How to Capture that Not-So-Candid Candid Instagram Photo

If you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram and wondered where and when all these people take their seemingly candid, flawless, airbrushed photos: you’re not alone. Who doesn’t want a perfectly flowing feed that looks straight out of a magazine? Don’t worry! We got you.

Here are 4 tips on snapping that not-so-candid candid picture:

1. Location is King – or is it?

Photo By- Kate Torline

As Instagram users, we tend to think we need to be laying on a white sand beach or standing amid ancient buildings in a foreign country to post an eye-catching photo, but this is not exactly necessary. Finding a location that looks good within the small Instagram square is all you need!

Simply drive around your town and keep your eyes peeled for a white brick wall, a colorful door, or maybe even a simple potted plant.

2. Learn your Angles

Photo By- Kate Torline

One of the most difficult parts about taking a good photo is posing! You’re not the only one who feels hopelessly awkward when staring down the lens of an iPhone pointed directly at you. Something that can help with this (no matter how dumb it sounds) is practicing poses in the mirror. You will be able to see what angles you like best for yourself. Finding inspiration for poses is as easy as scrolling through Instagram and saving posts of people posing a certain way! Or you could look up “posing inspiration” on Pinterest and make a board for it.

3. Find your Photographer

Photo By- Kate Torline

Another thing that will help with your confidence in front of the camera is to find someone you are comfortable with BEHIND the camera! Have someone who is not afraid to tell you to move that piece of hair or pick something out of your teeth. You’ll be grateful for that.

Make sure your phone has plenty of storage and shoot away! The more photos you take, the more you have to choose from and the less time you have to spend re-posing for a picture you just took because your eyes were closed.


4. Find your Theme

Photo By- Kate Torline

We all would like to be able to post #nofilter photos all the time, but let’s face it – sometimes we need a little help. Learning how to edit your Instagram photos will help create a theme in your feed and make them more polished!

Some of the most popular photo editing apps are FaceTune, VSCO, and SnapSeed. FaceTune is helpful for that pimple that just won’t go away, or for teeth that are looking a little too yellow. VSCO is amazing for overall filters that will give your photos a vintage film kind of look. If you purchase the whole app you can quickly create your own presets that you can slap onto any photo, which will help you keep a consistent looking feed. SnapSeed is great because you can choose an area to edit and work with details without changing the whole image.


Instagram will be what you make it – so make it fun! Taking photos with your friends is a great way to remember moments you want to treasure (and a good excuse to wear that new outfit hanging in your closet).

Manhappenin' Magazine is Kansas State University's student-created lifestyle magazine.


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