Take Instagram Photos that WOW

 Wish you could take the perfect instagram photo? The Confused Millennial shares 3 easy steps to instagram worthy photos that you can do at home for under $20. Cost effective and pretty! #winning!



In case you missed last weeks post, I shared 2 of my favorite apps for growing my following on Instagram by 600% in 30 days. The response was so overwhelming that I decided to write a follow-up post!

The most common question I got was:

“but how do I take Instagram-worthy photos”?

So this week I wanted to answer that question in detail:

1. Keep it simple. Think about the Instagram profiles you love they all usually have one main focus and a fairly neutral background.


So even though you may not have the best home office, or beach, or mountain to be your backdrop… you can still have a pretty awesome Instagram picture.

How can you achieve the above look?

FOAM BOARDS. Yep, remember back to middle school days where you would pick up a foam board for a school project? It’s time to get those again! You can pick up this nifty pack of 10 foam boards on Amazon… you might be wondering why I suggest 10… stick with me on this… so you know those super luxe photos you probably drool over:


A photo posted by Adrianna (@alabasterfox) on

Well what if I told you, you could make that happen for under $10?!? That’s right! You can pick up textured vinyl adhesives to stick on the foam boards and create an entirely different look. They come in marble, rustic wood, and white wood! How cool?!?


2. Use the “Rule of Thirds”. In photography there is something called the Rule of Thirds. You probably have seen the gridlines at some point while taking a photo (if not, get out your Iphone, go to settings, then to photos and camera, scroll down until you see grid, and switch it on)… well that grid helps you with the rule of thirds, see how it the frame is broken down into 9 sections? or 3rds? The goals with the rule of thirds is to have your main focus point/subject at the intersection of 2 or 3 points, rather than just centering the photo.

rule of thirds

It makes the photo more interesting and engaging, as opposed it just being centered or really far off center.




3. A DIY Lightbox! Cheap and easy! 


Want more lighting tips? Check it out–>

[RELATED] How To Create An At Home Photography Studio On A Budget!


Want more Instagram advice?

Click to get my full checklist of favorite apps for Instagram!

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  • Chelsea Karrenbrock
    May 13, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    These are wonderful tips! To take my insta pics, I use a plain white poster board and the effect is beautiful. I’m going to have to try out some vinyl adhesives for a different look! 🙂

    Chelsea | http://coffeewithchels.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 13, 2016 at 5:44 pm

      Love the white poster board! They come out so beautifully!

  • Casey Oakley
    May 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

    Great tips! I recently bought some foam board and marble contact paper and made my first super cheap background! Can’t believe that for so long I thought everyone except me had fabulous marble countertops …. when all along it was contact paper;)

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      OMG yay! I thought that too for so long haha

  • Amy Saunders
    May 13, 2016 at 9:00 pm

    This is great advice! I’ve actually been looking into getting a marble background off amazon because photos always look great! Also I’ve never really heard of the ‘3rds’ rule but that look me like a great idea so in definitely going to try that! Thanks!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed!

  • Becky Ginther
    May 14, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    I love my foam board! I need to get some other backgrounds off Amazon to switch it up now 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      Yay! can’t wait to see what new backgrounds you choose!

  • Happy Curious Life
    May 17, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Great post! I totally need these tips to help my Instagram feed out, I feel like a total Instagram newbie.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Haha I’m loving it! I just went HAM on Instagram and grew my following from less than 250 to over 3100 in less than 2 months!

  • Linnie Hughes
    May 18, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for the tips, I have such a hard time keeping my IG cohesive. The foam board idea is brilliant!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Yes! It can be so tough to stay consistent! I have spent so many hours studying it and seem to finally have a system down!

  • Amber Robinson
    May 18, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    awesome advice!!! I love my foam boards and contact paper or wrapping paper backdrops! Thanks for sharing the tricks of the trade! Great post!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Wrapping paper is great! I find it creases up really easily though which is why i made the switch to contact paper. Thanks for the support!

  • Nena
    November 30, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Foam boards are awesome! So is scrapping paper;)

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:53 am

      Yes!! I just learned that the other day!

  • Sweety Blossom
    April 14, 2017 at 9:01 am

    This is awesome even just for taking good photos with DSLR!

  • Brittany Wise
    April 14, 2017 at 9:52 am

    These are great suggestions! I’m always looking for better ways to use IG for a DIY blog 🙂

  • Chelsea
    April 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

    I love the IG account @abeautifulmess! Her photos are so pretty.

  • jessica
    April 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

    a DIY lightbox-genius!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:53 am

      haha that’s totally how I felt when I saw it!

  • Sarah Denny
    April 14, 2017 at 10:57 am

    these tips are so great! thanks for sharing! and i agree with jessica, DIY lightbox-geniius!!

  • Lyndsay Burginger
    April 14, 2017 at 11:09 am

    I need to pick up some more foam boards. It looks like amazon is the way to go (always)

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

      Haha it’s just so easy!

  • Lacee
    April 14, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Rule of thirds is definitely one that I have been focusing on. Thanks for sharing!

  • Anna Hubbard
    April 14, 2017 at 11:57 am

    These are all great tips – especially the foam board backdrops!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

      They are a game changer! I’ve also heard people buy the marble tiles form home depot as another option

  • gradybird
    April 14, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    This is great! Backdrops are my instagram bff for sure!

  • Maegan Clark
    April 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Ahh! These are all amazing tips! Thank you for sharing!

