Friday 20 September 2019

How to take beautiful Instagram photos: 5 tips from top Irish travel influencers

Snap happy: @agirlwhoblooms

Siobhán O'Dea on her travels. Photo: @agirlwhoblooms
Siobhán O'Dea on her travels. Photo: @agirlwhoblooms
Photo: @agirlwhoblooms

Siobhán O'Dea & Joe Kelly

Co. Waterford natives Siobhán O'Dea and Joe Kelly started the Instagram account @agirlwhoblooms less than a year ago.

Over 30,000 followers later (and counting), the collaborative hobby has become a full-time partnership for the couple, allowing the Dungarvan travel bloggers to take their passion for travelling and storytelling and turn it into their daily lives.

Joe is a photographer and Siobhán the face of the account, and the pair say they receive hundreds of messages daily from brands looking to collaborate and followers asking for travel advice... not least, how to shoot such striking images.

Here are their five tips for taking beautiful Instagram snaps.

1. Do Your Research

It’s rare that a great Instagram picture just happens. It requires a lot of work, and it all begins with research. We pour countless hours before any trip into researching the destination and will scroll through photos and read blogs until we find something that intrigues us, which we think is worth including in our limited schedule. Research is a key component of our preparation in search of that amazing photo.

2. Learn to Adapt

You’ve done your research and have a plan of action? Right, be prepared to forget everything when on site because it’s guaranteed you will be thrown a curveball at some point or you will come across an even better photo opportunity that makes the one you’d earmarked pale in comparison. Your research will help you carve out such opportunities, but be open-minded and deviate from the plan when required so that you don’t limit yourself from capturing the better picture.

3. Keep it Clean

Consider your unique style when taking any picture. An attractive Instagram feed is commonly clean and easy on the eye at a scrolling glance. One way you can create this particular style is by using negative space. Overhead food shots work best with no clutter, vastness creates inspirational landscape pictures and we try to instil wanderlust in others by attempting to create a sense of serenity in our travel photos.

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Another day in paradise 🌿🌴 ••••• Hello kynd humans, as they say at Kynd Community, hoping to brighten up your Monday with scenes from the girliest cafe in Bali. Tag a friend who would go instacrazy for this instawall! 💕 @kyndcommunity ••••• @thebalibible @explorebali @thebaliguideline @thebaliguru #thebalibible #thebaliguru #balidaily #explorebali #girlsborntotravel #thetravelwomen #beautifulmatters #dametraveler #darlingescapes #sheisnotlost #sidewalkerdaily #seminyak #wearetravelgirls #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #coffeegoals #travelgram #Iamtb #neverstopexploring #bali #travelblogger #coffeelove #theseminyaksnob #balivibes #blondesandcookies #Mondaygoals

A post shared by Siobhan & Joe | Travel blogger (@agirlwhoblooms) on

4. Change Your Perspective

At the side, up high, down low –  the search for that killer angle is all go. If you stand still and only shoot in one place you’ll only ever capture a single perspective and you might be missing the viewpoint that will enhance your picture and turn it into a truly great photo.

5. Use Editing Software

Some pictures are nearly good to go straight on the feed while others will need touching up before you can truly see what they can become. Adobe’s editing software programmes, Photoshop and Lightroom, are a particular favourites of ours. For those who want to achieve a certain consistent look, you can buy Lightroom Presets, which will help bring your photo to a level and style before any further enhancement is made.

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Slow mornings in paradise. 💦 #balivibes •••••• Tell me, where are you going next? I’m in the middle of planning two weeks around Vietnam and one week in Thailand next month, and I’m so excited! ✈️💕 •••••• @lifestyleretreats #TheAmala #lifestyleretreats @thebalibible @explorebali @thebaliguideline @thebaliguru #thebalibible #thebaliguru #balidaily #explorebali #girlsborntotravel #thetravelwomen #beautifulmatters #dametraveler #darlingescapes #sheisnotlost #sidewalkerdaily #wearetravelgirls #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal #balicili #neverstopexploring #theseminyaksnob #luxuryworldtraveler #letsgoeverywhere #speechlessplaces #beautifulhotels #poolside #bestvacations #girlsthatwander

A post shared by Siobhan & Joe | Travel blogger (@agirlwhoblooms) on

Lastly, this isn’t exactly a tip but just some advice: focus on what you’re most passionate about and it will show in your pictures. If you’re a sunset chaser or a foodie, then use your Instagram account to showcase what inspires you so you can inspire others.

NB: You can find more of Siobhán and Joe's photography tips and travel advice on their website (, and follow the couple's journey in South East Asia and beyond on Instagram at @agirlwhoblooms.

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