5 Tips for Insta-Worthy Pics: Camera Angle

In today’s mini-lesson, we will be talking about Tip #3: Finding the Right Camera Angle.

Check out the other mini-lessons here:
5 Tips for Insta-Worthy Pics: [Lighting] [Background] [Angle] [Framing] [Props] [Editing]

We’ve all seen perfect Instagram pics. You know, the ones where the lighting is so bright and crisp, the image quality crystal clear, all the colors just seem to pop! The picture is just so good in every possible way. There’s no way your Insta photos could ever look that good! Well, about that…

I can’t make you and your camera phone a professional photographer overnight, but I can share with you 5 super easy tips that can bring your photography game to the next level. Best of all, every tip is for the blogger on a budget, so you can get stunning photos without breaking the bank!

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This one might sound like a no-brainer, but it can make a huge difference in your photos! In today’s mini-lesson, I’ll share some tips and tricks to help you find the best camera angle for your picture!

Have you ever heard of a flat lay? You’ve likely seen one before! They’re super popular on social media. A flat lay is a style of photography where you capture your subject from directly above. This style of photography is extremely popular in the planner community, especially when showing off our planner spreads!

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This is an example of a flat lay. You can read the full blog post about this planner spread here.

The key to taking the perfect flat lay is to hold your camera parallel to the surface that your subject is on. It sounds deceptively simple, but it can take a little practice to really nail it.

So, if I’m trying to take pictures of my planner and I have my planner open on the table, I want my camera to be parallel to the table. What do I mean by parallel? Simply set your camera down on the table, perfectly flat. Your phone is now parallel to the table. This is the angle you want. Now, just raise your camera above your planner, keeping it as “flat” and in line with the table as possible.

When you’re practicing your flat lays, try tilting your camera a little to the right, a little to the left, maybe up or down. Take a bunch of practice shots, and see which angle you like best. Maybe you’ll actually prefer a slightly tilted picture over the perfectly straight flat lay. It’s all up to you!

My mom helping me take planner pics!
My mom helping me take planner pics outside. To see how these pictures turned out, check out this blog post!

When I’m photographing flat lays, one of my biggest struggles is maintaining the parallel camera angle and looking at my phone screen to make sure everything is within frame and in focus. If I’m trying to capture a larger subject, I have to raise my phone up higher to get everything in the frame, and it’s harder to see the screen.

One way around this struggle is to find a chair, step stool, or ladder to stand on. It’s soooo much easier to just stand above your subject and take photos, than to try to struggle with stretching your arms at weird angles and sort of blindly taking a bunch of shots and hoping everything was in focus and in frame.

Please, make sure your chair/step stool/ladder is sturdy and safe to use! Is the “perfect flat lay” really worth it if you fall and break your arm? (Hint: the answer is no! 🙈)

planner close up

Even though flat lays are one of the more popular photography styles in the planner community, it isn’t to say that all other camera angles are wrong, or anything like that! Don’t be afraid to try other camera angles, when photographing your planner! One of my favorite angles is taken from above, but not straight above, like in a flat lay. I especially like this angle when I’m taking close-ups, trying to highlight the details on something, like the stitching and the gold foil pages on this gorgeous planner. 😍

Another one of my favorite camera angles is basically the same concept as a flat lay, except instead of photographing something from above, you face your subject directly. Some examples of photos like these are where you are holding something out in front of your camera. Just like when you’re taking a flat lay, you want your camera to be parallel to the subject.

pink leather DIY TN by organizedpotato
My DIY pocket TN.

I especially love this camera angle when you’re taking pictures while you’re out and about, and you want to document planning on the go. Some ideas include holding your planner up in front of the castle at Disneyland, in front of a Michael’s storefront, or in front of a garden. If you choose this style, make sure your background is meaningful, or default back to a simpler background like we talked about in the previous lesson.

Speaking of the previous lesson, I used the same poster board that I mentioned in the previous lesson to create my backdrop. But instead of placing it flat on a table, I leaned it up against the back of a chair. I figured a simple, white background was more appealing than all the random stuff laying around my house!

Do you find yourself drawn toward one type of camera angle more than the others? Have any questions or comments? Share them below!

Join us in the Facebook group, to chat with others about their photography tips and tricks, and don’t forget to follow my blog to be the first to know about the next photography tips!

That’s all for today, sweet friends! Next time we will be going over framing your shots in order to naturally draw the eye to it! Thanks for stopping by! 💖

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If you reeeaallly loved my photography tips, consider buying me a cup of coffee to say thanks! ☕💕

Check out the other mini-lessons here:
5 Tips for Insta-Worthy Pics: [Lighting] [Background] [Angle] [Framing] [Props] [Editing]

9 thoughts on “5 Tips for Insta-Worthy Pics: Camera Angle

  1. I live in a pretty dark apartment, so doing a flat lay casts a lot of shadows. Also, the apartment building I’m at doesn’t have a yard or place I could set up a photo shoot outside… Any suggestions of what angles might work better, instead? I might try the one you used for close-ups, though, it might not be able to capture a planner spread too well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm… it sounds to me like your problem here isn’t so much finding the right angle, but a lighting problem instead.

      I would recommend purchasing one of the daylight bulbs I mentioned in the first mini-lesson of this series about “Lighting”. I personally prefer CFL bulbs because they last for years and are energy efficient. So even though they might cost more up front, they will cost you less in your electricity bill over time. You can even use the light bulbs in a lamp just as you would use any other light bulb, if that helps to justify the cost.

      Lighting is arguably the most important aspect of photography out of all the topics I’ve mentioned in my mini-series!

      Liked by 1 person

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