Article by Vanessa Grimaldi originally published in the November-April 2019-2020 edition of the Atmosphere magazine. Read the latest edition here.
The Bachelor alum Vanessa Grimaldi reveals her secrets for that perfect Instagram photo while holidaying in Puglia, Italy
A small coastal town in the heel of Italy’s boot, Gallipoli seduces with its whitewashed buildings and plum position as “the pearl of the Ionian Sea.” I wanted to capture a snapshot of those sleek whites and crystal blues in this photo of a rooftop pool.
NO. OF TAKES: 41
BUT in my defence…
They weren’t all posed pictures! I asked my sister to snap, snap, snap while I moved my head from back to front. So it looks like the shot was taken in the moment, which is more natural than posing.
Challenges to this shot:
- Scene crashers in the background
- Finding the light: this was taken right before sunset, which is a perfect time to catch good light
- Not getting whiplash #thestruggleisreal
Psst… Secret behind the shot
It’s simple: be confident. And maybe get a few neck stretches in before.
BONUS: Cool selfie trick
When you take a selfie on your phone, it ends up flipping your face. Go on Photoshop, click on Crop and flip your picture back to the original. It makes a huge difference!
Sabbiadoro – beach
Monopoli is a sleepy fishing village that still has that “hidden gem” feel to it. Its beaches are uncrowded but some of the prettiest I’ve seen, with white sands and crystalline turquoise waters, so I wanted a shot to capture its beachy vibes.
NO. OF TAKES: 34
Timing is everything
Take that Instagram photo right at the beginning of your day. Here, we had just gotten to the beach, and
before I started sweating, before my hair turned greasy from the sunscreen, before sand got into places it shouldn’t, we snapped that picture!
NO. OF TAKES: 16
Psst… Secret behind the shot
We all have insecurities. For me, it’s my broad shoulders. So my challenge was, How do I take a picture without my shoulders taking over the whole shot? It’s all about knowing your angles. A few body twists, camera angles and 16 shots later, voilà!
Borgo Egnazia – masseria
Puglia’s countryside is dotted with bougainvilleas and masserias, ancient fortified farmhouses where you can taste authentic Italian tradition and hospitality. No picture could truly capture their beauty and history. But I had to try.
NO. OF TAKES: 10
You might want to sit down for this
Want to have your whole body in the shot? When you stand, sometimes you’re so far away, you’re barely visible. Avoid zooming in, as that’ll only make your photo grainy. Instead, take a seat. And if you’re short, like me, have your picture taken from a lower angle, that will elongate you.
Your true colours
Choose a background that resembles the colours of your outfit. Here, the earthy tones of my outfit blended perfectly with the sandy beige facade of the masseria and glaring sun.
In my original photo, my beige slip was peeking from behind the slit. So I went on Photoshop FX, chose Healing and then Clone Stamp. Then I clicked on the part of my dress I wanted to clone and dragged it over my slip so that it took on that exact design.
Let’s talk filters
My favourite apps are Lightroom, A Color Story and VSCO. It’s mostly to play with the colours and lighten my pictures.
Try your photography skills on your next vacation. Book your flight with Air Transat in a few minutes.