How to make your photos pop!!!

How to make your photos pop!!!

There is a lot more that goes into that ‘perfect’ Instagram photo than what meets the eye. A single effortless-looking photo is a lot harder to take then you might think. There are so many factors in making a photo look perfect and unique. So, if you’re scrolling through Instagram wondering how you can get such nice photos, consider these elements in your next photo. They will really make your photos pop!

  1. Shadows 

Play with shadows, to enhance a photo. Shadows can change a photo completely if used properly, but they can also ruin a photo. 

To enhance a photo using shadows; 

  1. Find interesting and unique shadows cast by leaves, fences or trees. 
  2. Shoot at ‘golden hour’.
  3. Shoot in ‘black and white’ or add a filter after, for a dramatic effect. 


  1. Capturing the photographer’s shadow in the photo.
  2. Losing the subject in the shadow.


2. Foreground and background

Playing with shapes, colours and objects in the foreground and background is a great way to make your photos pop. Regular photos can look complex and eye-catching. 

To enhance a photo using the foreground and background; 

  1. Change the focus point to make an element (foreground or background) sharp and the other blurry. 
  2. Use natural resources to create an interesting foreground.


  1. Blocking the subject with the foreground.
  2. Losing the subject in the background. 

3. Props 

Props can be a fun way to make your photos pop. They can be used to pose with or as fillers in the background. You can also use props to display a theme, especially if you are taking flat-lays of objects. 

To enhance a photo using props; 

  1. Stick to a colour theme. Either one colour or a certain colour palette 
  2. Stick to a theme, like travelling.
  3. Make sure the props draw focus to the subject, not away from it.


  1. Using too many props.
  2. Clashing themes (eg. a ball and a pen).


4. Lighting 

Lighting is very important for any photo, it can change the way a photo looks completely. Photos with good lighting will look professional and eye-catching, and bad lighting can make a photo look awful. 

To enhance a photo using lighting; 

  1. Use natural light source (eg. sunlight).
  2. Use coloured lights for a futuristic look.
  3. Shoot during ‘golden hour’.


  1. Shooting the subject against a light (unless you want a silhouette).
  2. Using flash, it looks unnatural.

5. Colours 

Having a colour scheme is very important to make the photo look cohesive and well balanced. You can either use one colour or a range of colours that fit well together. 

To enhance a photo using lighting: 

  1. Use lots of shades of the colour.
  2. You can use natural colours (like browns and greens) or ‘artificial’ colours (like pink and purple).


  1. Picking colours that clash.
  2. Having too many colours in the one image (unless you’re shooting a rainbow!)


6. Editing 

Photo editing has a bad reputation as it is often used as a way to manipulate a subject to change its appearance, but that is a very small part of photo editing. By brightening colours, changing the contrast and more of your photo you can take it from a regular old photo to a professional-looking image. 

To enhance a photo using editing; 

  1. Change colours by brightening or deepening them depending on the mood of the photo. 
  2. Crop your photos to focus on the main subject and make them look cleaner.
  3. Change the brightness and contrast to sharpen an image and make the subject pop. 


  1. Over editing.
  2. Manipulating shapes.




How to make your photos pop


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