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3 Secrets for Amazing Instagram Desktop Photos

They’re all over Instagram – overhead images of the bright, beautiful desks of entrepreneurs. They make working from a home office look like heaven. The desks are free from piles of papers and have perfectly arranged flowers on them.

It’s assumed anyone who works at that desk must be successful and have it all together.

Here’s the truth, though: the majority of those shots are staged.

That’s good news for two reasons.

First, you can stop feeling guilty for your own messy desk.

Secondly, you can create your own amazing Instagram desktop photos easily to achieve the magazine-worthy look.

There are tricks you can use to create amazing desktop photos for Instagram, regardless of the actual state of your desk. 

How to take amazing Instagram desktop photos using your iphone camers

Secrets to Gorgeous Desktop Photos

1) Foodie App

This app is truly a best kept secret to creating perfect desktop shots.

The app was designed for food bloggers, who love to take top-down shots of their meals.

Have you ever tried to take an overhead photo of a coffee mug, but it doesn’t look perfectly round? That’s because the phone isn’t perfectly level when taking the photo.

For this reason, the app has a level in it to let you know when you are holding your camera horizontally above your subject. Keeping the camera level prevents distortion to the image.

Take advantage of this unique app feature to create perfect overhead desk shots.

2) Keep It Odd

Here’s a styling tip: use an odd number of objects in your desktop shots. An odd number of items naturally creates a composition that is pleasing to the eye. 

Start with only 3 props or items in the photo.

Ideas for props:

  • Coffee mug
  • Keyboard
  • Phone
  • Mouse
  • Planner
  • Flowers
  • Eyeglasses
  • Headphones

Take advantage of the rule of thirds when composing your shots. The rule of thirds is an artistic ideal which states you shouldn’t place the subject of your photo smack dab in the middle of the image.

Pick the item of the three you want to be the subject of the photo and place it on your desk.

Now imagine your camera screen has a tic-tac-toe board superimposed on it.

Compose your shot by putting the main item at one of the four spots where the horizontal and vertical lines intersect on the grid.

Place the other two items in the photo around the main item.

Rule of Thirds - place one item at one of the spots where the horizontal and vertical lines cross. Then arrange other 2 items around the first.


Limiting yourself to three items and the rule of thirds will get you off on a great start when composing your desk photos.

Try this technique for your first 10 desktop photos.

Once you feel confident in your composition skills, you can start adding in more items or playing with placement.

3) Fake your desk

Not lucky enough to have a plain white desktop? Or you’d love to provide the appearance of a rustic wood desk to match your branding?

Fake it!

Nobody has to know the “desk” in your shot isn’t actually a desk.

Use white foam board, large pieces of scrapbook/wrapping paper, or even your floor as your image background.

A fake desk has the added benefit of portability. Set up your “desk” wherever the light is best; you aren’t limited to the location and light of the furniture location.

Plus, there’s no need to clean up your actual desk!

Use these three tactics to create beautiful overhead desk photos for Instagram.

Which secret do you think will benefit your Instagram photos the most?

Megan CorwinComment