7 expert tips on how to take pictures for Instagram of your home

Want to up the standard of your grid? Use our top tips to find out how to take pictures for Instagram so you can start showing off your space

how to take pictures for Instagram
(Image credit: Heal's)

We think we can all admit we spend A LOT of time goggling at interiors on Instagram, scrolling through post after post of lovely kitchens and perfect bathrooms. But how on earth are what feels like everyone and their mums, making their homes look this good?! Well, we asked the expert – Victoria Erdelevskaya, interior photography specialist at Heal’s for her top tips on how to take pictures for Instagram.

Keep scrolling to get inspired to get your own home on the grid, and start sharing all your hard work. Don't miss all the exciting stuff going on over on our Instagram page too and don't forget to use the #sorealhomes so we can see all your stylish spaces. 

1. Always try to use the natural light 

Light from household light bulbs can cast a blue or yellow hue which can dampen the true colours and stop them from shining through your image, but if you colour balance your image you can avoid this altogether. 

Victoria’s Top Tip
Keep an eye on your room throughout the day. Every room faces the sun at a different time of the day, so make a note of when your room is bright, but not flooded with direct light. A bright but cloudy day is the holy grail for an interior photographer. The clouds act as a natural filter, providing a soft light throughout your space. 

2. Experiment with taking pics on your phone

You don’t need a professional DSLR to take magazine-worthy shots of your home. Modern smartphones come loaded with useful tools to help level-up your photography. 

Victoria’s Top Tip
My favourite trick for making photos look lighter and brighter is to slightly up the exposure setting. For a darker space, drop the exposure for a moody, dramatic feel. 

3. Don't over style your space

For an unforced and authentic look, don’t overthink the styling. Instead, opt for the lived-in look.

Victoria’s Top Tip
Instead of shooting a perfectly made bed, why not take a shot of the crumpled linens or for a sofa shot, sit down and use the space as you would normally. The texture this natural movement adds will be picked up in the shot, making the overall look feel genuine. 

Check out our bedroom ideas feature for more ways to style (but not overly style) your space. 

4. Allow for empty spaces in your pictures

Give your images room to breathe by incorporating negative space. Shooting a whole room at once can sometimes look like a commercial or estate agent photoshoot. Try and focus on one one element, such as a perfectly styled fireplace, or a sideboard.  

Victoria’s Top Tip
If you’re taking a picture of a shelf or any other styled, flat surface try pulling all of your items closer to the front edge, rather than having them pushed back against the wall, as this will draw the eye into the frame. 

For more tips on how to style shelves for an Instagram worthy set up head to our shelving ideas gallery. 

5. But be sure to add depth too 

Use layers of accessories to add depth and texture to your picture. Try adding a throw to the end of the bed, a plant on the floor close to the camera, a cushion on a small stool to give the eye plenty to take in. 

6. Shoot from the hip 

Test out some different angles when shooting your picture. The lower the camera the more dramatic the image will appear, which can totally change the end result. 

Victoria’s Top Tip
The angle you select for your shot will vary depending on the room you are shooting. For a kitchen, you don’t want to be low enough so that you capture the bottom of your kitchen cabinets, but you do want to give the feeling of height. So play around with holding the camera lower to find an angle that works for you. 

Take cues from the height of your furniture. In a living room the furniture is going to be lower than in the kitchen, dropping your camera lower than eye level will make the sofa seem more plush. If the focal point of your image is lower down, then mimic this with your camera. 

7. Add life to your Instagram pictures 

They say never work with children or animals, but the opposite is true when it comes to your Instagram; don’t be afraid to include your kids or your pets for a more energetic and spirited shot. 

Victoria’s Top Tip
Instead of making children or pets pose for a photo, encourage them to play in the space you want to snap. People want to feel like they have stepped through the screen and into your home, so letting them be natural will only add to this. 

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Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.