How to Take the Perfect Autumnal Fashion Insta Shots!

As a keen photographer, experienced in taking shots for local Instagram influencers, numerous society balls and Exeter’s very own Fashion Soc, 4th year engineering student, Ben Blethyn, is full of tips on how to make the most of nature’s autumnal beauty and take some seriously instagramable shots. So, here is his whistle-stop tour, directly from Ben, on how to get those pics that your followers will FALL for (gettit?) ;)


Hi. I’m new to writing columns and frankly writing of almost all notions, so please, bear with me.

What I’m trying to do with this, is to help you with my own tips and tricks, and recommendations for pictures in and around Exeter.

I am a landscape photographer with experience in vast vista photography, as home for me is near the Brecon Beacons in South Wales, although I actually live in England, albeit just over the border.


There are a few different types of autumnal pictures that can work really well, namely, landscape, portrait and abstract style pictures. These work wonderfully for an autumnal theme but aren’t always simple to achieve great results…as is with almost all photography.


1. The best things to do for autumn photography, in general, is to capture the colour of the trees and the way it changes between the leaves of different trees. Autumn is normally summed up for people by the change in weather from the wonderful and blissfully warm months to colder, windier and wetter months before winter properly begins. This allows you to take completely different kinds of shots. In essence, trees and leaves best capture what autumn means to most people, as well as the way people dress in their warmer clothes i.e. jumpers, boots and coats, can make for some very cosy looking pictures.


2. Capturing the way that the environment around us is changing during autumn is best done with panorama style pictures, with large vistas or some more focussed pictures with a few notable trees or features. This can be easily achieved with your smartphone (particularly the new ones), so don’t feel that the expensive DSLRs are needed for this (expensive cameras aren’t ever needed for great images, it’s always how you use the equipment, not what equipment you have). Great shots can be achieved with your smartphone’s panorama functions and auto-HDR image features.



3. A feature a lot of people love about autumnal photos is the pop of colour from the trees and the feel of a new season this creates. This can be done particularly well by using warm, rusty coloured trees as a background to any portrait or selfie. Due to the interesting background that autumnal trees can provide, it’s best to make the image have a blurry background so that the image is isolating the subject rather than allowing the background to take up the interest of the viewer; a lot of this also comes down to editing.


4. The final aspect of aesthetically pleasing images is of course in the editing. Often, images that our cameras pick up aren’t anywhere as vibrant as we expect, let alone would like. So, editing and increasing ‘saturation’ and ‘vibrancy’ are key in editing images, with other aspects such as colour specific editing also very useful but secondary to the more general editing aspects such as exposure (brightness) and white backing (temperature of the image).These adjustments can be done with Instagram style filters, or more creative filters such as those in VSCO and other editing software. For those, like myself, that want more control over each aspect of an image, the Adobe Lightroom app is very good and available for both Android and iOS.

I hope you’ve found this guide useful, thank you for reading it! Photography is my passion and a great way to relieve some of the stress that comes hand-in-hand with student life-I would definitely recommend getting your phone or camera out and embracing the beauty of what's left of Exeter’s autumnal weather!

if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some locations in and around Exeter that make some gorgeous images:

  • Reed Hall and the gardens surrounding it
  • Outside the cathedral and behind the cathedral
  • Northenhay Gardens
  • Southernhay Gardens
  • The quay
  • Stoke Park Wood

So, get out there and throw some leaves in the air, no wind machine required with that light autumnal breeze, just some natural, beautiful scenery!