Capturing a picture for social media requires patience, good apps for filters and a lot of editing. Don’t worry if you don’t have a professional camera, you can use your old iPhone 5 and still make a photo look bright and sharp as if it were taken with an iPhone 7.

The Tips and Tricks to Taking High-Quality Instagram Pictures: 

The Basic Rules:

Before you take any picture with your smartphone, make sure you have the grid feature turned on and try to use natural lighting as much as possible. Keep an eye on the subject you are trying to capture for your photo, and play around with the angles. Taking pictures from unusual viewpoints tend to come out very interesting and different.

The Background: 

The background where you take your photos is crucially important. Choose an appropriate background that will go along with your Instagram feed and one that doesn’t have distractions. A great image can often be ruined with a Starbucks cup or other clutter in the back.
Here’s some inspiration for different styles of photos: 

Hair Photos: 

When using a ring light for hair photos, make sure you are up close and personal with your client! The closer you are, the clearer the picture. Using natural light is also a great option. Get your client to laugh, play with their hair or shake it around to add some movement to your feed. With those action shots – use the burst function to get a clear photo.

Up your Instagram hair page by using decor with clients pictures. See these inspirations photos from John Casablancas Institute’s Hair graduate and instructor, Elissa Wolfe:

Fashion Photos: 

Fashion photos are always tricky, because finding that perfect background that suits your outfit is time consuming. Take a look at where local bloggers around you take their pictures by clicking on the location tagged in their photos. That should give you some inspiration on where to find good backdrops around your area! Try a mix of urban settings, natural backgrounds and plain walls to capture the perfect #OOTD post.

And don’t forget to take pictures from all angles!

Nail Photos: 

Before taking pictures of your nails, or your client’s, many bloggers say that their secret tip is to use baby wipes to moisten any dry bits on your hands and have it looking clean before taking pictures. Lighting is also super important! Try using a ring light or taking your pictures outside to get the clearest image. Make sure your nails are the focus in your pictures and use these pictures as inspiration:

Makeup Photos: 

Whatever you do, do not use the Instagram camera to take pictures, especially when taking pictures of close-up makeup looks. Makeup pictures always have to be extra clear in order to view crease lines, eyebrow colouring and all other products used on your/your client’s face. See below for examples:

The Smartphone Rules:

  • Always use the Rule of Thirds
  • Keep HDR off: Photos may turn out unnatural and overdone
  • Try a clip-on selfie ring light for your smartphone when taking close-up selfie pictures
  • Shoot during cloudy days: lighting is diffused and these days are perfect for photography


Here are the must-have editing apps that you will need:

With these tips and apps, your Instagram pictures will be better than ever! Remember to stick to an Instagram theme and you’ll start gaining more likes and followers.

(JCI) is widely recognized as the industry leader in providing job-ready training and has been setting the standard for artistry and innovation for over 30 years.
Established in Vancouver since 1978, JCI continues to stand behind top professionals in the areas of fashionmake up, hair and esthetics. With note-worthy careers as award-winning makeup artists, international fashion stylists, skilled spa technicians and cutting edge hairstylists, graduates of JCI continue to shine.
Supportive and positive learning practices provide students with the most beneficial educational experience.
Our faculty is comprised of leading industry professionals and guest instructors from various aspects of their respective fields. Our instructors and graduates continue to win awards and gain recognition for their work and contributions to their industries. Just 1 block down from the Waterfront Station, JCI sits surrounded by cafes, design studios, art galleries and photographers’ studios – the perfect place for students to absorb creativity and find constant inspiration.