talking about my drink shots on Instagram and I loved how they referred to them as 'drinkstagrams.' I also dedicated an entire drinkstagram collage here

Here are my 'drinkstagram' picture tips:
- I usually opt for a bird's eye view for drink pics (meaning shot from above looking down)
Fun Fact: this was a snapchat shot my friends took of me. Typical.

- keep the drink in focus and allow the camera to slightly blur. The turnout is really great, I promise. Side note: how amazing is that view?!

- when my black coffee is a little too plain, I add a few things like my sunnies + lipstick + my arm party. Just make sure not to go too overboard with accessories!

11. For a mani shot, I usually either opt for a plain and simple background and add bokeh lights to prettify (is that a word?) my photos. Or if the nails already make a statement, I leave it be and let the nails do the talking (or in this case, statement-making).

12. And last but not least, I always make sure to take more photos than needed so I have options to choose from. It's always better to have more than none in order to get the perfect shot.

Here are a few behind-the-scenes of me taking certain Instagram shots:
{ BTS shot }

{ BTS shot }

{ BTS shot - thankfully my friends think it's funny how I take my pictures and always snapchat me these - haha! }

{ BTS shot }

{ BTS shot }

Hope you enjoyed my tips + secrets for that perfect Instagram shot! Hope this helped!
And like always, if there's any more questions, feel free to leave a comment below (I read them all!) or shoot me an email at and I'll be sure to answer them.

Thanks for stopping by!
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  1. These are awesome tips! And I love all your creative ideas! Thank you for these great guides!! xo

  2. Diary of a Southern BelleNovember 25, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    These were really great!!! I very rarely take IG pix I'm truly happy with. Thnx!

  3. Awesome tips and great pictures! So glad that you shared!

  4. those behind the scenes shots are THE BEST!! i always love those, they are so funny. i love how confidently you just go for it, even in an airport! i am always trying to do it slealthily without anyone noticing and sometimes it makes them blurry because i get nervous hahaa.

    xo mk

  5. Those behind the scenes photos are the best! I always crack up thinking about how silly I must look trying to take instagram pictures haha

    I'm Getting There

  6. Thank you :) so glad it helped!!

  7. Thank you Candy! Hope it helps :)

  8. Thank you Becky!! So glad you stopped by :)

  9. Aww thank you Mary-Katherine!! Haha, your comment made me smile! I've just gotten to the point where I don't even care who sees me anymore LOL. You just gotta do what you gotta do, ya know? :)

  10. Aw thanks Valery!! It's okay, I'm pretty sure I get weird looks everywhere too but heyyy... I'm sure we all look silly doing it! Thanks for stopping by :)

  11. Seriously LOVED seeing this--I struggle with IG pictures for sure and I loved seeing the behind the scenes of how you shot them then how they turned out :)



  12. This was so helpful! I am always looking for opportunities to take pretty pictures and now I can take even more of them and much easier! :) PS Just found your blog and I love it!

  13. Thank you Tori!! I'm always here to help! <3


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