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Crush Your Instagram Portrait Like a Supermodel

Crush Your Instagram Like A Supermodel

Everyone wants to magically transform themselves and their photos into supermodel quality. After growing my Instagram account from 500 to 6,000+ followers in about 3 months, I’ve learned what Instagram portrait styles raise the roof on your Instagram house.


Portraits are easy.


Grab a friend and ask them to take a lovely photo of you. Make sure you’re happy with how you look (everyone will say you’re beautiful, but if you don’t like how you look you won’t love the pic). Then show your friend this article as a reference and ask them to recreate one of the styles.


I’ve had the pleasure of photographing supermodel Liza Kei over the last few weeks. Liza is my perfect portrait model 😉 You can find her on Instagram here, and my Instagram (with loads of her portraits!) here.


Here are 12 beautiful styles on which to draw inspiration when you’re planning your next portrait session!


#1 The Straight Chillin’

This is a full-body shot centered in the photo frame.


Add some movement into the frame by crossing your legs, lifting one up, or positioning your arms. This is a classic, but a goodie for sure.


 instagram supermodel portrait


#2 The High Roller

This is a headshot positioned with negative space that occupies the top half of the frame. There’s a lot of room for play here looking up, or to the sides with your eyes.


The negative space on the top of the frame leads the headshot to be a little more creative and interesting.


instagram portrait headshot


#3 The Standard

This is a half-body-shot. You can center the subject (our lovely Liza in this case) in the photo, or  have them looking away from the camera.


Not quite a full body, but more than the headshot itself.


instagram centered portrait


#4 The Creative

This is another headshot. I love to position these with lots of negative space on the top of the frame (just a personal preference).


Creatives are left-brained—hence the portrait is in the bottom left corner of the frame.


how to take an instagram portrait


#5 The Analytical

Yet another headshot. This one is positioned in the bottom right corner.


Right-brained people are analytical, and so that’s the name of the style! Again, I love to have negative space at the top of the frame, but you are welcome to position your subject closer to the top.


how to take instagram portraits


#6 The Bling-Bling

If your model (or you!) has bling, this is the opportunity to show it off!


This is a torso shot, and is great for any sort of outfit and accessory details (like Daniel Wellington watches!). This focuses your attention on watches, necklaces, waistlines and shirts.


Plus cutting the frame off in the face leaves a little mystery and curiosity.


detailed portrait shot for instagram


#7 The One-of-a-Kind

A full body portrait taken off center in your photo can add a lot of personality and character.
Play with different poses and posture to make it more dynamic. I also really love when the sidewalk is parallel with the top of the frame.


how to take an instagram portrait


#8 The Lunch Break

Don’t forget about sitting portraits!


I usually try to get the entire body in my sitting portraits. I find them to be more dynamic. Have your model (or you if the model is you!) play with different poses, crossing legs, turning their head away, playing with their hair and more.


This shot is slightly off center. I rarely will place a sitting portrait in the dead center of a frame. That’s too much to be expected for me, but your shots are up to you ;-).


how to take an interesting instagram portrait sitting


#9 The “I’ve Got Props”

This is the time when you’re portrait can infer more than just your face. You have the opportunity to tell more of a story using props in your photos.


I love that most of the attention here is on Liza’s eyes. The composition also takes on a straight, centered line from top to bottom bringing some light into her necklace, the hat, and her hands.
using props in instagram portraits


#10 The Bird Eye

This portrait is taken with a view from the top.


I love the personality that can be drawn from a subject with varying perspectives. Taking a portrait above your subject can place an interesting emphasis on their feet, hands and what they are doing in the photo.


This adds another element into storytelling. We added props too for even more texture, and information in the photo.


taking a bird eye portrait


#11 The Super-Meta

This is your opportunity to take one of those crazy-phone shots. Make sure you use #throughmyiphone.


These are some of my favorite portrait photos. I love playing with perspective through devices. It always looks so interesting!


Make sure to focus the photo on the phone so you can see what’s actually in the photo. This also adds dimension into the shot.
how to take a meta instagram portrait


#11 The Celebration

This is an action shot. Ask your subject to jump, and celebrate!


Taking this photo will require the “burst function” on the iPhone or a super rapid shutter speed. You’ll probably take approximately 20-50 photos. Then you’ll get to look through and choose the best shot.


There are lots of varieties of action shots. Have fun and try different jumping poses!


Pro Tip: Have your model arch their back and/or legs and arms to create more movement and dynamic poses. They look more dramatic when the subject bends their legs and really “gets into it!”


how to take an action portrait for instagram


#12 The “Two is Better than One”

Throw a friend in it! Portraits always look more fun and inviting with more people. Ask a friend to join the action… literally!


I did take all of the photos in this post, though this particular photo credit goes out to Austin. Fun comes in pairs. Try your hand at multiple subjects, and action!


how to take an action shot for instagram


Did you enjoy this post? Have more portrait styles to recommend? Let us know in the comments!

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10 Tips to Grow Your Instagram Account (The Awesome Organic Way)

Instagram Tips Grow Account

Instagram has been gaining some serious traction in the last few months. Businesses are all heading there, and all the younger eyes and ears are on this platform. Facebook? Nah, it’s all Insta now.

