my top 5 tips for getting the perfect instagram photo

I think you all know I am a massive Instagram addict by now, and I am often asked for Instagram tips, so I thought I would put together a little post sharing with you my top 5 tips for getting the perfect Instagram photo.

Let’s go!

1. First & foremost you need a great phone with the best camera – I use the Samsung GS6 and coming from someone who has owned and used many different phones, the camera on the Samsung GS6 is the BEST! All of the photos you see on my Instagram are taken with the GS6, even the extreme close ups of my flowers are all taken on the GS6, the detail I can get with this camera is unreal and leaves me hardly ever using my ‘real’ camera!

samsung 1

2. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting – My next ‘absolute always’ tip for the perfect Instagram photo is to take your pics in natural light – if you are wanting to get those crisp, clear photos this is essential. It’s best if the light is not too harsh nor direct as you want to try and avoid shadows. There are of course going to be photos that you want to take at night but in all other circumstances use natural light ALWAYS!
samsung a23. Know your phone – make sure that you practice and play around with the phone’s camera and get to know it. With the Samsung GS6 the AUTO mode makes things super easy and will give you perfect quality photos, but changing the camera settings is also very straightforward and can be done with just a touch of the screen. The menus are all very straightforward and easy to follow, and PRO mode (which you cannot find in other Galaxy devices) allows you to manually adjust 5 items: ISO, exposure, white balance, focal length and colour tone, like a pro (using a DSLR camera).
samsung a3

4. Find your favourite apps and filters – Some of my favourite photo editing apps would be VSCO, A Beautiful Mess and Layout by Instagram. When it comes to filters, I like to tinker around with a few different options from both VSCO & Instagram or use the apps settings to correct & adjust my photos without actually using a filter. It is amazing what a little crop & straighten can do to a pic. Make sure you play around with these apps, filters & settings and find your own signature look.

composite_14451552021908Original image > straightened > cropped with a little brightening

5. Don’t ever use Instagram to take your photos – ALWAYS use your phone’s camera to take your photos and then upload to Instagram afterwards. The camera in Instagram will never give you the same result as your phone’s camera will, and with the GS6 camera the results are so good you do not want to miss out on them!!!

Lastly, and not really a tip so I won’t give it a number but HAVE FUN! Enjoy taking photos and sharing them with your ‘Insta’ friends! Take a moment to look around and notice the beautiful things around you, and get snapping away! ENJOY!

Here’s more pro tips on capturing great photos on your smartphone
samsung a4

Thanks to Samsung for sponsoring this post.

some more of my fave instagrammers

It’s no secret I LOVE Instagram and have ‘met’ so many lovely people through the insta community, so I thought I would share a few more of my fave instagrammers. These 4 all have beautiful bright galleries but also all very different, the care and creativity that goes into each and every one of their photos is so inspiring and I just love to see what they will share next.



Yvettes gallery features all sorts of beautiful images from interiors to fashion and these delicious looking cupcakes,



Pia shares some of the best interior photos I have seen, the use of colour in her home is truly fantastic!



Lucys gallery is a beautiful mixture, of flowers, gardens, home and life in general and she also has a great hashtag project #capturingcolour that is always fun to take part in.



Liza has a gallery that is a work of art, every photo on its own is stunning but then you see them all together and its even better, a true talent!

If you are on Instagram I urge you to give these girls a follow, you will not be disappointed with the beautiful images that pop up each day in your feed if you do!




#mybelovedhomestyle hashtag project

So I decided to start a little MyBelovedStyle #hashtag project of my own on Instagram, for anyone who wishes to post & tag photos of their home, the tag is #mybelovedhomestyle and there are no real rules, the photo can be new or old, it can be of an entire room, a small corner or a styled vignette it can even be of your garden. Just use the tag #mybelovedhomestyle and tag me too @missaimeefleur and that’s it. Every Sunday I will feature 4 of my faves and if it gets popular enough I may even be able to arrange a monthly prize for the overall monthly favourite.

You can see more of my posts about my love of Instagram here and all of the current photos on #mybelovedhomestyle here


Here are the first weeks pics, please make sure you join in, its all a bit of fun and a neat way for everyone to share their own unique home style.

First pics for Sunday 3rd of May – @lydiabakes @six_styling @haystent and @ali_bailey

Next picks for Sunday 10th May 2015 

Next picks for Sunday 17th of May

Picks for Sunday 24th May 2015

my 6 top tips for creating beautiful flatlays

II have a NEW phone! A very fancy, beautiful new phone! I am so excited to have the brand new Samsung S6 in my hot little hands, who doesn’t love that new phone feeling?! And boy does this one feel and look good, the design is stylish and sleek and of course the most essential thing for me when purchasing a new phone is the camera and the Samsung S6 camera is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! I could not wait to get snapping and being with Spark the change over to my brand new SamsungS6 has been seamless and way too easy, so I could get snapping and sharing straight away.

One of my favourite pics to take is a flatlay style pic, perfect for showing off favourite things and new swag!

If you are on Instagram you are bound to have seen your fair share of flatlays, in fact you have probably seen just as many in magazines. Essentially a flatlay is a styled collage of objects on a flat surface and a great way to show off some of your own favourite things and new swag!

Here are my 6 top tips for creating beautiful flatlays:

Samsung S6 flatlay

1. Keep your background/surface simple

You don’t want the background to take away from the focus of the flatlay – think a plain white background like crisp white sheets or a white rug, maybe wooden floors or very easily use a big sheet of white or black cardboard.

