Crush Your Instagram Like A Supermodel

Everyone wants to magically transform themselves and their photos into supermodel quality. After growing my Instagram account from 500 to 6,000+ followers in about 3 months, I’ve learned what Instagram portrait styles raise the roof on your Instagram house.


Portraits are easy.


Grab a friend and ask them to take a lovely photo of you. Make sure you’re happy with how you look (everyone will say you’re beautiful, but if you don’t like how you look you won’t love the pic). Then show your friend this article as a reference and ask them to recreate one of the styles.


I’ve had the pleasure of photographing supermodel Liza Kei over the last few weeks. Liza is my perfect portrait model šŸ˜‰ You can find her on Instagram here, and my Instagram (with loads of her portraits!) here.


Here are 12 beautiful styles on which to draw inspiration when you’re planning your next portrait session!


#1 The Straight Chillin’

This is a full-body shot centered in the photo frame.


Add some movement into the frame by crossing your legs, lifting one up, or positioning your arms. This is a classic, but a goodie for sure.


Ā instagram supermodel portrait


#2 The High Roller

This is a headshot positioned with negative space that occupies the top half of the frame. There’s a lot of room for play here looking up, or to the sides with your eyes.


The negative space on the top of the frame leads the headshot to be a little more creative and interesting.


instagram portrait headshot


#3 The Standard

This is a half-body-shot. You can center the subject (our lovely Liza in this case) in the photo, or Ā have them looking away from the camera.


Not quite a full body, but more than the headshot itself.


instagram centered portrait


#4 TheĀ Creative

ThisĀ is another headshot. I love to position these with lots of negative space on the top of the frame (just a personal preference).


Creatives are left-brainedā€”hence the portrait is in the bottom left cornerĀ of the frame.


how to take an instagram portrait


#5 TheĀ Analytical

Yet another headshot. This one is positioned in the bottom right corner.


Right-brained people are analytical, and so that’s the name of the style! Again, I love to have negative space at the top of the frame, but you are welcome to position your subject closer to the top.


how to take instagram portraits


#6 TheĀ Bling-Bling

If your model (or you!) has bling, this is the opportunity to show it off!


This is a torso shot, and is great for any sort of outfit and accessory details (like Daniel Wellington watches!). This focuses your attention on watches, necklaces, waistlines and shirts.


Plus cutting the frame off in the face leaves a little mystery and curiosity.


detailed portrait shot for instagram


#7 TheĀ One-of-a-Kind

A full body portrait taken off center in your photo can add a lot of personality and character.
Play with different poses and posture to make it more dynamic. I also really love when the sidewalk is parallel with the top of the frame.


how to take an instagram portrait


#8 TheĀ Lunch Break

Don’t forget about sitting portraits!


I usually try to get the entire body in my sitting portraits. I find them to be more dynamic. Have your model (or you if the model is you!) play with different poses, crossing legs, turning their head away, playing with their hair and more.


This shot is slightly off center. I rarely will place a sitting portrait in the dead center of a frame. That’s too much to be expected for me, but your shots are up to you ;-).


how to take an interesting instagram portrait sitting


#9 TheĀ “I’ve Got Props”

This is the time when you’re portrait can infer more than just your face. You have the opportunity to tell more of a story using props in your photos.


I love that most of the attention here is on Liza’s eyes. The composition also takes on a straight, centered line from top to bottom bringing some light into her necklace, the hat, and her hands.
using props in instagram portraits


#10 TheĀ Bird Eye

This portrait is taken with a view from the top.


I love the personality that can be drawn from a subject with varying perspectives. Taking a portrait above your subject can place an interesting emphasis on their feet, hands and what they are doing in the photo.


This adds another element into storytelling. We added props too for even more texture, and information in the photo.


taking a bird eye portrait


#11 TheĀ Super-Meta

This is your opportunity to take one of those crazy-phone shots. Make sure you use #throughmyiphone.


These are some of my favorite portrait photos. I love playing with perspective through devices. It always looks so interesting!


Make sure to focus the photo on the phone so you can see what’s actually in the photo. This also adds dimension into the shot.
how to take a meta instagram portrait


#11 TheĀ Celebration

This isĀ an action shot. Ask your subject to jump, and celebrate!


Taking this photo will require the “burst function” on the iPhone or a super rapid shutter speed. You’ll probably take approximately 20-50 photos. Then you’ll get to look through and choose the best shot.


There are lots of varieties of action shots. Have fun and try different jumping poses!


Pro Tip: Have your model arch their back and/or legs and arms to create more movement and dynamic poses. They look more dramatic when the subject bends their legs and really “gets into it!”


how to take an action portrait for instagram


#12 The “Two is Better than One”

Throw a friend in it! Portraits always look more fun and inviting with more people. Ask a friend to join the action… literally!


I did take all of the photos in this post, though this particular photo credit goes out to Austin. Fun comes in pairs. Try your hand at multiple subjects, and action!


how to take an action shot for instagram


Did you enjoy this post? Have more portrait styles to recommend? Let us know in the comments!