How to Become an Instagram Sensation According to Instagram Sensation, Bonnie Tsang

In the new book, Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, the social media star reveals her tips for taking the perfect picture

Photo: Michael Newsted

When Domino magazine released its first book, The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy, in 2008, it instantly became a bible for design lovers and amateur decorators looking to make their own spaces reflect the stylish and refreshingly approachable interiors featured in the magazine, which shuttered in 2009.

Now, having relaunched the publication as a quarterly print edition and e-commerce site in 2013, a new generation of editors have released a long-awaited follow up to that ultimate design tome. Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, out November 15, features useful design rules (and how to break them), recipes for different room styles — think rustic kitchens and Scandinavian dining rooms — and a wealth of information about choosing pieces, materials and surfaces that fit your lifestyle.

It also features breakouts about some of the tastemakers shaping the interiors world right now, including this guide to “the art of photo sharing” by photographer, and Instagram and Pinterest sensation, Bonnie Tsang, excerpted from the forthcoming Domino book:

Bonnie Tsang


Originally a graphic designer, Bonnie Tsang took an unusual road to becoming a photographer. While embracing motherhood, and with plenty of encouragement from her photographer father, she began documenting her new life with her young child. Her snapshots attracted a large audience.

“I started posting pictures of my daughter on Flickr (the social media du jour at the time). Luckily for me photographs of kids happen to be extremely popular and I began to build a real following. As a photographer, I love anything that helps me get my ideas out into the world. In the old days, we would just share with our immediate circle of friends, but now — with blogs, Instagram and Pinterest — there’s a huge audience. Photographs might feature anything from a beautiful breakfast she has created, to a still life of her bedside table, to some newly purchased bed linens. If the lighting is perfect and the messiness is just right, it makes me want to pick up my camera or phone and snap a picture to share with the world.”

Bonnie Tsang


1. Keep it all very natural. I call it “orderly chaos.” For example: Instead of putting your collection of cups in one straight line across a shelf, stack them at different heights or put them on top of plate stacks in various colors and textures. It’s more interesting to style your home in such a way that is not completely perfect.

2. Use natural light when photographing moments in your house. If necessary, put things near a window to help maximize the daylight.

3. Try to keep the background as neutral as possible, especially if the foreground has a lot going on. Also, be careful to avoid too much clutter when taking a “shelfie” or photographing a vignette. Keep it simple and well-balanced.


4. Make it a true expression of yourself.

5. Don’t post randomly. Photograph moments that feel special, and choose the right time to share them. Make sure you are complementing your overall feed, so there’s a sense of continuity.

6. Stick to a unified palette when buying special objects. Staying true to the colors that express your personality will not only make for a stronger feed, it will also help define your own personal style.

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