Instagrammable photo styling— 9 things you can’t ignore

Where to put Instagrammable vignettes in your business

Bloggers or small businesses — are you making the most of a huge marketing opportunity by creating Instagrammable style spots?

You’re missing out if you’re not planning how to get your space ready for sharing on social media.

What if you don’t know where to start?

Take the guesswork out of it.

Start by creating an Instagrammable style spot.

What’s an Instagrammable style spot?

A style spot is basically a vignette. That’s a tightly defined area in your space with some carefully arranged props.

Your vignette should tell a story.

It’s like a mini-stage, where everything you add has purpose.

Where to put your Instagrammable style spot

If you’re planning to add some photogenic vignettes to your business, you need to get the location right.

Here’s a list of 9 things to think about before you create your style spot.

  1. Natural light
  2. Standing back
  3. Waiting area
  4. Backdrop
  5. Negative space
  6. Verticality
  7. Eye-level
  8. Stopping shine
  9. Testing it

I’ll go into each one of those things in more detail now.

If you’re a skimmer, skip to the end and get your free checklist, which sums it all up.

Deep dive: 9 essentials for Instagrammable style spots

1 Natural light

Near a source of natural light works best.

Try outside, at a door or facade.

Or put your style spot indoors, near windows or glass doors.

It doesn’t have to be too bright. Just enough to take a photo without needing flash or artificial light.

Flash can make any subject look harsh. Generally, it’s best avoided.

instagrammable interiors natural light

2 Stand back

Is there enough space for visitors to stand back and take a photo?

If it’s too cramped, the photo opp won’t work.

Try it out by standing back for some test photos. Always use your phone, rather than a fancy camera, for test shots. That’ll give you a better idea of how your set-up works for most Instagrammers.

creating for Instagram

3 Waiting area

Waiting areas are perfect for a style spot. This should be your go-to area, if you’re got one.

Pick somewhere your visitors pause naturally. Then give them something to look at. Or sit in. Or stand in front of.

If you have a waiting area in your business, this is the obvious spot to start.

interior design waiting areas

4 Backdrop

Check what’s going on with your walls and surfaces. Have you got room to install a backdrop?

This is really effective and doesn’t take up any floor space. Perfect for commercial spaces, where every centimetre of space must work hard.

Think about installing a sign, flower wall, green wall, mural, graffiti or some other kind of artwork. A quote can work well — just check the position so that visitors can get in front of it for the shot.

Instagrammable wall backdrops

5 Negative space

You need to leave some empty space (where there’s nothing going on) in your vignette.

Too much clutter overwhelms our busy brains. That’s why our eyes favour cognitive ease above cognitive load.

Leaving some negative space means that your important visuals stand out.

Watch out for clutter and distractions and give the eyes a rest too.

negative space Instagram photography

6 Vertical

Does the space work vertically, in portrait rather than landscape?

This is important. Most social media apps use this ratio. Instagram relies heavily on square images, so it’s worth checking if squaring off an image works too.

Instagram vertical square photos

7 Eye-level

Can you add some drama at eye-level?

It’s the perfect place for a prop or backdrop. Anywhere between chest and eye level is easiest to photograph. That’s why marketers use eye-level displays in shops to showcase products they’re pushing the hardest.

Instagram photography eye level subject

8 Stop shine

Watch out for shiny reflections. Shiny surfaces are much harder to photograph than matt ones.

Test out mirrors, glass frames and shiny objects. If in doubt, choose matt over shine when you shop for props. Unnecessary glare and reflection can ruin a good pic.

Instagram photograph remove shine

9 Test it

Grab your phone and take plenty of test shots as you create your style spot.

Check for brightness, clarity and impact.

Do this as you go along, rather than afterwards. It’s easiest to add one element at a time, then check again. This makes it simpler for you to see if the style spot starts to look cluttered.

Instagram photography test shot

Your free Instagrammable style spot checklist

You can download a free copy of this style shot checklist here. It summarises all these takeaways in a handy printable.

If this spurs you on to experiment with stylish vignettes using what you have, check out my free online course.

Find out more marketing psychology and styling tips from Virtual Gold Dust — and discover how to turn followers into fans using brainy styling.



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Virtual Gold Dust | Sue Moore

Virtual Gold Dust | Sue Moore


Marketers & copywriters — I help you do your own marketing, with a twist of psychology.