Courtesy of Rosie D'Argenzio
Catherine Dash
Jan 15, 2016 @ 7:00 pm

Getting a beautifully lit, well-composed photo for Instagram ain't easy. How do our favorite lifestyle 'grammers make their casual coffee outing look like the results of a meticulously planned magazine shoot? We called on four Instagram all-stars—lifestyle blogger Camille Styles, stylist and TV host Emily Henderson, photographer Nicole Franzen and social media manager Rosie D'Argenzio—to share the details on everything from the best time to take a photo to the must-have apps for giving your shots a little something-something. Below, their essential tips.

The Grid Is Your Best Friend

Courtesy of Camille Styles

"Use the camera grid to make sure your lines are straight — you'll get a much cleaner and more professional result."@camillestyles, owner and creative director at Camille Styles

Think Outside the Square

Courtesy of Rosie D'Argenzio

"Take advantage of the new(ish) landscape and vertical options in Instagram. It's not so hip to be only square, so shoot those long horizontal landscapes or wide angle rooms, and take advantage of that full length mirror in vertical!"@rosiedargenzio, senior social media manager at One Kings Lane

Avoid Angles

Courtesy of Emily Henderson

"When in doubt, shoot straight on. While an angle can be pretty, straight on is simpler and more likely to be successful."@em_henderson, stylist, author and TV Host

RELATED: 9 Fashion Blogger-Approved Tips for Taking the Perfect Instagram Picture

Make a Beautiful Mess

Courtesy of Nicole Franzen

"Creating a shot that feels effortless and just happened naturally is no easy task. It takes a team of talented individuals to put together those well thought through food and interior photographs, but there are simple ways to make your quick iPhone snaps a little better. The trick? Actually live it—sit down at the table, dig into your food, take a sip of wine, throw your messy napkin on the table. Document as you go if you like. The aftermath of a table is sometimes prettier then the beginning. Same goes for interiors. I often shoot my bed after I have slept in it—with messed up sheets and an empty coffee cup on the side table. It works and doesn't feel contrived because it's real!"@nicole_franzen, photographer

Lighting Is Key

Courtesy of Camille Styles

"Shoot in natural light if at all possible. Even the most beautiful dessert in the entire world won't look pretty if you're shooting it on your phone in a dark restaurant."@camillestyles

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All About Those Apps

Courtesy of Rosie D'Argenzio

"Ok, let's get down to it. Everyone always wants to know what editing apps iPhone only IG'ers use, so here we go: I shoot my well-lit, well-composed shot with my phone camera. Then I bring it into Snapseed. I like Snapseed for its 'Details' editing, specifically the 'sharpening' and 'structure' features. I like to crank up the 'sharpening' on my images because I want them to be really crisp, with each detail in view. This makes linens look extra wrinkly or the veins in marble tabletop come out, which is what I like. Being that Insta' is all mobile, you have a very small piece of real estate to capture someone's attention, so focusing on the materials and details is a good place to start. Next, I take the crisp snap and usually brighten the image a bit in Snapseed. For the aforementioned reason, a brighter image usually gets the double taps flowing. Lastly, I export that image and run it through a filter on VSCO. I like my colors to be a bit more saturated, that's mostly a stylistic choice, and VSCO has some great filters that won't degrade the quality of the image but will give them more contrast and saturation."@rosiedargenzio

Get Low

Courtesy of Jess Isaac

"Often the lower we are in the room the more inviting it can feel—so don't shoot the top of a bed, kneel down and shoot the nightstand."@em_henderson

Timing Is Everything

Courtesy of Nicole Franzen

"When shooting outside, its often best to wait for golden hour. Golden hour (I recommend the app Magic Hour) is a term photographers use when the sun is nearing the horizon both in the morning and evening. Shooting during the day during peak sun hours isn't ideal, often resulting in harsh shadows. Ideal shooting conditions really range from photographer to photographer but it's fair to say the light as the sun is going down is a great one. Cloudy days are great for a soft even light. Bring on the fog for even more impact."@nicole_franzen

Mix It Up

Courtesy of Camille Styles

"Take multiple photos of each shot, changing up the composition and angles. A little experimentation may give you a shot that's way more interesting than the one you initially thought of."@camillestyles

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