Instagram Tips.

Instagram is my favorite social media 'thing.'  
I love it.  
It is like expresso blogging~ just snapshots of life. 
That's it.  
A peek into a person's ordinary~ and sometimes not so ordinary~ moments. 

Because I am a photo freak, I put a lot of effort into my Instagram feed. 
I have the iPhone 5s, upgraded from the 4s about a year ago.
It has the capability of taking amazing photos.  
I use to shoot all my blog photos with my Nikon D7000.
But I am clumsy. 
And I already broke a Nikon camera by dropping it one too many times.
(A very expensive mistake.)
So, it is just easier to use my phone for most photos. 
It is always with me.  
It is small.
And I have one of those ugly Otter cases, so it doesn't matter how many times I drop it.

I love my iPhone camera.
And because I spend so much of my photography time using it, 
I thought I'd share my best/most used tips with you. 
I am not an expert or a real photographer...but I like to pretend I am.
So, pretend with me and act like what I'm writing matters.
And then tag me in your awesome photos...
So I feel like maybe I had something to do with your awesomeness;).

(No, I am not... Tag me.  @kristacanary)

do it.  get up real close to your subject.  and then tap away.
it messes with the focus and looks totally rad.  
just make sure you tap on the part you want to focus on...
and then enjoy watching everything else get a little fuzzy.


get on their level.
lie on the floor with your butt in the air.
or squat awkwardly. 
it looks weird in public. 
you won't see those people staring at you ever again anyhow~
but  you will have a great photo forever.


just do it here and there.
only keep the important part.
it makes you look like you know what you're doing, photography-wise.
even if you don't. 
(I don't know what I am doing half the time...
so the smoke shot took three people standing around a shotgun, 
holding it perfectly still and shielding it from the breeze...
Thank you awesome husband and brother.)


get RID of distractions.
I love a good,old painted building.
or a run-down shed
(awesome, cuz we have one of those!)
basically, a non-distracting space that allows a photo to pop.
(that is one of my fave Niamh photos, on the left.)


we live in a dungeon.
an A-frame house with no windows along the length of it.
so, I have to play around with light A LOT.
natural light (I NEVER use my flash) is so sparse...
but tapping the screen (TAP to mess with light, too)
will usually allow me to grab just enough for a decent photo.
and shadows are okay~
don't be afraid of a good shadow, peeps.


it is not my favorite type of photo,
but we are all posers now and then;). 
this is Philly being 'Rick' from The Walking Dead.
(no, he is not allowed to watch the show. no matter how much he begs.)
and both of my kiddos in their Halloween costumes.
Mable and Dipper Pines.
Who else is obsessed with Gravity Falls??


on the flip side of that, 
sometimes the 'life shots' are not spectacular from a photography standpoint.
but, they are some of my very favorites.
I snapped a photo of this 'dad-son talk' after baseball practice, from inside the car.
it is probably my very favorite photo ever of my boys.
and this is Niamh.
taken at a stoplight.
I can't really explain her sometimes~
but that's why a photo is worth a thousand words.


you should take photos of yourself.
so your kids can look through them when you are 80 and talk about 
how cool/stylish/weird you were.  
there is the 'hold-the-phone-infront-of-you-in-a-mirror' selfie.
and also the timed photo selfie.
(I use the TimerCam app)
don't be afraid to Instgram your own mug.


what do you love to take photos of?
(besides my babies) I have a thing for books and coffee mugs.
take photos of what you love.
they are not wasteful shots~ it is part of what makes your life
special and interesting.


get this app, moms.


A Beautiful Mess.
another fun app.
too many photos with doodles and writing in an Instagram feed will
start to make my face twitch...but a couple here and there add some funky.
just don't #abeautifulmess it up on every awesome photo you take.
it can take away from a perfectly magnificent photo~
but it can also make an average photo awesome.
know the difference.


the Elusive Man.
this guy hates having his photo taken.
he doesn't understand how cute he is.
especially with a 5 o'clock shadow and a cut-off, muscle shirt...
for the guy (or girl) in your life who hates photos~
turn off the volume.
and snap away.
and then lie.
okay, don't lie because that is bad.
just take a good photo and then when they see it roll up on your Instgram feed, 
they will fake-complain...with a half smile.
because they know you just made them look 


it is my favorite.
do it sparingly.
because life is in color.
but those timeless moments just look a little cooler in black & white.
so edit away:).


i don't know what to say except,
have some.
get up high.
or far away.
or close.
down low.
stand on the table.
or hang 50 feet over the edge of the Battleship NJ 
to capture your son's little fingers holding on to his favorite place in the whole world....
do what you need to do for the amazing photo.
(just don't die doing it.)


and then laugh at all the goofy shots in between your great ones.

like when your kid draws the 12 disciples on the chalkboard wall.
and you are so proud you photograph him accidentally under the arrow.
that points to Jesus.

or when you Instgram your husband.
and people think you are having drinks with one of the cast from the Jersey Shore.
funny, because we really were at the Jersey Shore. 


and realize that maybe 2% off the photos with your kids turn out the way you
imagined when you clicked the camera button.

