DIY

How Hipsters Make Their Instagram Photos Look So Damn Good

Neither kale nor man buns are necessary.

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VSCOcam (Free, iOS and Android) is a vintage hipster favorite (how appropriate) and has the best filters. Some hip favorites include the Aesthetic series and the Hype Beast series.

Afterlight ($0.99, iOS and Android) has super user friendly editing tools. It also lets you add hip, analog effects like "light leaks" and "dust".

Litely (Free, iOS) filters photos in a really subtle way. This is the app for bringing out the best in already-beautiful photos.

Instagram (free, iOS, Android), because duh.

If the lack of color and clarity doesn't make you look vague and alluring, I don't know what will.

STEP 1: Take a photo of something that makes you feel some type of way.

Silhouetted people, trees in the woods, an old woman contemplatively looking off into the distance, you get the idea.

STEP 2: Fade your colors.

Bring down the saturation but not so much that it looks gray-scaled.

STEP 3: Save your highlights.

This will make your photo look all ~hazy and mysterious~.

FYI: Be prepared to answer such questions as, Who does she hang out with? What does he do for a living? What is the meaning of life?

If you don't already take pictures of your food by standing on a chair, then what are you doing.

STEP 1: Find a photogenic restaurant or cafe

If they have wooden tables or white table sheets, you'll know it's the one. When ordering food, don't even bother with the menu. Scroll through photos on Yelp, and pick the one that *looks* the best. Taste is insignificant.

STEP 2: Increase the exposure.

Bring it up a couple notches. Restaurants and cafes usually have really inconsistent lighting, and brightening up your photo will help.

STEP 3: Slightly increase the contrast.

Be careful. A little bit of contrast can flatter a photo, but a lot of it can butcher it completely.

STEP 4: Sharpen your photo.

This is crucial. You want your followers to see all the pulp in your grapefruit and all the char on your potatoes.

Tip: Don't mind the people staring at you. They know nothing.

This is the type of photo that doesn't look too far off from a blank sheet of paper.

STEP 1: Put something in front of or on your white space.

And center it! Easy, right?

STEP 2: Adjust the white balance and brighten up your photo.

If you're indoors and under artificial light, your photo will look a little dim and yellow. Bring down the temperature ("warmth" in Instagram's editing tools) a few notches and increase the exposure.

STEP 3: Choose a filter that makes your pic look light and delicate.

Once you've made your pick, reduce your filter strength by at least 25%. The key is to make your edited photo appear unedited.

Tip: Feature a succulent, slightly wilted flowers, or some wood work. The rusticness of it all drips with hip juice.

If you have any current hobbies, forget about them. If you want to be Instagram famous with this aesthetic, your new hobby is to go out and find colored walls.

STEP 1: Make the color pop.

Play with the temperature (again, "warmth" in Instagram's editing tools) and slightly increase your photo's saturation.

STEP 2: Bring in an object of focus.

If you're using a colored wall, make sure it has something juxtaposed against it. An attractive human usually works well.

STEP 3: Make sure the blacks are black and the whites are white.

Don't use filters (unless they're really, really subtle) and opt for increasing shadows and contrast instead.

Tip: Throw in a fruit like a watermelon, grapefruit, and pineapple. You'll have to carry it around all day but it will be so worth it.

This photo makes your life seem *fast* and *furious*.

STEP 1: Get in the streets.

You'll know you've got a good shot if you had to dodge impending cars.

STEP 2: Make sure you can actually see the city.

Towering buildings will definitely cast shadows, so it's really important to correct the dimness of your photo by increasing your brightness and/or exposure.

STEP 3: Clarify your photo.

Architecture is an art so let it speak for itself by making it actually visible. The clarify tool on Instagram is called "Lux."

STEP 4: Add an illuminating filter.

But make sure you don't overdo the intensity. Reduce your filter by 50%.

Tip: If you don't already live in a metropolitan area, move to one. San Francisco, London, Sydney, and New York are trusty options.

If you're gonna try out this ambitious look, you're gonna have to go all in. Travel frequently, venture out into places you didn't know existed.

STEP 1: Visit national parks.

Or alternatively, venture out into the wilderness and find something yourself. This may put you at the risk of getting hurt or lost and never finding your way back, and we don't want that for you, so learn how to use the kind of map that isn't in your phone.

STEP 2: Make sure there's a focal point.

Consider portraiture, a vanishing point, a lighthouse, an animal, etc. Open landscape is nice, but adding a little something extra will give your audience something to remember.

STEP 3: Add a vignette at 30%.

The vignetting puts more focus onto your subject matter and makes it pop.

STEP 4: Bump up the contrast.

Nature and contrast are two peas in a pod. Peas are also found in nature.

Tip: Consider opening up a travel rewards card.