How to Take Stunning Instagram Photos: Tips from a Pro

Want to up your IG game? Social media, and especially Instagram, are all about a gorgeous snap. You have only 3-5 seconds to get someone’s attention while they are scrolling, and an exceptional photo is just the way to do that.

Yvonne Villegas of Vonvis Photography has an impressive portfolio that includes everything from couples and families to weddings and boudoir photos.

“Photography is what I enjoy, it’s what gives my creativity freedom and it’s what keeps me sane. I love the look on people’s faces or bodies while they are moving around naturally. I always have my clients moving around and do my clicks in between,” said Villegas.

The California native has been a professional photographer for 6 years, and we are lucky enough to sit down with her and find out what she considers the most important steps in capturing a perfect photo.

Step 1: Movement

Move! Slight exaggerated movements keep you from looking stiff or unnatural. Slow motion movements work best such as slowly playing with a piece of clothing, throwing either side of the dress up, etc.

Step 2: Light

When in doubt, look towards the light. If you find a window, facing the light will always be your friend. If you are outdoors, find a shaded area as this can prevent harsh shadows on your face. If you’re going for that editorial look, then face the sun, but close your eyes as you wouldn’t want eye damage (for real). If you really love the image, but the shadows are distracting, try making it a black and white photo which can make it very dramatic.

Step 3: Location

If you’re somewhere with lots of color or interesting background then yes, take full advantage of the location. Keep in mind that a “location” could be a small area that, when you frame it, looks great. One thing to keep in mind is that a location doesn’t always have to be busy or magical landscapes. There can be beauty in simplicity.

Step 4: Pose and Angles

My go to rules of thumb are: 45-degree angles are mostly flattering. For women specifically, place your weight off to one hip, because this gives your body curvature.

Check on your slouch. So many times, people unknowingly slouch and a quick pick-me-up off the body can make a world of a difference in a photo.  If it hurts, you went to far.

Step 5: Framing

Always follow the Rule of Thirds when you try to frame the image within the shot.  This prevents having to do extensive cropping afterwards. You can also turn on your phone’s grid lines in the camera application. They’re a great guide for whenever you are in doubt if the image is captured within the desired third you were thinking.

Step 6: Story

Something I’m a sucker for is a great story told in the picture. Your image might be what brings people to a stop, but does your caption tie into the message of the image? An image by itself is powerful, but an image with an emotional tie is memorable.

Photo Credit: Vonvis Photography. Check out more of her photos at: or on her Instagram page @vonvis_photography.

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