Top 5 Tricks to Snapping the Perfect Instagram Shot

Image Source: The Blog Market

Image Source: The Blog Market

In the age of social media, all anyone seems to want is to snap that perfect Instagram-worthy shot. But what is it that makes that shot so perfect? That’s the million dollar question! Today, we’re doing our best to help share our top five tips to what we believe will make your photos absolutely perfect. While there are so many things to focus on, our top five are composition, quality, lighting, aesthetic, and editing.

Composition

Image Source: Picture Correct

Image Source: Picture Correct

Do you remember learning about the rule of thirds in art class? Guess what, it’s still applicable! For those of you who haven’t heard of the rule of thirds or just need a little refresher, the rule is as follows: Draw a grid across your space with three lines equally spaced both horizontally and vertically, breaking it into nine equal parts. Just as important as the nine parts, if not more so, are the lines and intersections you have just created. Did you know that when viewing an image your eye is not naturally drawn to the center of a photo but to the points of intersection? It’s true! With that in mind, while framing your photo, try to place the point of interest along your lines, highlighting a certain spot at an intersection. When shooting portraits, it’s best to have your subject be off-center and aligned with your rule of thirds grid line instead of smack dab in the center, which can actually cause an awkward looking shot. By using the rule of thirds, you are taking time to intentionally plan out the composition and framing of your photo, which will show through in the quality versus an image you quickly snapped without a second thought.

Quality

Image Source: Venus Trapped in Mars

Image Source: Venus Trapped in Mars

With the ever expanding land of technology, it’s even more important (and easier!) to have a high quality image. There are a number of factors that play into the quality of an image, but here we’re talking about the actual resolution and size of your image. While our iPhones and Androids are getting more and more advanced cameras by the day, you’ll see real quality by picking up a “real” camera instead! A traditional camera will give you a much higher quality zoom, larger range, better features, and an overall higher quality image. And with the leaps and bounds that technology has improved, you can easily download images directly from your camera to your phone for quick posting. With all the free resources online, it’s no longer as intimidating to pick up a camera and learn the basics. Trust us, you’ll see a significant difference!

Lighting

If there is only one thing you can remember to focus on when taking your photos, it is the lighting! Having the proper lighting can make a world of difference in your images. Sure, we have the ability to easily manipulate the brightness of a photo, but nothing will truly compare to a photo taken in good lighting. In most cases, the optimum lighting is natural light. Whether you can have your subject be outdoors or in a room with lots of windows, having natural lighting should always be your top preference.

Aesthetic

Image Source: A Quiet Style

Image Source: A Quiet Style

One of the biggest keys to having a killer Instagram feed is your aesthetic. Whether it’s picking the same filter or editing style for all of your images or a theme for the subject matter, you want to give your feed a cohesive look that’s still unique to you. While it’s still acceptable to mix in a different style image here or there, the majority should have a sense of uniformity. A cohesive feed is an attractive feed!

Editing

The rise of social media has also resulted in a rise of photo and video editing applications. There are so many options to choose from! You’re no longer limited to the select few filters that Instagram allows you. There are hundreds of free apps that allow you to choose from additional varieties of filters and editing techniques.


However you choose to create your photos for Instagram, make sure that you’re creating something you are happy with and love to look at! Make sure that you’re still taking time to live in the moment and enjoy life offline too. There’s more to life than “doing it for the ‘gram” but if you’re going to do it for the ‘gram, you might as well have some extra tips to help you get the best shot possible!

Our Best Kitchen Tips & Tricks

IMAGE SOURCE: GREY LIKES WEDDINGS

IMAGE SOURCE: GREY LIKES WEDDINGS

Not everyone is a whiz in the kitchen, and that’s OK, but, it shouldn’t hold you back from cooking, baking, and trying new techniques! To help you conquer your fears, the Parsimony Inspired team has scrambled up all our best tricks and trades of the kitchen! These tricks will help you save time, money, and stress while cooking. So get ready to have a new and pleasant kitchen experience!


OUR TIPS

IMAGE SOURCE: THE KITCHN

IMAGE SOURCE: THE KITCHN

IMAGE SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

IMAGE SOURCE: NEW YORK TIMES

  • Freeze and store liquids (such as stock or juice) in portion sized bags/containers, and wine in ice cube trays for easy access while cooking! Make sure to freeze flat if using bags so you can stack liquids for better organization!

