Insight into Instagram
Models Off Duty
1. Think in squares: "Your mobile camera will shoot photos in rectangles like a traditional digital camera, but you'll be forced by Instagram to squeeze your picture into a square format. So if you're taking a photo of an entire person, you'll want to take a few extra steps back to make up for this difference."
2. Stay in context: "Mobile technology is fast becoming the preferred method of data transmission in today's technologically advancing society, but standard photography still applies. Get your light, background and context right before going any further."
3. Watch your breathing: "Snipers do this all the time when precision shooting a rifle, and similar breathing effects apply to photographers -- especially since minor body movements result in more blur in the final photo. I do best when shooting within a few seconds of when my breath is fully exhaled, leaving less room for a minor arm motion that could blur my photo."
Chic on the street
1. Cultivate confidence: "You don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable. For the picture to look good, it's about being able to frame the subject and getting the angle right. You need to be camera-level so that the proportions of body are true to life. By taking the picture from too high (angled down), the person risks to look top-heavy with stubby legs. But if you crouch down too low, with the camera angled upwards, the legs will look too long. If the person is tall and slender, then great -- but if they aren't, it's just going to be awkward."
2. Aim for the magic hour: "The best time of day to take a picture is either at sunrise or sunset. This is known as the 'magic hour' -- the time when the sun is at its lowest in the sky and casts a more flattering light. The worst time to take a picture is when the sun is at its highest, around noon. The light is too harsh, and the photographs will appear washed out. In this case, it's best to find a shaded area."
3. Don't squint: "Pay attention to the position of the sun in relation to the subject. The light should be behind that person. If the sun is shining directly on their face, they will unevitably end up squinting."
4. Seek out natural shots: "When someone doesn't know their picture is being taken, that's when they're at their most natural. So get people when they're not looking. I love to see people smile -- but when a smile is fake, you can see it a mile away."
5. Practice: "All you can do is practice. My early pictures weren't very good, I was using a cheap point-and-shoot camera, but I just went for it."
1. Be nice: "If you're taking someone's portrait, try to get them to relax -- even if you're nervous yourself. Laugh, joke around, offer encouragement and give compliments. People respond to positive words and energy much better than criticism, and your photographs will reflect this."
2. Find the perfect light: "Wherever you are, look for the best light. It isn't always possible to take a photograph in a beautiful, late-afternoon golden light, so you'll need to seek out what you think will work best. Focus on the face and then take it from there."
3. Don't worry: "People often worry about what camera to use and think that theirs isn't good enough. It really isn't about the gear, but the person behind the camera. I've seen wonderful photographs taken on an iPhone and on cameras that were more than 50 years old. Your vision is much more important than your camera or the lens."
4. Know your tools: "Read the camera manual, research online forums or ask your local camera shop if you aren't sure of how to use it. Going through the manual isn't the most exciting thing, but it's the best way to become familiar with it."