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How to take instagram worthy photos…ON YOUR OWN

After reading this blog post, you will know how to take pictures that are super lit, what equipment you need to take these pictures, and how to edit your pictures so that they look Instagram ready. I’m going to try to keep it short since I feel like some of my post have been long so let’s start with equipment. 

The Best Camera 

The first thing you absolutely NEED is a good quality camera. If you don’t have a good quality camera, quality photos are going to be hard to create. The camera that I use to take my pictures is a Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera. I researched a lot of cameras before I decided to buy this one. I would recommend it to anyone who is seeking to take epic pictures and also desires to have the option of switching lens to get different types of shots. This camera is connects with your phone and computer wirelessly so you can download all your photos instantly and post them to your social media accounts or share them with your loved ones. It isn’t a cheap camera. Mine was about $700 from best buy which includes the 2 years equipment coverage and bag. I love it. They say its great for vlogging as well but I can’t say personally because I haven’t attempted a vlog video with it yet. If you are looking for one that takes great pictures and is good for vlogging, I recommend getting a camera with a full flipping screen so you can see yourself when you are sitting in front of the camera. The Sony – Alpha a5100 Mirrorless Camera has a flipping screen and   is a great option for a budget buy costing around $400. Payment plans are available at Best Buy if you would like to purchase one of these cameras.  

The Best Tripod

The next thing you MUST HAVE is a tripod. You need this to sit the camera on top off so your shot can be positioned at the right height and angle to take the shot you want. A tripod acts as the person who is holding the camera so you need to make sure you get a quality one. I made the mistake of trying to just the cheapest one available and when the wind came on my trip, my tripod fell and almost broke my camera. Don’t go the cheap route on this. I travel from different spots constantly on a blogging trip and I need my tripod to be sturdy enough to handle a strong breeze but compact enough to fit in to my backpack with my other gear. I need it to be tall enough to take long shots and short enough to take shots from the ground. The tripod I use is the Sunpak – PlatinumPlus Ultra 6000PG 61 Tripod. It is compact enough to fit into my backpack with my camera and even my computer. It has flat circle legs wide enough to handle a light breeze and stand in the toughest spots like in the sand or snow. It costs $49.99 at Best Buy. 

The Timer

You can have all the equipment in the world and it won’t matter if you don’t have this piece of equipment. You absolute NEED a self-timer. As a matter of fact I would recommend you buy two just in case you lose one of the three pieces of equipment on your trip. You can never go wrong with a backup timer. What allows you to do is set the camera on a timed shot. A lot of cameras have timers on them but they only go up to like 1 minute. If you are taking a shot from below a cliff, you need more than 1 minute to get in position and get to the bottom of the cliff to get the shot. With a self-timer you can set your camera to snap in 3, 5, or even 20 minutes. The exact name of this piece of equipment is called a wireless shutter release remote control. It also snaps continuously after the first timed shot if you want to multiple shots with multiple poses. You can buy it on amazon for $40 dollars. 

The Drone  

If you want EPIC SHOTS, a drone is the last piece of equipment you need to have in your arsenal. There are so many drones to choose from and which one you choose to purchase depends on what your needs are with the drone, how much you are willing to pay, and the quality you are looking for in a drone. I purchased my DJI Spark drone in March and it is the best travel equipment investment and the most problematic as well lol. The photos and the videos speak for themselves in regards to explaining why it is the best tool for photos and videos. I choose the DJI Spark because of its size, cost, and because I am a beginner in flying. If your more advanced and desire longer distances for photos and videos and a longer battery life, a mavic air or a phantom would be the best suited for you. I love my DJI Spark. It isn’t something you just buy and go on your trip thinking you don’t need to learn or take lessons or practice flying. Before you take it out for a professional photo shoot or video recording, YOU MUST PRACTICE FLYING or your footage will come out looking crazy. Trust me, I know. Another thing you must know before buying a drone is that you can’t fly it everywhere or in every country. I am about to get ready to go to Morocco and Portugal in a few weeks and I just found out drones are not allowed in Morocco and will be confiscated upon entry if I bring it. However, in Portugal they are allowed so now I have to figure out how to take my drone to Portugal and keep it there and pick it up before I enter into Morocco. 

Once you learn how to work your drone and all the thing it can do like take photos continuously in the air and follow you while you are walking, you will be to take amazing photos and videos with no problem at all. 

Best Editing Software

At times, when you check out other people’s Instagram page, you will notice that the photos seem to blend into each other seamlessly. It wasn’t until I researched, that I discovered that people were using preset photo filters to achieve this effect. I use Adobe Lightroom for editing my pictures. I found this couple who makes and sells photo presets and I loved their presets so much, I bought them. The name of their Instagram is called Salt in our Hair  I will post a link to them below. Let show you how presets can make a big difference. Take a look below at the before and after photos to see how presets make a photo pop naturally. 

Optional Equipment:

Selfie Stick: This is a great equipment to take full body images of yourself, views from in front of you, and great group photos. Its good to have if your traveling with a group. I wouldn’t recommend it for a solo traveler. It isn’t necessary with all the other gear you have. 

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