Aimee Song Shares Her Tips For Becoming Insta-Famous

With close to 4 million followers on Instagram, Aimee Song (a.k.a. Song of Style) knows how to take a pretty decent photo. The Los Angeles-based interior designer and blogger has become an online star, attracting not just a fan base, but brands, too. And she's proven that cataloguing your every move in an artful way can bring in the big bucks.

Now, Song is sharing the secret to her success with her new book, Capture Your Style: Transform Your Instagram Images, Showcase Your Life, and Build the Ultimate Platform. Organized by lifestyle categories, including fashion, travel, food, and decor, the new tome reveals how you, too, can amass a huge following, thanks to Song's list of technical and editorial essentials for creating the ultimate feed (it offers specific tips on the best apps and filters for processing photos, and shows you how to present your voice and showcase your life on Instagram).

Ahead, Song shared her top tips on everything from choosing a good background to picking the right camera. Click through to learn how to turn your everyday moments into Insta-gold.
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What camera do you use to take pictures?
"For my blog, I use a Sony Alpha 7. I used to have a Canon Mark III, but I switched it for the Sony Alpha because it’s a lot smaller and easier to carry around. For my Instagram photos, though, I just use my iPhone."
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How do you edit your pictures and how long does it take?
"On my blog, I'll change the colors and make the images a bit brighter. I like to get a nice contrast between colors, or bring out the blue hues. That takes about five minutes per photo. I never retouch skin, unless I have an unusual blemish. On Instagram, I'll resize my pics. Each one takes a few minutes, max."
3 of 10
Do you have a favorite Instagram filter?
"I prefer to not use filters on Instagram, but when I do, I like Ludwig and Alden. But I would never use the whole thing; I like how you’re able to just switch it up a little and tweak it."
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Who takes most of your photos?
"If it’s of me traveling, then it’s usually my boyfriend or my sister, and occasionally my assistant. Even my Dad has taken some. Just whoever is about."
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What advice would you give to people starting out and wanting to nail Instagram?
"It depends what their objective is: If they just want to take really good photos, then I suggest they study photography — not academically or anything, but I think you just need to really take a good look at it and find out what you like. Through trial and error you'll work out what works for you and what doesn’t. Then you will start to develop your own style in the way you compose your photos.

"If you’re trying to get a lot of followers, then I think you need an objective to that, as well. Do you want to just be famous, or do you want to create a personal brand and start working with other people? You need to figure out your goals."
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What do you look for in a backdrop for your shots?
"Obviously, it depends on the location. So whenever I'm somewhere beautiful, I keep that in mind and I try to take photos that can best capture that. But if I’m in the city and want to show off my outfit, then I look for cleaner backdrops so that the attention goes to that."
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What’s your favorite shot you’ve ever posted on Instagram?
"There are so many, because I like every photo I post! But I guess ones with dogs. And I really like Boomerang."
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What’s your most popular pic on Instagram? Why do you think that was?
"Recently, I was in Singapore, and I went to this beautiful indoor garden. There was this manmade waterfall, and I was able to capture the scenery but I was in the photo, too, so I made sure I framed it well. When I’m asking someone else to take the photo, they obviously don’t know what I’m thinking and they don’t see the vision I have, so I always take a photo of the background first and then tell them to stand in the same spot and then I just jump in the photo. I basically art direct them."
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How do you make food look good?
"Usually, I take the photo from above and always use natural light (if it’s indoors, it makes the colors of the food not so tasty-looking). The other trick is to shoot good-looking food!"
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What destination has made the best Instagram pictures?
"Every place is so different; I can find beauty everywhere. But I do love Morocco. It has the most beautiful colors and tiles. It’s an Instagram dream. As long as you keep an open mind, though, you can find beauty wherever you travel."