  • Buy grains and dried goods (rice, couscous, flour, sugar, etc.) in bulk and store in large mason jars or storage containers. This way, you can hide the large bags in storage and conveniently organize refillable containers in your cabinet! Label the containers with the ingredient and quick guide to cooking it!

  • Use a magnetic knife strip instead of a block. It saves counter space and eliminates the need to pull out every knife before you find the one you need!

  • Keep a large wooden cutting board on the counter at all times. You can use it to cut bread, veggies, as a serving tray, to prepare sandwiches conveniently!

  • Clean as you go! A clean kitchen will make you happier and there will be a less daunting pile of dishes when you are done cooking.

  • A microplane is the kitchen tool you will never know how you lived without. It can be used to zest citrus and grate cheese, chocolate, ginger, garlic, and whole spices!

  • Keep your knives sharp! A sharp knife is a safer knife!

  • Store tomatoes at room temperature! They last longer than they do in the fridge!

  • When freezing leafy greens, put a damp paper towel in the bag to decrease freezer burn!

  • Keep an oven thermometer in your oven at all times! Ovens vary, so you should know when you need to adjust the temperature (super important when baking!).

  • Learn the correct way to hold a knife a few different cutting techniques to make chopping a faster process


OUR TRICKS

IMAGE SOURCE: TWO TWENTY ONE

IMAGE SOURCE: TWO TWENTY ONE

IMAGE SOURCE: TASTY YUMMIES

IMAGE SOURCE: TASTY YUMMIES

  • Puree fresh herbs and freeze in oil in ice cube trays. This is a great way to always have fresh herbs on hand and a practical way to preserve an abundance of an herb in your garden!

  • Make large citrus ice cubes by freezing sliced citrus in water in muffin tins! Perfect for a pitcher of water on a warm summer day.

  • If slicing a large cut of meat into smaller pieces, slightly freeze the meat first for easier slicing!

  • Save and freeze your Parmesan rinds. They are the perfect flavor addition to soup stocks and stews!

  • Fresh eggs sink; old eggs float. Air bubbles under the shell are created by escaping gases through the shell pores as the egg ages.

  • Use unscented dental floss to cut through soft foods, like cheese and cake!

  • Roll citrus before juicing to release the juice trapped in the cells in the flesh.

  • Shred chicken in your mixer instead of tediously using forks!

  • Immediately place chopped potatoes in ice water to keep them white! This is also important to extract as much starch from the potatoes as possible when making fries!

  • Speed up banana ripening by placing in a paper bag! Bananas emit ethylene gas, and bananas ripen when in contact with the gas, so trapping the gas in a closed bag makes the fruit ripen faster!

  • If measuring a sticky food like honey, coat the measuring cup in cooking spray or oil first. The honey will pour right out!

  • Bring your crystallized honey back to life by placing the container in hot water for 5-10 minutes.

  • Use a veggie peeler to get rid of celery strings!

  • Place a damp dish towel under a slippery cutting board to keep it in place.

  • Grate frozen or cold butter if you don't have time to defrost it!

  • Save the bones and giblets from your roasted chicken to make bone broth and gravy!

  • Save your vanilla bean pod to make vanilla sugar! Just bury the pod in granulated sugar in an airtight container for 2 weeks.


Do you have a kitchen tip or trick we didn't share? Let us know!

Our Favorite Black Fiday Deals

Photo Source: Stephen Chernin

Photo Source: Stephen Chernin

Black Friday is just around the corner, and we want you brave souls who go shopping to get the best deals! Here is our list of the best and biggest Black Friday deals!


