You don’t need to be a Kardashian to dominate your Instagram feed | © Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Picture this. Last night was a big one and you know what? You were feeling yourself. Maybe you debuted that Oh Polly dress you’d had your eye on for ages, or maybe you pulled out an old classic that always makes you feel 10/10.

Whatever the reason, you know you looked bomb. So why don’t any of the pictures reflect that? 

The answer is simple: you didn’t put enough effort into taking them. Sure, we’ve all heard the ‘less time online, more time on life’ mantra before, but you can’t ignore that we live in an age where, like it or not, people live a great deal of their lives through their screens. 

If you want to take pics in your outfit then go for it 100% – huddling in the corner trying to pretend like you haven’t noticed your mate snapping photos will just give you awkward results at best. 

We know that there’s more to a night out than letting everyone know how much fun you were having. But we also know that getting fire pics can make you feel amazing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

If pretending you’re an Instagram model for the night sounds like a bit of you, we’ve come up with the perfect guide to turn your clubbing photos from mediocre to modelesque.

After all, nothing says ‘self-love’ like a killer photoshoot.

1. Location, location, location

locations are important for instagram baddies
© @_afayeinthelife / Instagram

This one goes without saying but we can’t overstate it enough: scout out a nice backdrop before you take your pictures. A photoshoot in the club toilets is certainly authentic, but it’s pretty difficult to make a toilet stall look high fashion, even with the most creative of eyes. 

Doorways make for cool shots because there’s often a great contrast in lighting between indoor and outdoor areas. Or sometimes smoking areas can give a bit of edge if they have industrial features like metal steps or brick walls.

Even the club can look classy when done right – try taking a live photo on your iPhone and setting it to ‘long exposure’ if you’re in disco lighting for a cool strobe effect.

Still not finding your vibe? Try a busy street or metro station for something cool and urban. It’s well worth venturing away from the hand dryers, seriously.

2. Pose for the camera (or don’t)

Outfit pics in your living room are classic, no doubt about it. But if you’re looking to switch things up a little, try going for an edgier pose. 

Getting a pal to snap a shot of you putting your makeup on in the mirror can give an air of ‘old Hollywood’ glamour (if you’re feeling top-model enough).

If you’d prefer to stay in your comfort zone, try making some small adjustments like asking your photographer to crouch down and take your picture from below to lengthen your frame. Or even crouch down on the balls of your feet yourself and turn to the side with your hand on your chin for a chic touch.  

pose for camera instagram baddies
© @_afayeinthelife / Instagram
plandids instagram baddies soundclub mag
© @sophiehoath / Instagram

If you like a less staged vibe, ‘plandids’ are your new best friend.

Turning your face to the side and getting into the groove gives an air of carefree chaos. 

Even looking away and laughing in a more staged shot gives the impression of good vibes – which is precisely what you’re having, right? If you find yourself feeling self-conscious, remember that there are so many more options available to you than a flawless Hollywood grin.

3. Forget diamonds, filters are a girl’s best friend

Disposable cameras are super in right now, but who wants to fork out $20 every time they go out just for the aesthetic?

There are a tonne of apps out there that give you the same effect for little to no money.

Huji and Dazz Cam are two personal favourites of mine – this ‘plandid’ photo series was achieved using the latter’s ‘HOGA’ filter and it cost me absolutely nothing.

© @sophiehoath / Instagram
© @sophiehoath / Instagram

If you’re into editing, apps like Lightroom give you the freedom to adjust aspects of your photo’s lighting for yourself.

If you’re a fan of the whole disposable vibe, upping the concentration of red, pink, or yellow mid tones can fake it pretty convincingly. For a vibrant pop of colour, upping the saturation and decreasing the highlights can give you a touch of neon realness.

Feeling lazy? VSCO has heaps of free presets to give you that @bryant vibe, and if you’re willing to pay, their selection is pretty much endless.

4. Get out of your head

If you paint a picture and you don’t like it, you don’t blame the subject you were painting.

Photography’s exactly the same – if you don’t like a picture of yourself, chances are, the blame rests with the photographer, not with you.

Stop beating yourself up just because your friends can’t find your best angles at 3AM after a few too many cocktails.

Sunsets don’t suddenly turn ugly when pictures don’t do them justice. You are exactly the same.

When you feel great, you’re more likely to look great too | © @_afayeinthelife / Instagram