Post Like A Pro: Instagram Tips & Tricks

Three of our favorite Instagram stars reveal their best tips and tricks on styling, technique, and editing

Stacy Bass (@stacybassphoto), Miguel Flores-Vianna (@miguelfloresvianna), and Ngoc Minh Ngo (@minh_ngoc) share with us their take on what the world looks like through the lens of an Instagram pro.


Stacy Bass


Stacy has a passion for capturing light, color, and the essence of a piece. Composition, order, and saturated color are trademarks of her work whether in an interior or a garden.

With gardens and flowers, I prefer to shoot at dawn or dusk to avoid shadows, but if I'm out and about in the middle of the day, I look for shadow play. It works best with solid color and/or very saturated backgrounds.

Before you press the shutter, quickly check each corner of the frame to make sure there aren't any unwanted elements.
The magic of dawn is that the light is cool, gentle, and quiet, but it also allows the scene before you to really shine. You can almost hear the silence.
Imagine what you're shooting is in black and white. By mentally removing the color from the frame, you'll be forced to pay more attention to lines, shapes, and tone.


stacy bass instagram pro
When traveling, I look for images that illustrate a sense of place but also from a different perspective. And I'm drawn to colors that seem to represent the location, such as this gray shingled house that is quintessential Nantucket.


Miguel Flores-Vianna


Miguel photographs some of the world’s most sought-after interiors and gardens. He is a curious soul by nature, and “how people live” is a driving force in his work.

I love courtyards, and the fact this was so brightly painted was added value. Last time I was in Seville, I tried a few times to shoot this image, but the light was never right. Finally on the last morning, the sun came out and the yellow came alive.

Most of my shots are composed and often reflect a sense of symmetry. When I shoot flowers, I also think of proportion, color balance, and lighting.
It's easy to get a symmetrical shot if you have architectural elements to guide you; make sure that the camera is centered between those elements. In this cathedral, the arches helped me create the balance.

I love pictures that seem to be taken in that split second when the photographer recognizes a great moment, but somehow I do not seem to have that touch. This dog, Bobo, is very well trained and he heard the command to stay put by the door.

stacy bass instagram pro
I use my iPhone's camera to adjust the images before posting them, mostly using either color or saturation or contrast. Above all, have fun and experiment, and you will see how your visual voice becomes stronger and more fulfilling.


Ngoc Minh Ngo


Ngoc Min Ngo creates ethereal photography that seems to stop time. Her signature is painterly, composed images with an intangible quality.

As a photographer I'm trained to look at everything, and I'm always sensitive to colors, light, and pattern.

To get this golden light, shoot either early in the morning, or late in the afternoon when the sun is not too high in the sky.
When photographing a very contrasting scene, you may want to pull in highlights and open up shadows. These adjustments can be made in Instagram or in your phone's camera app.

Photography begins with looking and developing your own vision, and then having the technical skills to translate what you see into a photograph.

stacy bass instagram pro
Try to avoid clichés - things that might have been seen before a million times. Instead, seek out details that others might overlook.

Produced by Ted Kennedy Watson

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