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  • Beats By Dr. Dre Beats Studio2 Wireless Over the Ear Headphones: $159.00, regularly $379.99
  • Kitchen Aid Professional 500 Series Stand Mixer: $199.99, regularly $499.99
  • Save up to $200 with activation of iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus

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  • 40% off Women’s Shoes and Boots
  • $39.99-$59.99 Women’s Cashmere Sweaters
  • 60% off Men’s Outerwear
  • 20% off all Sunglass Hut Sunglasses
     

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  • 50% off Time for Joy Holiday Toys, Treats, Apparel, and Accessories
  • 50% off You & Me 2-level Cat Tree and Vesper V-High Base Cat Furniture
  • 50% off Aqueon Aquarium and Zoo Med Reptile Starter Kits

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  • TLC 49” 4K Ultra HD 120 Hz Roku High Dynamic Range Smart TV: $349.99, regularly $379.99
  • GoPro HERO5 (black) plus free $50 Target gift card with purchase: $349.99, regularly $399.99
  • Dyson V6 Animal Vacuum: $249.99, regularly $499.99

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  • Nintendo Switch Console with Red and Blue Joy-Con: $299, regularly $337.99
  • Google Home plus $25 Google Express Offer: $79, regularly $129
  • Save $100 on Frozen Sleigh or John Deere Gator 12V Ride-On
     

Holiday Makeup Trends

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This winter holiday season boasts a wide variety of makeup trends, and we are so excited to try them all! Whether you just wear foundation or always have a full face of makeup, there is a trend to suit your style. We have listed our seven favorite makeup trends, and product suggestions, to help you recreate the looks!

Classic Red Lip
The classic red lip is a holiday makeup staple. It is bold, bright, and sexy. Keep the rest of your face neutral during the day, then spice it up with a smoky eye or cat eye for evening celebrations. We recommend any M.A.C Cosmetics lip products in the color Ruby Woo. It is super pigmented and complements all skin tones.

Clean Face & Strong Nudes
If you’re a concealer and done girl this trend is for you. The clean face & strong nudes trend focuses on natural beauty. Use beige and earth tones to enhance and accentuate your eyes, cheeks, and lips. Think natural glow and dewy skin. You can still be glamorous while keeping it simple. We love Urban Decay’s Naked Eyeshadow Palettes (they contain soft gold and rose hues), Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipsticks (there are numerous nude shades), and Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color Blush (the two neutral shades are amazing!).

Burgundy Smokey Eye
Burgundy is one of the richest and most flattering of all the fall colors. It looks beautiful on all skin tones and pairs perfectly with both brown and black liners. Wear it with a nude lip and slightly shimmery cheek to really make your eyes stand out. For a simpler look just blend the burgundy into your crease and lower lash line; for a bold look do a full burgundy smokey eye and blend with browns or pinks depending on how dark you want your smokey eye. Try Tarte’s Tarteist Metallic Shadow in Scarlet.

Metallic Makeup
Metallic makeup is transitioning from a fall trend to a winter trend and we love it! Metallics are shimmery and fun and the perfect way to express your personality via makeup. While fall metallics focus on gold tones, winter metallics focus on silver and blue tones. Add more metallic colors to your makeup palette for the holidays like red or purple metallic lips or green metallic eyeshadow. See our metallic trends 2017 article for product suggestions!

Glossy Lips
Channel your inner thirteen year old self for this winter holiday beauty trend-- glossy lips! Glosses are a great way to add shine and color to your lips without the fuss of smudgy lipsticks. Lip gloss can range from clear or neutral in color to bright and bold. Swipe a more subdued gloss across your lips if you want to highlight your natural beauty or are trying to accentuate your eye makeup. Use a more pigmented gloss to draw attention to your lips and show your fun personality. M.A.C lipglasses are amazing glosses that come in many colors, are not too sticky, and smell great!

Graphic Liner
The most daring holiday makeup trend this season is the graphic liner look. It is defined by sharp edges, unusual placement, open endedness, bold lines, and color. With the graphic liner, there is usually an absence of eyeshadow, since the liner is flashy enough on its own. Try an open ended cat eye or thick and squared off shape. Your favorite gel or liquid liner will work for this trend!

Long Lashes
Whether it’s accomplished with mascara or falsies, every woman strives to have long lashes. This holiday season super long lashes are the one beauty must have. If you have the time, skill, and patience invest in some false lashes and make your eyes bright and wide. If false lashes are not your style invest in mascaras and mascara wands that focus on lengthening your lashes. We love Benefit Cosmetics’ Roller Lash Curling Mascara. It completely eliminates the need to curl your lashes beforehand and your lashes will have never looked so long!