Bold & Pop : How to Take and Edit Photos Like a Pro Right From Your Phone

I have some good news for you! You don't need to be (or hire) a professional photographer, have a fancy camera, or have photoshop to get Insta-worthy photos! There are plenty of ways to use your phone so you can still get quality photos for your brand without breaking the bank. In my Instagram Workshop with SkillPop, showing students how to take and edit their photos with their phone is one of the most popular parts of the class. So today, I'm bringing that part of the class to YOU! 

How to Take a Great Photo

While editing can do wonders, it a.) can't fix everything and b.) will save you a lot of time and a headache to start with a quality image! And a quality image starts with your lighting. No fancy, expensive camera equipment needed! 

We prefer natural lighting and A LOT of it! So I usually take my photos on my dining room table which is positioned with my sliding glass door on one side and two large windows on an adjacent wall. I open the blinds as much as possible to let all that natural light flow in and get to shooting! (I also picked my apartment based off the natural light I get all day long because I'm crazy like that!) 

If you don't happen to have a lot of natural light in your home, consider shooting outside. Overcast days are actually better since the cloud cover will help shield your photos from any unwanted hash shadows. 

I know a lot of you also have full-time jobs and can't always shoot during the day, so I have another solution for you - Photography lights! This will require a little bit of an investment but mine have more than paid for themselves. I bought mine on Amazon for about $70 (came with 2 lights) but there are tons of options out there for every budget.  

Sometimes I even use my lights during the day if it's a little dreary outside or if I just want some extra lighting! I usually set them up along the sides of the table that don't have natural lighting but the good thing with these is you can adjust them up and down as well as move them around the room so you can get the lighting justtttt the way you want! 

Another tip not related to lighting: If you want to focus on something in particular in the photo, simply tap the screen on your phone where you want the camera to focus. Voilá!

How to edit

Now you have your images but how do you tweak them to look exactly how you want? You don't need Photoshop or anything fancy. You can do this right from your phone or within Instagram! 

Here's a peek at how I edit in my phone and on Instagram: 

In my phone, I adjusted: 

  • Exposure

  • Contrast

  • Saturation

  • Cast

In Instagram, I adjusted: 

  • Brightness

  • Contrast

  • Warmth

  • Saturation

We like our photos really bright and, obviously, colorful so we almost always play with the exposure and/or brightness, contrast, and saturation. This gives our photos a consistent bright, colorful look!

I played with the cast/warmth with this photo in particular because you can see that the white background in the original photo is more on the blue side. So I made the photo a little more warm (more yellow) to even it out so the white looked more white rather than blue. If you have a white background that's more yellow, you'd do the opposite and cool it down. Changing the warmth can help you get a much closer white match for your white backgrounds which can be tricky to get while you're shooting. 

My biggest piece of advice is to just pay around with both the editing features on your phone as well as in Instagram. By taking a photo and trying to edit it with all the different editing settings, you'll get an idea of how each works and soon you'll be a pro at editing your own photos! Just make sure to keep your editing consistent so your photos are cohesive in your Instagram grid! 

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!