Instagram and Your Wedding: The Best Filters, Angles, and More #MustKnowTips

Instagram should never replace your official wedding photography, but since you're bound to snap a few iPhone shots on your big day, why not make the most of it? Here, expert tips from Instagram photographer Pei Ketron who takes the Insta-photo to a new art form.

Contributing Writer
Photography by: David Wright Weddings

Filter the right filter

When it comes to choosing a filter for your photos, "The closer to natural, the better," says Ketron. "There's no Instagram filter that will always give you the best results, but I recommend sticking with the more natural ones like Valencia, Rise, and Ludwig," she says. She also suggests decreasing the intensity by pulling down to 40-to-50-percent power.

Capture the light 

Though you can create almost any effect with an iPhone, it's important to remember "very low light will always pose a challenge, and even the best photographers will end up with blurry and grainy images when shooting on an iPhone in extreme low light," says Ketron. Try to shoot near bright light sources when taking photos—whether windows or light bulbs. Avoid overhead lights as well as direct overhead sun because it will create dark shadows around people's eyes, says Ketron. "Most newer models of iPhones have a feature built into the native camera that allows you to adjust your exposure," says Ketron. "Your brain is smarter than the automatic camera settings, so if it looks too bright or too dark to you, you can tap and hold on the screen while simultaneously dragging up or down to change how bright or dark your image is," she says. For the most natural-looking photos, Ketron urges turning off the flash.

Color correct

The best way to do this is while you're editing the photos later, which is why Ketron suggests taking photos in the native camera rather than through Instagram. "This allows you to take multiple images and choose your favorites," she says. A good place to start when trying to color correct is to change the white balance (look for the "warmth" tool inside of Instagram's built-in editing tools).

Go for raw moments

"The expressions on people's faces can make or break the shot, so you might want to bring out your best one-liner to get a reaction," says Ketron. If there's a special moment that you want to nail at exactly the right moment (the bride and groom's first kiss, for example), try shooting in burst mode on your iPhone. Just tap and hold the shutter button and you'll start seeing a counter displaying the number of shots that are being taken. Then, you can scroll through the burst to find the perfect photo to share. Burst mode is also effective for capturing action shots, like guests dancing. "Try to freeze the dancers in motion by using the flash, or think of creative ways to work with the motion blur," says Ketron.

Home in on your subject

Taking still life shots (the dress, the bouquet) is entirely subjective, says Ketron. "I recommend playing around with a couple of different angles and seeing which one feels best to you," she says. She also suggests (if you have time) studying up beforehand by looking at wedding photos online to familiarize yourself with standard angles and set-ups. While you're shooting, tap and hold the screen to lock your focus in the exact spot you want it to ensure sharp images, she says.

About the Author

Jennifer Tzeses

As an eight-time bridesmaid Jenny knows just a little bit about mitigating a makeup meltdown and distracting a meddling mom. As a former editor for Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, her knowledge of all things weddings extended to bridal beauty and fashion, etiquette, and honeymoons. Her writing (weddings and otherwise) appears in such publications and websites as Martha Stewart...


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