4 Ways to Up Your #OOTD Instagrams

By Kristen Bateman for Modern Muse

With warmer temperatures finally on the way, it's the perfect opportunity to show off your chic spring outfits on Instagram. Mirror selfies and staged-looking photos are easy, but why not take things to the next level? Whether at the beach or a park, utilizing your surroundings will lead to the prettiest images, hands down. Here, Dixie Dixon — international commercial fashion photographer and Nikon Ambassador — shares her best tips to up your #OOTD game (hint: enlist a friend to help you out).

1. Master Magic Hour

Find your light during golden hour and take an #OOTD that best showcases your accessories in the sunshine. About an hour before sunset, find your light. "Basically all you need to do to create this effect is place your subject where the sun is at her back," says Dixon. Whether you're using a pro camera or your iPhone, you can get some incredible real-life effects that are even better than filters or Photoshop when shooting in the sun. "Sometimes you'll get some nice lens flare, which I think adds to the mood of the photograph and looks natural. I used the Nikon D810 and NIKKOR 58mm 1.4 lens to make this image. I think it is important to also get the details such as jewelry, accessories, and beauty in shots like this one to tell a story."

2. Hit the Right Angles

Everyone has that dream dress that's waiting for the perfect occasion in their wardrobe. Why not make the occasion an #OOTD session? Instead of taking the traditional photo in your formalwear (think prom), consider your angles, suggests Dixon. "When photographing full length, or capturing gowns like in this image, I tend to shoot from lower angles as it elongates the figure quite nicely," she says. "In this particular shot, I had the model on a small ladder and then I shot from a low angle to capture not only the gown but the vastness of the location, which made for a dramatic look." For this shoot, Dixon used the Nikon D850.

3. Capture the Action Shot

It helps if you have a pretty backyard swing to showcase your favorite outfit in the wind. But if you don't, you can mimic the same effect of visual movement with the help of your besties. "One of the easiest ways to make a dynamic fashion image is to create movement," advises Dixon. "You can do this by utilizing wind or, if there isn't wind, you can have a friend create it for you. Try having your friend grab the bottom of the dress or scarf, count to three and have them throw it up in the air as you shoot." Dixon used the Nikon D850 on the continuous shooting setting, but you can also make things even more dynamic with a Fisheye Phone Lens attachment.

4. Walk the (Imaginary) Runway

Avoiding a photo that looks overly staged is actually pretty simple. The easiest solution? Walking. "One of the best ways to capture natural-looking shots is to get your model moving instead of standing there awkwardly," says Dixon. For this image, she told the model to look back as she walked away. But you can also have your friend walk towards you to get the perfect, easy shot. Dixon used the NIKKOR 200mm lens, which is a bit longer than the standard lens, to capture the details.