Ever notice how some Instagrammers have these pictures that just seem to draw you in? You can't put your finger on it, but you know it when you see it. There's something about them that's just different from all the others, and it makes you want to slow your scroll and take a second to get lost in it for a second.
I recently found out why this is, and it's so simple, it's stupid. It doesn't require any fancy backgrounds, professional gear, or even a DSLR. Anybody can do this, even someone who's just getting started.
Want me to just shut up and tell you what it is, already??
All you need for a compelling Instagram photo is something in the foreground. Super easy, right? I told you it was!
Including something in the foreground (like my adorable pup, Moxie, here), gives you another layer in your photo. When you include both the background and the foreground, they work together to frame the subject—in this case, me and my coffee cup. Why is that important? Because it makes the subject stand out without being too on-the-nose. You have to look longer and think more about the photo...and that's what draws people in.
Another cool thing about this strategy is that it's a great tool for telling a story. (Yeah, yeah, that's kind of a pun.) There's more context to the photo. Instead of just a cup of coffee and my headboard, you also see my cozy blanket. I'm showing a vignette of a cozy morning in bed, wrapped up in a blanket, with a hot cup of coffee and a book.
I've noticed that not a lot of people on Instagram use this trick, and those who do are typically professional photographers. Know what that means? If you try this out, you're taking your photos to the pro level, AND you're going to stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Nowadays, I try to incorporate the foreground in my photos as much as possible. I do it for my regular, hanging-out-at-home photos, and I even use them with my clients' sessions. It gives every image a personal touch, and like I mentioned before, it makes your eyes linger—and we all know that's not a bad thing!
Next time you're getting ready to snap a pic, just take a couple steps back. You'll be amazed at the difference.