If you've been keeping up with the latest trends on Instagram, then you know that shadow pictures are so in this summer. Every single one of your friends is going to be taking their phone outside on sunny afternoons to snap a pic of the outline of their outfit and their wine glass before virtual happy hour. Naturally, you want to hop on the artsy bandwagon and get the 411 on how to take shadow pictures for Instagram, too.
You don't need the greatest editing apps on the market in order to be part of this trend and capture a photo that'll make your followers gasp. You just need to make the most of the sunshine and capture moments in their simplest form. To do this, you may need to be mindful of how you can manipulate your shadow. For instance, you can move your arms or legs, or hold items that are interesting shapes — like flowers or the book you're currently reading when its pages are spread. In addition, you may need to flip your lens around when you're taking a selfie and give the natural textures of the space you're in the spotlight.
That's the thing about shadow photos on IG: It's more about where you are and what you're doing there, rather than who you're with and what your #OOTD is. You want to show off the sand, grass, ocean, and your reflection living its best life. Here's how to capture a photo that hits all those marks.
1. Focus On The Textures Around You
Shadow pictures are a major trend in the peak of summer for a reason: There's much more potential to make use of the natural textures around you. This may be the lush grass near your back door or the sand that's covering the nearby beach.
When taking your own shadow picture, focus on those calming or rough textures. Use them to set the scene of where you are, and adjust your props accordingly. If you're at the beach, your photo may show you holding up a cocktail umbrella or a pair of cute sunglasses, which both would pair nicely with the sand or saltwater rushing into the shore.
2. Make Use Of A Wine Glass Or Mirror
Glass and mirrors can both have such interesting effects when they're placed into light. That's why when you're snapping the shadow pic of your dreams, you should make use of them. Hold up a wine or drinking glass and watch the sun beams run through it. Then, look down at your shadow, where that glass may appear see-through or create a tiny rainbow.
The mirror — especially if it's a tiny handheld one — can have the same effect and can really jazz up a shadow picture and make it stand out from the rest circulating on IG. (Be sure to not look directly into the sun's reflection in your mirror!)
3. Hold Up Items That Are Unique Shapes
Shadows toss our silhouettes onto the ground. They're not this direct reflection of us or what we're holding. Make note of this when you're taking a shadow pic and want it to come out artsy and clever. Hold up items that have a unique outline like a hair scrunchie, a skateboard, a bouquet of flowers, or a funky lamp.
This is not the time to show off your film camera, because it'll just show up a rectangle on the ground. A mug with its handle will be way more interesting.
4. Bump Up The Contrast When You're Editing
To make your shadow pic really stand out on IG, you may want to bump up the contrast when you're applying a nifty preset or going through the editing process. This will let the dark outline pop and the sun beams appear brighter than they actually are. It'll also give your photo some depth by pulling out any little or not usually noticeable shadows throughout the rest of the pic.
5. Always Look For Other Shadows
Last but not least, taking an artsy and clever shadow picture is all about looking for those other shadows that should make an appearance in your frame — or be the subject of it altogether. Currently on IG, you probably see a lot of people snapping pics of their own shadow on a sunny day. But, the outline of a palm tree that's casted on the ground or your best friend throwing a peace sign up in the air may create the artsiest picture of them all.
When you're out and about looking to snap some pics, be sure to take a moment to look around you. Appreciate what natural subjects the Earth is providing you with, and don't be afraid to ask your BFF to hold up their coffee and be a model for a clever, summery photo shoot.