Instagram: How to take pictures from above

Ever wondered how people take these gorgeous shots of themselves and their babies in a photo from up above? Or a family photo with all of their family members in it with no hands sticking up taking the shot?

Unless you have your hubby to hand all-the-time to take these, there are actually secrets to getting aerial shots. And no; the secret isn’t big, stretchy arms.

It’s a question I get asked A LOT… ‘how do you take those pictures from above?’ Or, ‘ok there’s no hands holding a selfie stick or anything in this pic, what’s the deal?’

I used to wonder the same thing when I saw other people’s photos but never had the courage to ask how they did it. But, when there’s a will, there’s a way!

I’ve promised this blog post to many so here it is…

Method 1 – Basic

First of all… and this is very basic… Blu Tac and a phone is the most simple method especially if you have a ceiling you can reach by standing on a chair, mini step ladders or your bed.

Simply stick your phone to the ceiling. I always stick it so the front is facing the ceiling, allowing to use the better camera on your smartphone…  most seem to produce higher quality shots using the camera on the back. You can shoot it in selfie mode if you prefer… it’s just that the resolution won’t be as high. Side note: make sure you have really stuck the phone up hard so it doesn’t fall and hit anybody in the face – nobody wants that! Also be aware sometimes Blu Tac can leave a little residue footprint on the ceiling; I’ve tried White Tac too but that can also leave a little mark.

For this method, having a bluetooth remote shutter control is an essential bit of kit. You can just press the remote to take the photo rather than pressing your phone and having to quickly re-stick it and jump back down into position haha – all before the 10 second timer expires. You don’t need to get an expensive bluetooth camera remote, I just go off reviews but literally just spend a couple of pounds on it.

Ok so that method can do the job for smartphones but you can’t do it on your actual camera because Blu Tac won’t hold it in place.

So again I’ve tried a few things….

Method 2 – a little trickier but great for cameras

Buy a tripod for your camera to screw onto, again I always buy lightweight ones like these here. I haven’t linked to an actual one incase the shops disappear but my tripod was only about £14 so it’s a super cheap investment :).

If you have a headboard you can try wedging a couple of the legs slightly behind it and adjusting the camera so it points down but be careful not to get the other tripod leg in the shot. It is a little faffy but this is how I created the shot above of us all as a family.

Method 3 – for photo addicts who mean business

As I now live in a Victorian house there is no way I can reach the ceilings, they’re just too high!!

I was initially thinking I’m going to have to invent something as there’s such a gap in the market for it haha. Eventually though – through searching high and low and not really finding the solution – I came up with this idea.

It’s basically two tripods with a horizontal bar and it extends really high so I can stand the tripods on either side of my bed and attach the camera to the bar.

This is what I bought here for £33.99. It’s actually an adjustable heavy duty photo studio backdrop background support system. That’s one tongue twister if I ever did see one – probably explains why I could never find the damn thing! Please don’t laugh at my triumphs here as I was so happy I finally figured out a way I could still do it haha. Anything for a good aerial Instagram shot!

If you’re still reading this you’re obviously interested in trying some of these things out for yourself aren’t you hehe?!

To finish off with this method…

I also bought this clip here so I can screw my camera onto it and clip it onto the bar and adjust the position of the camera for the perfect shot.

That’s it really. All my secrets are out!

Also just to mention I have the Olympus Pen Generation camera and it has inbuilt wifi which connects to my phone. This means I can use my phone to release the shutter on the camera instead of actually pressing it on the camera (if this doesn’t make sense please let me know and I can elaborate in the comments – I also plan to do a post about tips using the Olympus Pen).

Other methods if you have them

You can try balancing your phone on something high up like a shelf, light or something too. You can even use the smartphone tripods to help with this here.

If you do give any of these ideas a go then please feel free to message or tag me as I’d love to see them! Also any questions please leave below or feel free to private message me. Or if in fact if you have even better ideas or triumphs please do share!!! I would be delighted to give them a go, anything for the perfect shot from above (lol).

Have a great week and good luck with trying these out!

Lots of love

Sally x

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2 Comments

  1. July 17, 2017 / 8:04 pm

    Some great tips here Sally, will have to give them a go! XX

  2. July 18, 2017 / 9:06 am

    Hahaha your secrets are out!! A brilliant post I know A LOT of people will have been waiting for! You’re the queen of the “shots from above”!! Xxx

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