I’ve taken the last several months to explore Instagram, understand the native culture and grow my audience.

I’ve gone from 10 likes on a photo to 200+ and gained over 1000+ followers in the last month. The secret? It’s organic. I strive to make great content everyday and connect deeply with my followers.

After much experimentation, I’ve discovered my very own growth strategy and I am excited to share it!

Here are 10 tips to grow your Instagram account.

#1 Tell Your Story in a Bio

Your bio is the first place where people get to learn about you. Tell what you do, what you love, your passions, projects or dreams. Be sure to add your full name (your real name) and your website too. Quirky phrases and personality are welcome!

Here’s getmeoutofheretravel as an example of a good bio. Just descriptive enough and a light into the life of Charlie.


#2 Have a Captivating Profile Pic

I can tell you that the small profile pic means more than you would think after spending countless hours on Instagram every day. If your profile looks captivating, colorful and like you’re a cool person, you gain my follow. And if not, I don’t even notice. That’s the culture on Insta.

Instagram does have more of a “take it or leave it” mentality. If you don’t “look cool” or interesting, people won’t take interest. What’s the moral of the story? Take a sweet profile shot that’s well lit and showcases your personality.

#3 Test Your Photos

Every Instagram feed is unique and different. There are many patterns of photo styles that will typically do well. Spend some time testing different styles of photographs with your followers and see what works well and what doesn’t. Every audience is a little different, and it’s always worth getting into the platform and testing.

Are you curious as to know what photos did well? Look comparatively at the number of likes and quality of comments. The more likes, the more the audience liked the photo. I’ll take this feedback in my account and then create more photos that are similar stylistically to the pics that had loads of likes.

Here are some photo ideas that you can include in your feed. Just remember to be creative and expressive!

  • Top Down Food Shots, food styling
  • Illustration or artwork
  • Coffees, lattes, restaurant environments
  • Portraits
  • Selfies (not too many, but an occasional selfie)
  • Nature Exploring
  • Behind the scene photos
  • Photos that are entertaining, delight and inspire

After all, Instagram is a photo blogging platform, so make the photos count!

I tested lots of different styles of photos on my Instagram feed to see what my audience liked the best. The photo shown below is one that I took randomly and didn’t know how it would do. Over 200 likes later, I know that it’s a success and use the top-down food shot often now in my gallery.


#4 Follow Back and Give First

When you are looking to grow your audience and grow your brand, following is a form of mutual respect. The most valuable resource is attention, and by giving attention and respect you get attention and respect from your audience.

Follow people back and give the compliment of your attention.

When you see a photo or account you like, give favorites and hearts freely. They are compliments. When you see a great photo, send some love. You may be surprised at how much traffic you can receive to your account by giving first in the form of favorites and comments.

#5 Use Traffic-ed Hashtags

If you’re small, don’t worry about creating your own hash tags. (most people want to “own” a hashtag) but that’s not what they’re for. The hashtag is in Instagram for people to search and discover other accounts and photos with people of similar interests.

You can use popular hash tags to natively have your photographs discovered. If you don’t use hashtags, it’s unlikely that you would be discovered. Look up popular tags on Insta and use some relevant ones in your descriptions and comments.

Here are some great tags I have used:

#instagood #igdaily #instatravel #instacoffee #instalove #instalike #nycprimeshot #postthepeople #vsco #vscocam #selfie #me

#6 Give Shout Outs and Re-grams

When you meet people that are awesome, include them in on your Instagram. I like to create photos that are native to my feed that give shout outs to other Insta-grammers. For example, I will take an illustration that a friend made (@loveless_designs), and include it in a coffee photo shot and give her props and credit and tag her in the photo (showcased below).

If you’re looking for great content to post, there are amazing photos on Instagram that you can curate and re-gram. Just be sure to credit them in the photo and tag the original creator. This can boost your own feed and attract attention from the person that you’re “re-graming.”


#7 Make it Native

Instagram is all about providing entertainment value to its audience. Build your feed to natively speak to the audience. People peruse Instagram to find inspiration, explore travel, food photos and experience lifestyle. Make sure your Instagram communicates a specific lifestyle and even “behind the scenes” of your day-to-day. That may mean leaving some of the business out of your photos if you’re heavy into business.

#8 Be Active

Instagram is a SOCIAL media. That means…be social! I promise that if you get in, talk with your followers and people with similar interests, that you’ll get results. I actually go through and personally thank every follower I receive in my account. As a result, many of them will come back over to my account, comment, like and chat with me!

This little act of engaging with my followers build a community, drives more engagement, and website traffic.

#9 Explore Insta and Comment

Explore other galleries and feeds and comment on photos. Give compliments and value to people and accounts that are creating great content. What goes around comes around.

Want more comments and engagement in your account? Then give comments and engagement for others. Another bonus is that when you comment, you gain yourself exposure from others that see the post and some of them will come check out your account.

emelina spinelli

#10 Strive for Excellence

Even if you already have a great audience, following or beautiful feed ask yourself: “how can I be better?” or “how can I provide more value?” You can always make more beautiful photos and connect more deeply with your audience.

Take the time to make every photo, description and comment better. Connect more often, and more deeply. If you’re striving to be better every day, you’re sure to impress and connect with more people.

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Originally posted on business2community

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