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16 Life-Changing Instagram Tips From Fashion Blogger Margaret Zhang

All we wanna do is flat lay like you.

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This is Margaret Zhang, 22-year-old Australian fashion blogger extraordinaire.

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Beyond her work on blog Shine By Three, Margaret is also a writer, stylist, and law student.

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But, more than anything, Margaret is an Instagram queen.

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So naturally, when presented with the chance, we asked her to tell us everything she knows about getting a good photo.

1. Don't over edit.

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"I use a lot of apps, but I don't use the internal Instagram filter," Margaret tells BuzzFeed Life. "I actually only use the apps to enhance. I take out weird shadows with Snapseed, take out weird colours with Lumiensce, and find VSCO Cam is a good colour corrector."

2. Good lighting is everything, so try shooting in the morning or the afternoon.

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"When you shoot in the middle of the day you end up with strange shadows on your face - and if it's not your face, the objects in the photo get weird shadows. It's better to shoot when the lighting is just really soft and there's no direct sunlight."

3. Don't bother trying to get a good photo with flash, or in dim lighting.

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Unless, of course, you're happy with a grainy photo.

4. Set up your outfit flat lays on the floor, on a large piece of cardboard, or a photogenic rug - if you've got one handy.

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5. Put the ~hero~ clothing item in the middle and make everything fan out from that.

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"Generally speaking, I use shoes as cornerstones to establish the square in my outfit shots," says Margaret.

6. Then get up on a step ladder, or a table, or a chair to get the shot.

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Be careful.

7. Always fill in all the gaps in your photo.

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"Put in the key things for the colour scheme you want, and then just fill the rest of the space with nondescript metallic items."

8. When taking photos of your food for Instagram, again, make sure you're keeping that square full.

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"Fill the background with your drink, or salt and pepper shakers towards the edges. Add in any flowers that are on the table, or the meal of whoever you're with."

9. Don't be afraid to stand on your chair to get the perfect table snap.

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Bonus tip: Make friends who won't disown you when you do this.

10. Enhance the saturation when editing.

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Really make those colours POP.

11. If the lighting is yellow, adjust the temperature of the image and make everything a little more blue.

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Make it all a little ~cooler~.

12. But if you’re shooting under fluorescent lighting, warm up the temperature of the image.

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Make your desk look better than ever.

13. When it comes to travel photos, the trick is getting there before the rest of the tourists.

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Basically, use those European sleep-ins to your advantage and rise when the sun does.

14. When asking someone to take a photo of you when you’re feeling your look, tell them exactly how you want it framed.

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"I'll just be like: 'Put me in this bit of the grid, and make sure my feet are at the bottom of the frame' - that way they can't shoot from a high angle, they need to take the camera down to eye level," says Margaret.

15. Always take a selfie with the same hand as your good side.

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Knowing which side is your good one will help in this step.

16. And always avoid backlighting.

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You've got to show off what you've got. After all, isn't that what Instagram's all about?

Margaret Zhang is the face of Clinique's new Face Forward campaign, which facilitated this interview.

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