Do you ever see overly stunning home shots on Instagram and wonder how they somehow seem to be free of any sign of mess or chaos and look way better than the snapshots you can grab on your iPhone? Well, it turns out there's often a lot of prep work and behind the scenes styling going on to get the shots that make their way into your saved folder. We spoke with five home influencers who shared the key steps they take to snag the perfect pics each and every time.
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They Carefully Evaluate Lighting
The right lighting can make or break a picture, so it's an extra important factor to address when seeking to post an aesthetically pleasing 'gram. "The first thing I do is open all the curtains and turn the lights off," Emily White of We're The Whites said. "In my experience, natural light is the best when it comes to getting that perfect shot for Insta—if you use filters, they also happen to work best with photos taken in natural light.
02 of 08
They Monitor the Weather
Deb Foglia of Seeking Lavender Lane also shoots in natural lighting, but this can pose an issue when it's repeatedly gloomy out. "The days it rains or weeks where it's cloudy can get a bit hard to photograph, and so sometimes I have to avoid photo taking during that time," she explained.
Even those who take photos more spontaneously can relate to this challenge. "My photos are 98 percent of the time unplanned, so usually it involves me coming home, walking through my door, and maybe there’s some direct sunlight hitting the room beautifully, but I know it’s only going to last a few minutes," commented Carly Fuller, who works a day job in addition to maintaining her account My City Apartment. "I frantically start tidying, and items are literally being thrown in the air into the next room, all while I probably still have my bag and shoes on!"
03 of 08
They Do a Quick Tidy
Take a scroll through Ana Isaza Carpio's feed and you may not realize she's actually a mom of young ones. "Before shooting, I always clean up and gather any toys the kids may have left around the house," the Instagrammer behind Modern House Vibes explained. "I remove any iPhone or laptop chargers that may be visible. I also wipe down any table that may be dirty." Carpio then perfects and captures only the well-styled portion of any given room, of course. She added, "I try to make the space look picture perfect, but in the meantime, there is a pile of stuff in the corner that I gathered, which sometimes includes extra decor that I swapped out to give the room a bit of a refresh."
Foglia can relate. "Usually pre-photoshoot, I start to prep the scene by removing the not cute things, like shoes, hair ties, pens, lost socks, or whatever else my family likes to leave a trail of."
04 of 08
They Grab The "Good Camera"
Smartphones have come a long way in terms of their photo-taking capabilities, but some influencers still find that nothing beats a good, old-fashioned DSLR. "Before shooting images for Instagram, I always pull out my tripod and Nikon," said Sarah Gibson of Room for Tuesday. "Instead of using filters or my phone, I prefer to capture photographs with my camera for a crisp, natural look. Spending the extra time to capture an image with my camera rather than my phone allows me to get more creative, style from a different perspective (on the opposing side of the lens), and usually yields better, brighter results."
Foglia agreed. "I am a DSLR photo taker," she noted. "It is very rare I share a photo from my phone, so that usually requires setting up my tripod, setting a timer, and moving the camera up and down and the zoom lens for the perfect shot."Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
They Test and Tweak as Needed
Trial and error truly does make perfect—most Instagrammers aren't posting whichever shot they get on the first try. "I make sure to take some test shots and see how things look through the camera lens," White commented. "Weirdly enough, what looks good in-person can look totally different on camera, so I like to make sure the room is styled to perfection from the camera's point of view."
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They Add Cozy Touches
Some Instagrammers swear by simple accent pieces that they frequently add to their shots. "If my photo is planned, then I like to have a burning candle and fresh flowers in the shot," Fuller said. "Flowers make an image pop and stand out and a candle brings out the cozy. I try to buy flowers often, but I have artificial florals for the weeks that I don’t."
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They Make a Space Look Clean Yet Lived-In
In White's view, a space posted on Instagram should be well styled but not overly so. She shared, "When taking pictures of my home I don’t want things to look too perfect—it is a home after all!" Therefore, a few thoughtful additions to the frame are necessary. "I like to add some personal touches—shoes tossed casually by the front door or reading glasses places on a side table—to make the shot feel more realistic and 'lived- in.'"
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They Stay True to Their Mission
Though Fuller tweaks her space as needed to get an aesthetically pleasing shot, she does stay true to the mission of her account, as she described. "I tend to not move furniture around for a photo, such as bringing in a side table into the shot or pushing pieces closer together," she noted. "Adding flowers or small decor is different, but moving furniture wouldn’t make sense when the point of my Instagram is to share how I maximize every room and lay out furniture in a very small apartment."