3 Steps to Boost and Brighten Your Instagram Photos

Achieving Beautiful and Bright Photos

We are creative! We create. We create beautiful lettering compositions, paintings, and illustrations. Real beautiful stuff! We want crisp and bright Instagram photos that reflect all the love and hard work you put in creating it, but when they come out dull and grainy, it can be frustrating! Believe me, I know the struggle. It is indeed real! I used to blame my dull photos on my camera. I'm like, why can't this stupid camera capture my work the way it is in real life?You know, with the whites white and the beautiful colors bright, but instead of bright I'd get blah!

Instagram Photos that POP!

It took me awhile to figure out my photo process and something that works for me; no fancy camera or equipment. All of my Instagram photos are taken with the built in camera in my trusty iPhone 6. The process I use maybe not be the same every time, but there are 3 basics that I use consistently and I've outlined them below.

Step 1: It's All About Natural Light, Baby!

The first step in getting those super clear photos is to use natural light! Yep! Good ol' fashioned sunlight. However, NOT, I repeat NOT direct sunlight. Photographing under direct sunlight can be too harsh and can possibly washout your photo. Look around your house for a location with indirect sunlight that produces soft light.  After finding an ideal lighting source set up a mini photo station. Take note of the time of day that you have the best light and try to photograph your work at those times.

Below is my photo staging area. Nothing fancy, just a folding table near a window and a white foam board. I almost always use natural light and don't even turn on the ceiling light. Typical interior lighting can give photos a yellow hue so I try to avoid it.

Step 2: Reflect That Natural Light!

A reflector bounces, or reflects, the natural light to the side of your art that is farthest from the light source. This helps to brighten things up and to minimize/soften shadows.

I found a DIY reflector idea in Pinterest. Basically, it's a cereal box broken down and wrapped in foil. OR another reflector idea is to simply use a white board.


DIY Photo Reflector

The photo taken with the reflector is a bit brighter on the top and bottom left corners. The shadow on the left side is also softer.

The left photo was taken with the DIY Reflector, It is brighter and the SHADOWS soften

The left photo was taken with the DIY Reflector, It is brighter and the SHADOWS soften

Step 3: Bump Up Camera Exposure Setting


3 Steps to Brighter and More Colorful Instagram Photos. Bump up the camera settings brightness.

Today’s cell phones are pretty awesome. There is one feature that I especially love on my iPhone and that's the ability to adjust the brightness.

>Tap the screen where you want the camera to focus. A yellow box will appear with a small sun icon to the side.

> Press the sun and slide your finger up to increase brightness or down to decrease it.

When brightening, make sure the square is on your subject matter and increase it as much as you can WITHOUT  overexposing or washing out your work or other staging items.

> Hold your camera as steady as you possibly can and snap your photo!

Want MORE inside tips?

I created an e-book that goes into detail on what apps and settings I use to make my whites and colors pop! 

Follow my iPhone Photography Pinterest Board