Samsung S6 flatlat how to2. Lighting

Nothing will ever beat natural light when taking photos, the best is when the light is not too strong so you don’t end up with too many harsh shadows or on the opposite side as soon as the light is too dim is when the pics become grainy. Using some great apps like VSCO and the editing tools included within Instagram, you can play with exposure and remove shadows and sharpen your images but if you have not used natural light in the first place these can only do so much.

Samsund S6 flatlay how to

3. Placement

This can take a little bit of practice, its best not to include too many items in your flatlay and also to try include items of varying size. Try not to overlap any items (not a hard & fast rule but start simple) and make use of negative space (leaving an area free of any objects) can really make an interesting composition.

Samsung S6 flatlay how to

4. Theme

Have some kind of theme for your flatlay – be it a colour, a season, an event or whatever is important to you. Having a theme to work with makes it easier to create the flatlay and keeps the objects relevant to each other, and of course relevant to different people within the Instagram community, especially using any corresponding hashtags.

Samsung S6 flatlay how to

5. Get Creative

Have fun with your flatlay and get creative, include different textures which help to add interest and depth. If for example you are taking a pic to show off the cupcakes you are making/made maybe include some spilt sprinkles or a half eaten cupcake with a few crumbs left behind, include the spoon still covered in icing and a pretty coloured tea towel.

Samsung S6 flatlay how to

6. The Camera

Last but of course by no means least, the camera you use is very important – with my new Samsung S6, the camera is second to none, with 16MP for incredible clarity, 0.7 second activation, auto HDR pictures, it even takes 4K videos and wide-angle selfies or in plain English the camera is beyond awesome, its fast, creates the most beautifully clear photos and it’s quite simply the best camera on a phone I have ever used…..and I am fussy when it comes to such things. The phone also has a huge amount of storage (very important!) so there is no need for me to delete my photos just so that I can take more and of course with Spark I have loads of data to be able to use social media whenever I want and share my photos all the time.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you to create some beautiful flatlays of your own favourite things/swag.  I cannot wait to take many more pics with my new Samsung S6, the quality of the photos I am able to achieve now is just fantastic. Make sure to keep an eye on my Instagram to check all of my new flatlay shots and pics in general taken with my new Samsung S6!

This post was made possible thanks to Spark. All opinions and experiences are my own.



the first of my fave NZ instagrammers

I have said it before and I will happily say it again, I LOVE Instagram and I am addicted to Instagram!

In the beginning I don’t think I could really find a single kiwi instagrammer to follow apart from my own friends of course, but now there are so many more people using Instagram I am finding some fantastic NZ accounts to follow.

I find now that I tend to stumble across accounts whilst looking through particular hashtags such as #nzigers or #nzig, the many #vsco tags and also hashtag projects such as #7vignettes by @interiorsaddict or the new #5flatlays by @beaumondemama There are plenty more, but I will leave the hashtag projects to another post.

When it comes to some of my fave NZ igers, I have started with 5 whose work is all very different but beautiful all the same.

1. @the_forest_cantina

Unna (Wellington) from The Forest Cantina is a self taught home cook and takes the most stunning photos of her beautifully prepared and styled food, the eggs from her hens, honey from her beehives and her gorgeous kitten Couscous. Unna also has a cook book that will be available sometime this year (I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy)


photo 32. @thelongwhitecloud

Almira’s (Auckland) photos from all around New Zealand are just stunning, some of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen and stunning landscape shots, that make you appreciate this beautiful country we live in even more, her photos are also accompanied by some beautifully simple quotes and being from the west myself I just adore her photos of the west coast beaches.

photo 43. @missdahliamay

Lydia (Auckland) arranges some of the coolest displays using her homegrown flowers, I just love her #backyardbouqets and the way that she photographs them. Lydia’s instagram feed is colourful and inspiring, what everyone needs!


photo 14. @lilylin

Lily’s (Auckland) instagram feed really appeals to me, I love the fact that the photos are mostly black and white but also include some beautiful colour from the amazing plant based food photos she makes/takes (everyone of them makes me hungry) LOVE her work!


photo 2

5. @chrissyhadlow

Chrissy (Rotorua) takes lovely macro photos and intriguing shots of places around New Zealand that you may otherwise never see. A beautiful eclectic mix of all sorts of, which I always find interesting.



So if you are on instagram (if not you really should be) take a look at these accounts and give them a follow, I am sure you will not be disappointed.



My Instagram Addiction

It’s no secret that I am a bit of an Instagram addict….okay more than a bit!


I love that its all about the photo, I love that Instgram oozes so much positivity and all of the creative people are so supportive of each other. I also think it makes you see things in a different light and see beauty in places you may not of expected, making you stop a moment and take a photo and then share it with your friends.

Now as much as I am a self confessed Instagram addict, I by no means know everything about it and was completely taken by surprise a few months back when checking Instagram I found I had 50 new followers in the space of 10 minutes (my first thought was that I had been hacked) and by the end of the day I had gone from a few hundred followers to 1,000! I had no idea what was going on until I got a message from Instagram to say I had been selected as a “suggested user” and then 3 weeks later I had 30,000+ followers!

I feel extremely lucky to have been selected after reading many a blog post on how to possibly be chosen and realising that there is no way to guarantee selection as a suggested user. The Instagram team reviews accounts for inclusion and look for the following attributes:

  • A suggested user shares beautiful, original posts and brings a unique perspective to Instagram.
  • In promoting suggested users, Instagram seeks to highlight members of the community with exemplary posts and conduct in line with their guidelines, so yeah WOW I feel quite honoured to have been chosen. You can read more about the suggested user selection process here.

If you have not ever taken a look at Instagram , I urge you to do so, I am sure whatever your interests, there will be something there to please and inspire you, and while you are there follow me

And for all of my fellow Instagram lovers, stay tuned for some fun photography challenges to take part in on Instagram.