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    April 14, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    These tips are so great! I have been meaning to buy some posters boards for flat lays. I want to be more intentional about the rule of thirds. Thanks for these tips!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:54 am

      You’re welcome! Happy they could help!

  • Amanda @ A Good Hue
    April 14, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Love these tips! I’m off to check out those foam baords– I use wood and marbled paper rolls, which works great as well!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Do they roll back up when you are trying to shoot? or lay flat?

  • Silvia Marquez
    April 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    These are such great tips! I need those foam boards!!

  • Lauren Jane
    April 14, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    I need to get more foam boards! Not shockingly they don’t last all that long in my house lol! I really need to put together a DIY lighting area.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:55 am

      Haha! Yeah I keep mine in a protector thing tucked away to make them last, but they are so cheap it doesnt really matter!

  • She's Not So Basic
    April 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I had no idea about the rule of thirds!! It definitely makes sense.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

      It totally adds a new dimension!

  • Jessica Bradshaw
    April 14, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    These are great tips! Your Instagram photos are always beautiful. 🙂 Love the backdrops idea.

  • Katherine @ Slightly Savvy
    April 14, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    I love these tips! I actually used that hack for creating a marble backdrop, and it is so game changer. That acrylic paper is only like eight dollars, and a white posterboard is one dollar from target.

  • Emily Bendler
    April 14, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    These are great tips!! This is something I definitely need to work on!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Happy they were helpful!

  • Kristen @ TheSophisticatedGal
    April 14, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    I love all of these tips, especially the one about the rule of thirds 🙂 I can’t wait to start putting these tips into good use!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Excited to see what you do with them!

  • The Haunted Housewife
    April 15, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Ooo the vinyl sheets and foam board idea is GENIUS! I have vinyl sheets that I just kinda… roll out. I’m definitely gonna start sticking them to some foam boards! So much easier

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:57 am

      Yass! You do it once, then just take it out and don’t have to worry about weighing it down, rolling and unrolling ,etc.

  • Andrea
    April 15, 2017 at 7:32 am

    I wish I had known this weeks ago! Love the ideas! We do a ton of DIY home remodeling, so lining up the shot in that 2/3 space is really helpful for me to be cognizant of as I post. Thank you!

  • Elisha
    April 15, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I also have like some tips for instagram worthy post on my blog and yeah! I am totally agree with you! Love your ideas as well! Such a great post babe! Have a nice day and hope you could visit my blog too as well!

    Elisha | http://loveelisha.net/casetify-unicorn-pastels/

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Nice! I’ll have to check them out!

  • Krissie Aguilar
    April 15, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Great tips! I’ve been looking for new backdrops for my photos so I’m totally going to check out the adhesive links you posted!

  • thesofieyahdiaries
    April 15, 2017 at 9:38 am

    I love these tips!! Thank you 🙂 Your IG is good 😉


  • Caitlyn Stone
    April 15, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I’ve always wondered what lightboxes were or how people used them. That video at the end was super helpful!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Haha when I saw it, I was like GENIUS!

  • Miss ALK
    April 15, 2017 at 11:44 am

    It took me such a long time to get a good Instagram rhythm down! Definitely trial and error. 😉 Some good tips here!

    xoxo A

  • Miss Chocoholic
    April 15, 2017 at 11:45 am

    The foam board with adhesives roll is such a great idea! Going shopping now!

  • Rachel at RKCSouthern blog
    April 15, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Lighting is everything IMO when trying to get that perfect shot!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

      AGREED! You can’t out filter bad lighting!

  • Cameron
    April 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Great tips! I actually use a giant poster board for most of my pics haha! Definitely need to look into those adhesive rolls though. The lighting thing can be tricky sometimes, but thankfully we can tweak that a little bit!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 10:59 am

      They definitely add a new dimension!

  • Jessica Lam
    April 15, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Omg the foam board with vinyl adhesives is such an amazing idea!

  • Nicole Parise
    April 15, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Great ideas! I have a lightbox somewhere, I need to find it! Thanks for the tips 🙂

    xx nicole

  • Jessica
    April 15, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    These are such fun tips! Who knew you can easily make your own props!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thank you! I have a whole box of props in my closet now!

  • Danielle Greco
    April 15, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    This post is sooo good! I need to order all of that off amazon 🙂 my marble slab is too small so that’ll be way better

  • Rosalyn O.
    April 17, 2017 at 9:02 am

    Awesome tips!! I really enjoyed watching the video, it’s something I want to do!

  • Bella Bucchiotti
    April 17, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Such great tips babe, I love posting bright and clear inst photos!

  • Shani Ogden
    April 17, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Great tips Rachel! I have a couple of foam boards that I’ve used for some flat lays but I need to get some variety in the backgrounds.

  • Karate and Caviar
    April 18, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    The tips are great! I have only recently put more thought into what I’m posting but don’t really have a clear concept yet.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

      It takes some time to refine for sure! I went through a few phases

  • Kayla Rivoli
    April 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    I’m taking a photography class right now and we’re learning about rule of thirds! Great post!

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Oh no way! that’s so cool!

  • Jiawun
    April 18, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    This is such a great post! I LOVE my marble vinyl adhesive but I haven’t been able to find rustic wood ones. 🙁 Thanks for the amazing tips x

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

      They have them in the link above I think! The people that make the marble one I linked do a wood one too!

  • Marie Ernst
    April 19, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    Your photos are beautiful! You are amazing at taking them – so inspiring

  • Alex
    April 19, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    You are KILLING it on Instagram lately! I love these tips!! I really need to start using some of them.

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