One of the hardest things about posting photos online is knowing how to take instagram photos like a pro.
Seriously, how do professional photographers or influencers do it?
It's even a little more challenging for us henna artists, because there haven't been people out there instructing the exact kind of henna photos that attracts people.
I mean you've got: yoga photography, food photography, fitness photography - but there's not much out there about henna photography.
After tonnes of trial and error of my own (thanks to my super outdated iPhone), I dove deep in iPhone photography and became absolutely obsessed in figuring out how to take artsy photos and how to edit instagram photos.
And if you're anything like me, the idea of initially showing your face in your photos can feel a little too vulnerable, I rounded up some of my favourite instagram photo ideas without ever having to show your face, so that you can showcase your best henna work.
Before we get started, I wanted to highlight a few photography ground rules, so that you can really make your instagram photos POP!
Let's call these the 10 Henna Photo Commandments:
Never post a generic photo of a "decapitated hand", instead, add movement in your photos (aka. always give your hands something to do)
Make sure some of the elements in your photo is focused and others are defocused to add depth to your photo
Always use props to add a visual story to your photo
Make sure to use a lot of natural light
Take some time to style your shots (remove unnecessary things in your background)
Edit all your photos the same way (to make sure it follows a consistent theme)
Use the Rule of Thirds in all your photos
Plan your photo concept ahead of time
Create mood boards for different photography inspirations (you can use Pinterest for this)
Ask for another person's opinion on your photo (they might see something that you don't)
1) THE "ADJUSTING YOUR SHOE" PHOTO
This photo can be completely staged. You don't necessarily have to wait on a bridal client to send her professional photos your way. Instead, slap on your fancy shoes and a few golden bangles and pretend to be adjusting your shoe strap - makes for an awesome photo that will resonate with brides and make your henna design work really tell a story.
2) FLOWER HOLDING
This one is fairly simple. Just get some flowers and plop it in your background (you get extra points for getting flowers that fit with your branding colours). You'll notice how the photo tends to be a little more dynamic when you hold something as well. Don't limit it to a floral pot or cactus holder, you can go as far as holding a mug or Starbucks cup - you can totally get creative with this.
3) THE NEGATIVE SPACE
Negative space photos tend to be really popular on Instagram. Best part of this photo? All you need is a plain blank wall (preferably a bright colour) and center the hands midway. You'll realize the criss cross pose also makes the photo much more playful and inviting. It's also a good idea to accessorize a little bit to add some colour.
4) THE TOP VIEW, WORKING ON A LAPTOP
Top view photography always invites the viewer to look at your henna design work from your own perspective. So the beauty of this is that it allows them to envision it in their everyday life. That's why lifestyle shots are so trendy, because people feel like they can relate to it. You can also showcase your website too as a way to trigger their interest in checking it out.
5) THE YOGA POSE
Let's call a spade-to-spade. Henna and yoga go beautifully together like peanut butter and jam (yum). Stage a few yoga poses and capture your henna designs in the process. It will convey a super relaxed meditative feel which is guaranteed to draw people in and stop their scroll to gaze at the serenity.
6) THE VIBRANT BACKGROUND
This is seriously one of the easiest photos you can take. All you have to do is get some coloured paper (preferably your branding colours) and snap a shot with your design in there. It works wonders because the vibrant coloured background pops enough to make someone stop to stare for an extra second, but at the same time, it doesn't distract you from the henna design itself.
7) THE "WORKING IN ACTION" PHOTO
Action shots are amazing in showing potential clients (and followers) your work process and flow. It makes henna designing much more human, and people love it when you exert effort in developing a genuine human connection. Heck, you can make a day out of it. Bring 2 friends over, design on one and let the other grab some cute photos of you both.
8) THE FLAT LAY
Instagram and Pinterest are drowning with flat lay photos. If you don't know what that is, I recommend looking it up or clicking here to get a better idea. It's basically a top view looking down on a series of items. In this case, you can add your design along with a few henna products (like powder, essential oils, etc.). Adding a flower in there also adds some elegance. You can do this in so many variations, either with just products, your outfits, your work space, etc.
If you really want to attract more followers and clients, you have to let your photos do the work for you. You can be an amazing henna designer, but if your photos aren't crisp enough or doesn't reel people in, it's not going to justify or support your work.
That's why you really need to devote some time in knowing basic and cardinal rules of photography. I can't tell you how many times I wished I could afford a round-the-clock photographer, but it's simply not sustainable.
So you really have to get your photos down and learn how to take instagram photos like a pro in order to make people look at you as a valuable artist rather than just a random henna artist who they'll try to save a few bucks from.