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According to Aimee Song (aka Song of Style), the secret to taking the perfect IG photo is all about using the right tools and apps to enhance your photo as well as using your environment to spot the best backgrounds. Even though her tips on her newly published book Capture Your Style are inspiring and (obviously) work for her, we decided to have a look at more simple ways to capture your best gram on a budget.

After reading Aimee Song’s tips, I decided to ask what people with very good Instagram accounts thought were the most important aspects of grabbing the best snaps and let me tell you, their answers were not only insightful but also somewhat surprising.

Most bloggers would agree with the most popular answer I got that month: good lighting. Finding a well-lit room or place is absolutely key to a good photo. No one ever looked great in a dim lit room using a phone flash. We also all know that heart-breaking feeling when you just captured a good photo in a beautiful sunny spot, to only find out that photo is completely over-exposed. Just as a rule, remember that if before you even take the photo you already know the light is not great, nothing will be able to save it, which is why planning your photo ahead of time is crucial.

One person told me they always go for natural light, or even stand near a bright and open window if they’re inside a building. “Window selfies are the best selfies because the light will reflect beautifully on your skin. This even works on a rainy day!” shared Sophie. Just remember that no amount of filters and editing apps will save a poorly lit photo, so keep the light on top of your list!

Another very important factor in taking your next 100+ likes on IG picture is to think about composition and backgrounds. As mentioned by Song in her book, she was able to capture her life on social media by making sure that it reflected her impeccable style. In order to achieve that, she tells her readers that rule #2 of grabbing the best picture is to make sure your background and your outfit are always in sync. “Wearing a busy, colorful patterned dress? Then keep your background simple, and vice versa”, explains Aimee. Backgrounds are one of the most important aspects for many Instagrammers, especially for travel bloggers, closely followed by composition, an aspect of photography more important for detailed photos such as food or fashion.

If you have an iPhone, make sure you use the grid feature to help you grab great architectural shots and make your photos just that much more special and balanced. “I studied architecture so I have always used the grid feature on my iPhone, even to study shapes and buildings – it’s so useful to make sure your photo is perfectly balanced with your surrounding” explains Steph.

And finally, although we all wish we had killer photoshop skills and the latest Canon camera, we don’t all have the means and budget to spend that much money to capture amazing photos, but rest assured, there are plenty of free apps you can use directly on your iPhone or Android.

Our number one is VSCO, which is one Aimee Song mentions. VSCO is great to add filters, edit your photos in a few taps and enhance the blue sky, pink flowers, and the Greek sea. “I swear by VSCO and find it the best tool when I’m in sunny Santorini or in the snowy Alps. The filters are so good at making colors much more vibrant” shared Aida. The app is free, but there is a premium option which costs about £20 a year. Another app we swear by is Snapseed, also available on iPhone and Android. This app, just like VSCO is free, and if you want to go pro you will have to pay a yearly membership.

But although we now know light, compositions and good apps are key to taking a great Instagram – can you guess what truly makes your photos worth it? Your outfits of course! Who doesn’t hope for amazing photos when their outfits are on the fly? That’s right, no one! So make sure you shop our selection below to blow up your IG feed:


Featured images via Aimee Song

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