1. Grab some backgrounds
Let's be real, there's only so many selfies you can take in front of the same white wall. But at the same time, you can't exactly go out and scope new shooting locations RN. The solution? Make your own! You'd be surprised what you can do with a piece of cardboard. You can get these in fun pastel or bright colors from Officeworks from only a few dollars.
You can also get sheets in textures like marble for a modern vibe) or wood ffor a rustic feel from Bunnings online (yep, they're not just good for sausage sizzles!) Places like Mister Wallpaper also allow you get your own photos or patterns printed out into customer wallpapers!
If all else fails, even a white sheet can work!
2. Light it up
As anyone who's ever tried to take a selfie in their dark dingey bathroom will know, lighting is EVERYTHING when it comes to getting bomb snaps. The good news is, you don't have to have a pro photographer set-up to take lit pics. It only takes a few simple tools in your arsenal to instantly take things to the next level.
First up, a ring light! Yep, those are those little circular lights on a tripod that beauty YouTubers use and they're actually not as expensive as you might think — you can get one for as little as $50. These flood your photo with natural looking light and instantly make your pics (and your makeup!) look more profesh.
Another simple lighting hack is to a large piece of cardboard (cardboard for the win again!) to DIY your own reflector, which you can prop up to soften, diffuse or redirect light from your window.
3. Play with presets
Ever wondered how influencers make their photos look sooooo consistent, even when they're wearing a blue dress in one pic and grey trackies in the next? It's all about the presets, baby! These are kind of like next-level filters with an in-built configuration of settings that give all of your photos a similar aesthetic, even if they have completely different colours in them. So, they might pull back your shadows, make your whites whiter, give your blues a teal feel etc.
You'll likely find that many of your fave influencers/creators/photographers sell presets, so if you have someone who's vibe you stan, have a look on the shop on their website. Otherwise, places like Creative Market and Etsy usually sell pretty inexpensive ones. Then, you just upload them to Adobe Lightroom (their phone app is pretty easy to use) apply them to your pics and voila, you've got yourself a consistent aesthetic.
4. Use self-timer mode
No Instagram boyfriend in self-iso? No problem! That's when self-timer mode on your phone is for! After all, while mirror selfies and close-up snaps taken on your phone's front camera are cute, they don't exactly scream professional influencer. Making friends with your self-timer will allow you to take the kind of full-body, OOTD style photos that make you really look like you know what you're doing.
Firstly, set your timer as high as it will go (the limit is normally 10 seconds) and put it on burst mode so it takes continuous snaps and you can just keep moving. If you have a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you can also normally set up a remote control app on your phone you can use to trigger the camera and check what your pics are looking like. Another hack loads of influencers use is using video instead of camera mode, so that you can just keep changing up your posting and edit the frame you like out of the video.
In terms of angles, you'll need to experiment with different surfaces in your home (like shelves, tables etc) that you can prop up your phone on. Otherwise, you can get tripod mounts for your phone from around $50!
5. Create your own 3D filters
Love adding the AR (augmented reality) filters to your stories, but sick of using the same old glitter and patterns? If you're a lil bit tech savvy, you can use the app Spark AR Studio to make your own! In the app, you can choose from a couple of templates, including ‘world object’ (putting a 3D object in your filter), ‘background filter’ and ‘color' to get you started and create your own. It's a bit tricky when you first start, but there are tutorials in its learning centre that will walk you through it. Not only can making your own AR filters help your story selfies stand out, but you can also add them to your profile for other people to use, which will totally expand your Insta clout and following!