We Tried It: Instagram 101 with Olivia Culpo

Get the street style star's genius Instagram secrets

What It Is: There’s regular Instagramming, and then there’s influencer-style Instagramming, à la two-million-followers-strong Olivia Culpo. Creating a carefully curated Insta feed is meant to look effortless, but it takes some work — and we went straight to the source to find out how to get the best photos for our own feeds.

Who Tried It: Brittany Talarico, Senior Style Editor, and Lindy Segal, Style Social Media Editor

Why We Tried It: It’s become increasingly important for us to be able to take a decent photo for our jobs, whether that be taking a flat lay shot of shoes at a press preview, snapping a celeb during an interview or even taking a selfie after testing out a new beauty product. Plus, as our respective #workwives, we find ourselves taking photos of each other for our respective Instagrams more often than we’d care to admit.

culpo ootd
Xin Wang

When we were given the opportunity to get a one-on-one lesson (well, two-on-one, in this case) from the master, we couldn’t resist the chance. Although we’d like to think we’re pretty good at our Insta-game, we’ll both admit we’re not Culpo-level good. The woman cannot take a bad photo! Or at least, that’s how it seems on social media. Now the question remained: What would we wear?!

Level of Difficulty: 3/10. Taking photos is the easy part, you just have to remember Olivia’s stellar advice.

How It Works: Olivia, who is style ambassador to DSW, gave us her tips during an event for the brand in honor of her fall shoe edits. Full disclosure: We got a little hair and makeup touchup before the we had our photos taken. After all — we were about to be standing next to Olivia Culpo! After that, class was in session.

Instagram 101 with olivia culpoCredit: Xin Wang
Xin Wang (2)

First up: The all-important #OOTD. Olivia taught us to keep the focus on one part of our outfit, and pose accordingly. Be sure to watch the video above to see her styling and posing tips in action!

Second: The selfie. You’ve heard it before, and Olivia reaffirmed it: No filter can do what natural light can, and be sure to face the light so your photo won’t be backlit. She also reminded us to take a ton of different shots, and to try several angles so you end up with a selfie you love.

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Third: The flat-lay. Again, it’s all about natural light. She also says to look for a combination of pieces that “tell a story” — a.k.a. share a color scheme, similar pattern or theme. Again, take a ton of shots so you’ll always end up with a great option.

The Verdict: We may not be Olivia-level amazing yet, but we’re taking her secrets to heart (get it?), and you can too. Once you know these tips, they become second nature, and soon your feed will be as curated as Culpo’s.

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