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CiaraSwalsh's guide to #Instatravel

 Blogger Take Over!

This week, Ciara of @Ciaraswalsh shared with us her tips for curating an  enviable Instagram feed!

Sometimes travelling and keeping up your Instagram content can be quite tricky, however as I have had some experience over the last few years I’ve come to realise a few things about getting the perfect shot abroad/ in another city. You can check out more over on my blog by clicking here. So let’s get into it!

  1. Lighting

Lighting is something so important when you’re taking pictures! I advise to stay out of the sun when taking photos; you’ll have squinty eyes! If you have to shoot in the sun, never shoot with the sun in your face, try to turn from the sun and work with shadows..This takes a bit of practice so be patient, research your favourite travel Instagrammers and study how they stand/pose etc. The perfect time for shooting in the sun is the ‘Golden Hour’ where the sun is soft. The Golden Hour is just before sunset and it gives off a fabulous golden tone!  Indirect light is the best option, so find some shade and make sure there is some light getting to the subject of the photo. Good lighting also makes the quality of the photo better and it will avoid any grainy outcomes.

  1. Camera

Having a good quality camera/lens is essential for getting good quality photos. If you don’t have a camera, get creative with your iPhone! The portrait feature on later addition iPhones really gives photos that professional finish. If you wish to travel light, then leave your clunky camera behind and rely on your trusty iPhone and get snapping! Take 20 + photos, changing your pose slightly each time. Use the timer feature to to get some interesting angles too!If you are investing in a Camera, make sure it has wifi so you can upload your pics to your phone/Instagram ASAP. A little accessory that will make all the difference to your photos is a tripod, I never go anywhere without mine!

  1. Location

If you’re going travelling and need to get that perfect Insta shot, you need to suss out the key sights. You’ll get more engagement with you on Brooklyn Bridge compared to you standing at a bland wall in NYC. So do some research and choose the best location for your Instagram. Another tip: if your Instagram has a specific theme going on e.g. colour-wise, you can always find a location with the same colours, or better yet, dress in those colours to allow consistency on your feed.

  1. Photographer
    -alone

Going travelling alone and you absolutely need to get those Insta shots in? Well you just need to bite the bullet and ask someone! I would advise someone who is going around with a professional camera; usually they know how to get the perfect shot. Don’t be afraid, just bite the bullet and go for it! However if they turn out bad, don’t be nervous about asking someone else, they’ll never see you again anyways, so go crazy!

    -with someone

If you’re serious about your Instagram game, and you’re travelling with someone or in a group, choose the person you know is the best at taking photos. For example, I love travelling with my boyfriend and he is the definition of a '#InstagramHusband' so he takes all my shots, however I recently travelled with a group of friends and I specifically asked one of them for a picture as I knew they knew their stuff, and yes I got the shot!

  1. Angles

Angles are so important for getting a good shot when travelling; you need to get yourself in the photo as well as the stunning scenes behind you. I have two recommendations, if you are standing in front of a very tall structure, you should tell the photographer to crouch down, this gives you the illusion that you’re taller and it also gets the structure in the picture. If you’re sitting down looking over a city, take the photo from above, getting you in the photo as well as the beautiful views below.

  1. Confidence

This is key to taking the perfect Instagram, if you’ve no confidence in yourself as you’re posing, it’ll come through in the picture. You need to play the part, show you’re happy; don’t be afraid if people start to watch, as yes it happens everywhere so just accept it and go with it. Don’t be afraid of doing extravagant photos like holding balloons at the Duomo in Milano or “cycling” a bike in Amsterdam. You “did it for the ‘gram!”

  1. Apps

You probably won’t have your laptop with you while you’re travelling so editing your photos on the go is the best option. I edit all my photos on my phone. I love using the apps VSCO cam, and Snapseed. I use VSCO cam for the majority of my editing, filters, brightness, structure, highlights, temperature and skin tone. I use Snapseed if I need to specifically brighten or add colour to a certain part of the photo. When you’re going off travelling, I would recommend using a specific filter for the whole trip. Using the same filter and edits will show consistency on your feed, making it more aesthetically pleasing. Lastly, I advise downloading UNUM, this is an Instagram template so you can strategically place your photos in a grid so you can see how your Instagram will turn out. This is also key for getting that perfect theme.

So guys, these are my tips on getting the perfect Instagram when you go travelling. Follow these rules and you’ll be mastering it all! If in doubt, think, “do it for the gram!”

Find me on Instagram @CiaraSwalsh

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