Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through Instagram and said, “How on EARTH did they take that picture? What’s their secret?” (You don’t have to answer, I know you have.)
Most of those seemingly flawless images are actually the product of thoughtful staging and sometimes, a significant budget. But don’t let money deter you. With a little creativity you can turn you run of the mill selfie into an Influencer-worthy gram.
Don’t believe me? Check out these 13 “the Setup vs. the Shot” photos to inspire your inner photographer.
1. It’s all about the angles:
And taking advantage of that Golden Hour lighting.
The Setup vs. The Shot
— Trying to Survive 2020 (@hvn_solo) September 11, 2020
2. Have I died and gone to heaven?
This seems almost too beautiful to be real.
It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these.
The setup // The shot pic.twitter.com/VwwwkQzS0j
— Daniel Stagner | 🍁🦃🍂 (@DanielStagner) September 11, 2020
3. All it takes it a little ingenuity:
DIY mermaid photoshoot:
The Setup The Shot pic.twitter.com/KItPjyJJeu
— Joztakethose (@Jayflvcko__) September 7, 2020
4. A little smoke and mirrors:
Finally, a use for all your old CDs!
The Setup The Shot pic.twitter.com/kbYLUEqAE4
— dali👨🏿🎤 (@DaliVoodoo) September 8, 2020
5. Color me impressed:
Taking advantage of that natural, outdoor lighting really makes a difference.
the setup v. the shot – finally took some decent pics of my astrology stickers 😂🙌🏼
— ig: arynlei (@arynlei) September 10, 2020
6. Literally just a blanket and a patch of grass:
AND a reflector. Consider purchasing one of these for your next shoot.
The Setup The Shot pic.twitter.com/3hyqj3Oy0N
— Shayla (@shayla________) September 9, 2020
7. Fierce AF:
The shadows hitting the yellow background really add dimension.
The Setup. The Shot. pic.twitter.com/1jN1ZFTStf
— Cole (@LanaCole0) September 11, 2020
8. It helps to have an attractive subject:
Can we see some more from this shoot?
The setup ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The shot pic.twitter.com/uEiaUwdJcY
— ⁵ᵏᵛᶦˢᶦᵒⁿˢ (@5kvisions) September 11, 2020
9. You don’t necessarily need a ton of money:
This setup shot looks a little sketch, but the finished product is bright and peaceful.
The Setup The Shot pic.twitter.com/rJt1ydc5Nk
— jota 🙂 (@jaretzihdz) September 8, 2020
10. Just a sheet and some sunlight:
And the right makeup look.
The Setup The Shot pic.twitter.com/MGBzIGKsbU
— Rox (@AkimanaRoxanna) September 8, 2020
11. A good camera makes a difference too:
The right technology can turn beautiful, vibrant flowers into sad, melancholy blooms.
— BAO 🥀 "Perpetual Heartbreak" Out Now! (@heyitsbao) September 12, 2020
12. Creativity is key:
This one is absolutely stunning.
the setup. the shot. pic.twitter.com/Q4O98LZoI0
— caroline lins (@carolinelins) September 12, 2020
13. Creativity AND commitment:
Feeling inspired yet?
the setup. the shot. pic.twitter.com/pUXqDfLJxn
— ☆ Christopher ☆ (@ChrisWTheStar) September 11, 2020
Don’t feel bad if your pictures don’t look this impressive yet. And don’t think you HAVE to go out and immediately buy a bunch of equipment.
People make entire careers on creating painstakingly curated content and images to sell products or promote brands. If you’re just looking to up your Insta game, try experimenting with different lighting techniques, or investing in a cheap and simple backdrop. The more creative you can get, the more satisfying it is to share the set up vs. the shot!
Do you have any photography tips for aspiring influencers?
Let us know in the comments!