1. Breathe. Find the best angle.

This is the most important point of all.. Don’t just rush in and take the first photo that you can! Take you’re time and find the best angle. If you type #eiffeltower into Instagram you’ll see some great examples of both, some people take the first photo they  possibly can, which is usually a selfie with half of their head and the lower half of the tower. But you’ll also see some great examples of people who spent 5 minutes finding great angles in the surrounding gardens, these are also the ones with the higher engagement. If you have time, spend a few minutes exploring and find a more secluded spot for a unique photo.

This was a 2 minute walk from about 10,000 people and brings in the different colours of the gardens
  1. Left, right or centre? Choose one!

It doesn’t matter what the subject of your photo is, it could be you, a sunset or a plate of food. What does matter though is the positioning of it, my mantra here is to always have it on the left, the right or the centre of the photo; this makes it look really clean and appeals to the subliminal OCD that exists in all of us! It’s crazy how much better you can make a photo look by simply planting yourself to the left or the right of it. This works really well on panoramic landscape shots. If you aren’t quite in the right place, try cropping your photo on iPhone photos before uploading to Insta.

Let the backdrop do the talking!
  1. Get low for portraits.

Ever take a photo of something really tall and always seem to chop the top off? Getting low and shooting upwards is a really effective technique to get great portrait shots. By doing this you can capture a lot more of the background than you’re able to do at chest level. If you’re in the photo, try moving closer to the subject and/or get the photographer to go further away to fit more of you in. Another tip for these is to use a wide angle lens (I took the below using an Ollo Clip for iPhone) these always get good engagement on social.

This camera is at knee height which allowed me to get all of the Arc in shot
  1. Let there be (the right amount of..) light!

I avoid taking photographs at night as unless you are using some pretty powerful kit they come out granulated. That being said your biggest friend (and enemy) in daytime photography is light. If you’re in the photo always shoot away from the light as this will light you up rather than flash you out. Make use of the focus on your camera/phone to adjust to the right level of lighting (on iPhone tap the screen and slide up/down on the sunlight bar to adjust the exposure).

Don’t fight the sun, let it do the hard work for you
  1. Wait for the Golden Hour.

Do you want to know the easiest way of making a good shot a great one? Shoot it at sunset. Seriously, the colours make the photo so much more interesting. If you scroll down your Instagram explore feed 1 in 5 images will likely be of a sunset and there’s a reason for that, people love them! I always try to head to a viewpoint or peak for sunset. One  tip is to shoot East, away from the dipping sun, if it’s a good one this is where you’ll see all of those amazing palma violet colours. If you’re shooting into the sun, lower the contrast as this helps create cleaner shadows.

My favourite photo ever! This would’ve been so much more beige at midday.
  1. Less is often more.

Just because it’s in your photo, doesn’t mean it has to stay there. Ever see those photos of people hanging from a cliff edge with a thousand meter drop below ? In truth, there’s usually a tree to the left, a souvenir shop to the right and the ground is just a meter below. They have cropped the rest out to create the image of danger. This applies to all photos though, if there is something unsightly in shot, crop it out!

Believe it or not I’m in no danger at all here. Just below the photo is a ledge that I cropped out
  1. Mix it up!

The hand holding shot, pinching the top of a tower, looking into the sunset, we’ve all seen them. Variety is the spice of life. If every photo of someone was a selfie in front of a something you’d soon get pretty bored wouldn’t you? Try new things and get creative to keep people interested, and if you look like an awkward creep you can just keep it to the whatsapp group only!

I love LA this much!

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