Easy Tricks For Taking Better Instagram Photos

Despite how much we may deny it, we all know that we notice how many likes our pictures get on Instagram. Especially if a post we thought would do well, doesn’t. The standards for a good Instagram account at Emerson are high‒I mean, how are you supposed to compete with all the photography accounts, all white aesthetic pages, and modeling accounts? Well, I’m not saying that your page will get famous overnight, but I can assure you following a few simple guidelines will get you a few more likes here and there.

Always make sure your horizon line is straight.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone posts a photo of a landscape, and the line is crooked. It’s basically impossible to get a perfectly straight horizon line when you’re using your iPhone to shoot (like I do,) but there is an easy way to fix this before you post it. Go to your photos, click edit, and then the crop/straighten icon. Drag the image around until your horizon line matches one of the lines on the grid, and then you’re all set.

Don’t rely on pre-made filters.

Although it may be easier to upload a photo, click one of Instagram’s filters, and then post, it doesn’t always work out that well. You can almost always do a better job touching up the picture yourself (whether you’re using an editing app like VSCO or just the edit feature directly on Instagram.) There are a lot of options for what you can do to the photo, but I recommend sticking with fixing the brightness, contrast, the highlights, and the shadows. Play around with these for a few minutes and you can seriously upgrade the photo without making it look too obvious (like a filter would do.)

Be careful with vertical photos.

If you go out with your girls and you didn’t get a good photo, did you really even go out? Everyone’s natural instinct when taking a picture with a few friends is usually to take a vertical photo with the people filling the whole screen. Although this would look great printed out, or posted on Facebook, a vertical picture isn’t always the best choice for Instagram. Yes, Instagram made it possible to make the whole thing fit without cutting anyone’s head off, but it could still mess up your feed. On your feed, only a square version of the photo will appear, which means some heads or feet will still be cut off of your vertical picture. You can easily avoid this by either leaving some empty space on the top and bottom of the photo, or by taking a horizontal picture to begin with (which is my personal go-to). Trust me, your feed will thank you.

Take your selfies on the camera app, not Snapchat.

It’s so tempting to take all of your selfies on Snapchat, where the image doesn’t flip and you don’t have to wonder why your face always looks off when it does. But the cold, hard truth is that the quality of the camera app is just overall better than Snapchat. Downloading a picture from Snapchat (and then editing it) runs the risk of becoming grainy, while a camera photo usually stays sharp no matter what you do to it. My advice is to learn to love how you look in the selfies where the image flips because that’s how the rest of the world usually sees you, anyway. The only person that’s accustomed to seeing your face in mirror images is you, so while you may think you look better, everyone else may think you look just a little different. (And to piggy-back off my last tip, I also recommend trying horizontal selfies over vertical ones so nothing gets cropped).



A posed photograph is poised. It conveys what the subject desires, provides an image that validates her. A candid photograph has a different energy. It conveys how the photographer sees, and it is much more about action than image. Equally valuable, equally expressive, the viewer can receive two images of one person.


Women’s March: An Exploration of Expression in Times of Distress

by Hayley Broderick and Amelia Wright










(left to right, top to bottom: Boston, MA; Boston, MA; Washington, D.C.; Washington D.C.)

After weeks of cloudy dismal skies, the sun finally shone through over the Boston Common. Pink hats covered the area in roaring support of women’s rights. After a hugely successful march in protest of the presidential election just months before, it seemed almost unreal that this march could be bigger than the one previous. Nearly 175,000 people congregated for this monumental event.


Continue reading “Women’s March: An Exploration of Expression in Times of Distress”

Opinion, Style

Style Bloggers: Who’s Really Behind Their Photos?

Recently, style blogging has become incredibly popular and there’s no end in sight! There are a lot of fashion lovers who have become famous or rich through blogging. Some of the most well known bloggers are Chiara Ferregani, Nicole Warne and Kristina Bazan. It is interesting to look at the great photos posted by these fashion stars, but have you ever thought about who took those pictures? Although each of them comes from a completely different background and possesses a unique sense of style, there is one thing they all have in common: they all have amazing photographers behind them and most of them happen to be their boyfriends.

