Lots of peeps have told me they are surprised to hear many of my photos on Instagram are taken by complete strangers on the street. Below are some tricks for how to get Instaworthy photos on your cell from a stranger.

Stay Ready and Be Confident

If you want to get bomb pics, you MUST be camera ready! That means practicing your angles and poses so you have a general idea of what you should look like regardless of who takes your pics. Posing for a photo is just like any skill. The more you do it, the more comfortable you get in front of the camera. Also, be confident. Stop thinking you look silly posing or taking pics. We live in a world where picture sharing is normal, accepted and happening consistently. You are not a diva because you want a good photo. Who in the worlddd wants to post an awful photo of themselves? Not me!

Second, have the newest version of whatever cell phone you prefer. Apples and Androids both work wonderfully, IF they are the most recent! Newer phones have crisp clear photos. If you want good pics, stay ready with good equipment.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask someone for a photo. You are not asking for a kidney or for anything out of the ordinary. There are MILLIONS of people on social media. Trust me. They know why you are asking. If they say no… THANK YOU, NEXT!!

Pick the Right Person

When I am traveling alone, I am often going to high tourist places. It’s a guarantee there are tons of folks trying to take Instaworthy pic. The best people to ask are groups of girls who are taking photos and posing. Not to be sexist, but generally the ladies are a bit more interested in having aesthetically pleasing Instaworhthy photos (not facts, just observations). Often, as I am for others, they are excited to help you get that perfect shot. They also understand and are willing to take lots of pics with no explanation, ‘cause they are doing exactly the same. Also, if it’s a group taking pics, offer to take a pic of the entire group in exchange.  Steer away from groups or couples who are NOT engaged in taking  photos themselves.  Having the stranger’s friends stand around and wait when they are not in photo taking mode will likely cause the  photographer to rush through your photos and they will turn out crappy and definitely not Instaworthy material.  It’s also sups strange to have the others impatiently watching. People who are alone are also good candidates. They are also more likely to build a rapport with you. Lastly, look for a person who has a DSLR camera. They are probably interested in photography at some level and will have a better understanding of how to capture a good Instaworhty photo.

Look for the Composition that Matches Your Feed and Outfit

Taking an Instaworthy picture of a look is a combination of the outfit, pose, and background. If you have a minimal feed/blog aesthetic look for plain walls or structures. My photos tend to be busy so I look for shapes and surfaces that have texture, color and symmetry to match with my outfit.

Ask with Intention

Once you have found a background that works with your look, take a picture of the background and imagine where you would need to stand to make the picture symmetrical or to create the composition you are looking for. Once you have identified a good photographer candidate, ask them if they would mind taking a few photos of you. This is important step towards your Instaworthy picture. They need to know it is more than one.  If they say yes, you can explain that you are a fashion blogger or Instagrammer or a Just like Bomb Photos-er and  that you will need several photos. Next, show them the photo on your cell with the composition and explain to them where you will stand to achieve the desired outcome. I also explain that I am trying to get a shot of an entire look for my fashion blog, so they know not to cut off any parts of my body and  that the main subject is my outfit.

For the photo below, I saw this beautiful street in London that had great symmetry with moonlight. I stood in the center with the phone on selfie mode to see the desired composition. I took a photo in normal mode without me in it. I then found two girls taking pics and asked and explained to them my purpose. I showed them on my phone where I wanted to stand in the photo (and all the other stuff I explained above)  and here you have it below, an IG worthy photo!

Master Photo Editing Apps

First of all, lighting is the first key to an Instaworthy picture before you do any edits. If you notice, most of my photos are outside. Try your best to use natural light that is not too harsh.

Once you get to the editing stage pick one of the gazillion apps that you like best. The key is to pick one and learn what each edit actually means for your photo. I personally don’t use presets because I think when you have dark skin you have to play around a bit more depending on your lighting. I had to learn the edits. I can look at my photo in its pre edit form  and have a sense if I take down the shadow, increase the exposure, add vibrancy, reduce the color noise, etc., etc.,  what my final photo will look like. Learn and study each time you edit to create a consistent feed and to save time. We got lives to live and content to create!!

Send me a DM on my Instagram @themackrae if this was helpful and leave a comment below!

Woman standing in London street in a jacket

In London the street had an interesting shape and matched my outfit. I found a nice lady walking the street and asked her to snap me standing in that exact spot.

Woman kneeling in the middle of busy time square

In NYC, I saw a young guy by himself snapping pics on his DSLR camera and I asked him to take some pics of me.

Woman leaning against the wall in NYC wearing a scarf in the snow

In NYC, I thought this wall was a nice match to my pants, scarf and weather.  There was also good lighting. I asked two tourist who were taking pics to snap me in this corner.

Woman sitting on the ledge wearing sneakers and a trench coat in Amsterdam

In Amsterdam, I asked a man sitting next to me who was alone to take my pic. Since he and I were already sitting, I showed him how I wanted a pic at the sitting level. Also the sun was in front of me, which made for good lighting.