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Monday, June 19, 2017

6 Tips to take the Best Instagram Photos

Famous Hawa Mahal of Jaipur, Rajasthan

Travel photography seems to be the rage on Instagram these days and the photos are so amazing that they tempt us to visit the destination portrayed in the photo. Have you wondered how the photos come out so vibrant and appealing? Well, as a travel photographer, I have figured out my own techniques to capture the best moments and these tips and tricks can help you take those eye-popping Instagram pictures.

Portrait of a Rawan Hatha Musician, Bikaner, Rajasthan

I have prepared these tips keeping the pink city of Jaipur in mind, but these handy tips and tricks can pretty much be applied to all locations in India if not the world over.

1) Make use of the golden hours

Colorful Mirror work on the rear walls of the Hawa Mahal, Jaipur, Rajasthan

A couple of hours during sunrise and sunset is what the photographers refer to as the golden hours. If you make a habit of getting up early, you will be able to make use of the soft color tones during these times. Not only do you get some of the best light during this moment, but you will also be able to see action that regular people miss. This is also the time to capture that mist, fog, dew drops, first rays of the sun, golden hues of the setting sun, frenetic activity of the starting day and so much more.

2) Engage in a conversation with the locals

Rajasthani Handlebar - pride of the Rajasthani men

Candid portraits and street scenes are a great way to get to know the destination. But, if you wish to make a solid connection, engage in a conversation with the locals, get to know them, ask for their permission and pretty much get invited into their comfort zone or homes. Not only do you get a solid personal story, but you bring some some amazing portraits and stunning frames.

Rajsthani man with big moustache in front of his silk scarf shop at Jodhpur

In the case of Jaipur, get to know about the iconic Rajasthani moustache, their colorful turbans, their delicious cuisine, their festivals, their language, their culture and so much more.

3) Explore the local hangouts

Colorful Jodhpuri shoes on sale at Jodhpur, Rajasthan

The best Instagram photos don’t necessarily come at the top tourist attractions, but at the places that are frequented by locals. In Jaipur, it is the markets, temples, lake sides and forts that attract the most locals who dazzle with their colorful attire and interesting mannerisms. For other cities, local hangouts could be bus or train stations, local bazaars, vegetable and flower markets, street business hubs, gardens or parks among others.

4) Keep a track of happening local events and festivals

The window portrait, Bikaner, Rajasthan

We all know how colorful our Indian festivals are! Add to it performances by local troupes portraying their culture and you have a cultural photography extravaganza. Before you reach a destination, do some background research for such events and festivals and if time permits, do try and experience these events and festivals up close and in real.

5) Hit the local eating joints

Rajasthani Thali at Jaipur, Rajasthan

Food is an integral part of Rajasthan’s culture and appeal. Personally, I would visit Jaipur simply for its lip smacking food. Starting from the iconic lassi to the famous Rajasthani Thali and from the mawa kachori to the ghewar dessert, not only is the food in Jaipur a gastronomic high, but these drinks, dishes and servings in traditional plates, glasses and other crockery make for fantastic photographs. If you want a win-win tip, hit the local eating joints and go home with a happy stomach and a camera full of yummy food pictures.

6) Check out trending destination hashtags and popular Instagram accounts

Beautiful play of colors inside the Durbar of Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

While it is certainly a lot of fun to discover the destination on your own, it requires a lot of time and effort and not everyone can afford that. Hence, for that quick boost, I would recommend checking the popular hashtags for a destination on Instagram along with popular destination related Instagram accounts. This way, you can check out the photo feed and select pictures that you would like to re-create or experiences that you would like to have for yourself. And when in doubt, you can always drop the owner of the Instagram account for tips and suggestions. You might also get lucky and get invited to a fantastic photography opportunity.

Jaipur by Sankara Subramanian   Expedia Insta Guide to India

I hope these tips and tricks makes your travel and travel photography experience a richer one. For more ideas, look up Expedia’s pet Instagram project where in they have created an Insta Guide to India. This guide which has been built in collaboration with popular travel photographers allows you to see and learn about some of the best spots to click those super attractive Instagram photos. I too have collaborated on this project with Expedia and you can see my suggestions for the pink city of Jaipur all complete with quick details and colorful pictures.



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