It is okay, though.
I can't wait to show Niamh's future crush my stack of 
'that's not funny, Niamh' photos.
they just might be funny after all;)...


Hope this was either informative or made you laugh.
Either way, I am happy.
You can follow my Instagram @kristacanary .
And if you leave a comment here, make sure you include your Instagram name! 

Happy photo-taking!


  1. I am an absolute IG [that's me trying to be cool like Kira, lol], aka instagram crazy addict. I love it and often a photo just isn't a photo unless it has a filter! Have you seen the instagram funny youtube take off? I can not do lo-fi now without singing it in my head, lol! http://youtu.be/Nn-dD-QKYN4 xx

  2. Thanks for the tips Krista, I love messing round with my phone camera too, just got those apps.
    I must use Instagram more, I'm @beckheth, I already follow you ;) I love seeing your pics,
    Hugs, Becky xx

  3. Love this post Krista and your amazing instagram pics. I haven't done the whole instagram thing, I'm not sure about their 'rights on the photos' idea. So I'm a little shy about it. But I LOVE with a capital LA, your gorgeous instagram feeds. Your photography advice is bang on too! Mwah x

  4. wow, what an amazing article Krista! I always love reading your posts. thanks for sharing these hints :)

  5. Thanks for the tips Krista, i follow you & love your photos. I'm Kacey1200 & should really take more photos as i love playing with them & making them look sooo much better than they are. xx

  6. Thanks for cheering me up with your photos (and words) on a miserable Monday morning here in the UK. I have no idea what an instagram is and I don't think I want to overload my brain with anything more than it's got in now. Hazel x

  7. I love reading your posts and looking at your feed. You are awesome and Im thankful that you are transparent. My instagram name is Pinkbeast2- I would be honored if you would check out my feed. May the Lord continue to bless you, your family, and your ministry. Abiding in Him, Tiff

  8. Thank you, Krista!!! I just entered the world of Apple with an iPhone 5c and just getting into instagram (have left you some comments, came looking for you right away!) I love photography and have a Nikon D90 but you're right, our phone is always on us so this is awesome. Thank you so much for all the tips!! Have a wonderful day!

  9. I still have a dumb phone so can't instagram, but when I grow up and get a "real" phone, I know I will go crazy with it!! Thanks for showing us your little corner of the world, your posts always either make me laugh or cry... or think.... which is a good thing!!!!

  10. But he does look like Vinny in the pic!! lolol.

    Love the tips. I have a sucky droid with an even suckier camera. So mine come out dark even with flash & sunlight. But next yr we WILL get iPhones. I have opted against it long enough. I'm excited about May 2014. lol.

    In the meantime, I can certainly apply your tips to my phototaking. I'm an IGGY (i like to call it, and am constantly taking pix.

    x0, D

    1. Damaris, my fave app for editing dark photos is camera plus. Totally does the trick!!

  11. I don't have instagram nor an iphone, but this was adorable! I'll keep these tips in mind for when I do get instagram!!!

  12. Lovely tips, Krista!! Such a great post! I'm rinnester on IG!! And I have an otter case too!!

  13. This is so cute and useful!!!!
    I am SO using those tips :D!!


  14. This is so timely! LOVE IT!

    We just upgraded our lives, er phones, from basic this weekend. And today I signed up for my Instagram account...YAY!

  15. eek!
    love niamh's bangs
    she's as beautiful as her mama :)

  16. You've captured some great moments with your iphone, and thank you for the tips! I'm always stressed out that I'm taking "iphone pictures" and they won't be good enough for my blog, but you've made me see how beautiful they can be!

  17. LOve you guys :-) Awesome pics made me smile

  18. Hello,Krista, Made a purchase using 40% off ad. I did not see where I could put FRIDAY40 to receive the discount. If it's easier, you can just refund the difference back to my account. Thank you so much. Please let me know you receive this message.

  19. I just love your "joie de vivre". I've been following you on instagram for awhile, and I have to agree- it's my favorite app. You haven't taken a bad photo yet- and I'm inspired by your pictures (especially the ones of your kiddos). Keep it up! And follow me @melodylynn

  20. Hi Krista thanks for the tips. I love Instragram. You're pictures are great. I can't believe how much the children have grown up now. They are the image of you and Phil.

    Thank you for you creativity. Through your pictures and your beautiful digi and stamps. I will always be a fan.
    Hannah you don't need a iphone for Instragram. I have an android phone, I just downloaded the app. Great I love it.

  21. I've been following you for quite some time (bekimariee) and always look forward to your updates x

  22. This was absolutely darling! It made me laugh and smile you kids are so cute I love the way you look at life (btw congrats to giving your life to Jesus last year(: )!

  23. Funny! I totally got out of hand with a Beautiful Mess and I knew it but couldn't resist! lol .. I am loving your blog :) ig: weesiren

  24. Holy Cannoli, girlfriend!! ~You are SOOO, soo pretty!!!! QUESTION for you--- do you back up all of your iphone shots elsewhere that you might recommend, so you're able to then delete them from your iphone ? Or, like me, do you have a seriously (annoyingly-long) album just sitting there in your phone, wasting storage space ??? =D Tootles!!



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