In my opinion, the best photographer of the three bloggers I mentioned is the Australian style blogger, Nicole Warne. Her clothes are very colorful but there is always a sense of togetherness. In her pictures, her outfit is always balanced well with the background. Since she grew up in Australia which it’s surrounded by the ocean, she has a lot of beautiful photos of her under the sea. In one of my favorite photos of her, she is under very blue and clear water, with her dress was flowing along with a wave so thin that it looks like part of the sea. She is gently moving her body like she is a mermaid. The whole picture looks so unreal but so harmonized.

The person who can always capture the unique beauty of Nicole is Luke Shadbolt, her photographer, business partner and boyfriend. Nicole explains in her blog, Gary Pepper, that it was Luke who helped her started her own online store and blog. She writes,”Gary Pepper wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for Luke and his on going love.” It is easy to see how instrumental Luke was to the development of her blogging career. Not only did he help her start the blog, but he has also taken on the important role of transferring Nicole’s beauty and style to an audience. It seems that when the photographer deeply understands the model’s beauty, he can make the audience understand it too.

Another person who has had a similar experience is Kristina Bazan, a style blogger from Switzerland. She is one of the few that has achieved this amount of success at such a young age. She was only 18-years-old when she first started her blog with her boyfriend, James Chardon, who is also a photographer. James can always find Kristina’s best angle. Through his lense, she has a certain atmosphere around her that makes her delicate and perfect. Again, this shows how important it is for a fashion blogger to have a boyfriend photographer who can always see the best in her through his camera.

I’ve saved the the best for the last: Italian style blogger, Chiara Ferregani, whose photographer story is a little more dramatic, because she has two. When she first started her blog, she was dating photographer Riccardo Pozzoli. They dated for a long time and they even had a cute dog together named Matilda. Unfortunately, they broke up but have remained friends, and Riccardo still works on Chiara’s team to help her with the blog. Now, Chiara is dating photographer, Andrew Arthur. No matter how many times her photographer changes, she has still kept her high standing in style blogging arena.

Art, City

Mario Testino’s “In Your Face” and “Royal Portraits” at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Carmen Kass by Mario Testino for Allure, September 2009. Image via

Mario Testino is one of the world’s most sought-after and influential fashion photographers. Peru born but based in the UK, Testino has snapped infamous spreads for prominent fashion super magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. His work features various international supermodels, celebrities, athletes, musicians, as well as frequently invites from the British Royal Family as their personal photographer. Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Tom Brady, Anna Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston, Candance Swanepoel, Naomi Campbell, Alessandra Ambrosio are just few of the numerous big names that have posed in front of Testino.

This exhibition marks Testino’s first in the United States. “In Your Face” offers a provocative peak into some of the most recognized and exclusive subjects in the world of fame and glamour today. Known for elegance, style, irreverence and bold statements, Testino’s display outlines his career and contribution to the art of fashion photography. Located on the lower ground of the museum, the famed portraits are pinned to the walls that are painted deep peacock green, designed for the special occasion. Sexually charged, flashy yet full of aesthetic inventiveness and beauty, the exhibit itself felt like stepping into the pages of a life-sized Vogue spread.

In another room, Tesino’s “British Royal Portraits” showcase displays his accomplishment as the British Royal Family’s most trusted photographer, as well as close family friend. The exhibit opens with the iconic portrait of Princess Diana of Wales, taken in 1997, that gave her the signature tagline as “The People’s Princess.” Testino’s window to fame came perhaps out of the 1990s, most notably when Diana chose him to photograph her in Vanity Fair. Since then on, Testino has captured many moments in the lives of the family, including engagement portraits of William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Some other pieces include a few relaxed images of Princes William and Harry, some for the family’s Christmas cards, a quirky Queen Elizabeth II laughing to the camera, and portraits of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall. Relaxed yet poised and full of elegance, Testino brings out the simple beauty of the world’s most-photographed family.

“In Your Face – now until February 3rd, 2013, located in Gund Gallery, LG31

“British Royal Portraits – now until June 16th, 2013, located in Gallery 169

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Admission: Free for Emerson students with Emerson ID.

For more information, visit the MFA website at