Social Media 101: How To Snap Perfect Instagram Photos Like Jetsetter Jasiminne Yip
Some may know Jasiminne Yip as the daughter of Vivienne Cheng, but outside of the society circle, she has carved a name for herself as the gorgeous face and sassy voice behind the blog, Posh, Broke, & Bored, for over 10 years now. Jasiminne is a brazen proponent of the finer things in life, covering all grounds from high fashion, travel, dining and lifestyle. She’s been globetrotting since the age of 7, with Europe as her first road trip destination. It was in 2014 when Jasiminne got serious about chronicling her travels on her blog. The intrepid nomad has drawn over 20,000 Instagram followers so far to her arsenal of dreamy travel photos. We find out just what it takes to curate your best social media shots, in the words of Jasiminne Yip.
How often do you travel each month?
In 2018, I made 36 trips to 12 countries and 30 cities, excluding back-and-forth trips to my homes in London and Kuala Lumpur. That would make an average of 3 trips per month! While some of those are work trips, I always try to create stories from all my travels (which you could consider work — I prefer to call them passion projects). There's no rest for the wicked!
How much of your photos are snapped by yours truly?
All of the photos you see on poshbrokebored.com and on my Instagram @poshbrokebored are taken by myself. Unless of course I am in the photo, in which case the task is taken up by whoever I'm travelling with at the time or a tripod if I'm travelling solo. Generally, my ever-patient mother has the unenviable task of capturing me. She's become a rather proficient photographer, actually — I always joke that when she retires, she can work full-time for me.
See also: Behind The Scenes With Vivienne Cheng & Jasiminne Yip
Lets talk gear: what’s the camera you swear by?
My gear of choice is the Canon 6D and the 24-70mm 2.8 lens. The Canon 6D is a compact version of the full-frame camera favoured by professionals. The 24-70mm 2.8 lens is another professional favourite – it has a great zoom range and wide maximum aperture, which covers most of my photography needs, from detailed close ups to wide-angle shots in most lighting conditions.
Long dresses make the most visual impact, especially in wide-angle shots.
— Jasiminne Yip
It’s chaotic, it’s bustling, and it’s packed with tourists! How do you manage to look so flawless at prime attractions?
A good primer and setting spray to keep my makeup flawless throughout the day (I use the ZOSkin Sunscreen and Primer SPF50 and Urban Decay All-Nighter setting spray), as well as waking up early (I try to arrive first thing in the morning before the tour buses belch out their crowds).
How do you manipulate crowds, unpredictable lighting and framing limitations for the perfect shot?
I find that the best natural lighting to be the Golden Hour – the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. In some places, such as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, shooting at sunrise is impossible because of the crowds, so I got creative and shoot at sunset instead while the masses were still inside the temples. That said, sometimes you just can't avoid crowds – that's when a lot of patience and a little politeness like, “Excuse me, can I just have this spot for a few moments? When I'm done I'll help you take your photo in return” goes a long way.
See also: Travel Diary: The Storybook Beauty Of Norway & Finland With Tiffany Yow
What was the most challenging destination for you to shoot at?
I was shooting at the Trevi Fountain in Rome and even the morning was impossible. Everyone grabs an empty space on the fountain edge as soon as one becomes available, so you'd think it was impossible to take a photo without having strangers in your shot. Not me: when politeness didn't work, I gave people my famous Medusa glare and they quickly cleared the area. But only for a minute!
How much research goes into your destination shoots?
I often trawl Pinterest and Instagram for locations to visit and photograph. I then make a travel itinerary and try to schedule the more popular locations for very early in the day so that I can enjoy and photograph them relatively undisturbed.
A little politeness like, 'Excuse me, can I just have this spot for a few moments? When I'm done I'll help you take your photo in return' goes a long way.
— Jasiminne Yip
What are your tips on finding your best angles for photos?
Practice, practice, practice — even in public where people might stare at you. Be shameless: embarrassment is temporary, but glory is forever.
Planning outfits for travel photos can be tricky. How do you create a look that’s stylish and travel-friendly?
I find that long dresses in breathable fabrics (such as cotton and linen) are the most versatile for comfort and modesty. Long dresses also make the most visual impact, especially in wide-angle shots where I am a mere blip in the frame.
See also: 4 Well-Travelled Foodies Reveal Their Must Visit Brunch Spots
How do you edit your photos?
I do it all on Adobe Photoshop. Recently, I've taken to shooting in RAW format as it allows me more in the way of editing photo temperature, clarity, and light levels. Once I get the right balance, I continue to remove any details that detract from the image, such as litter on the ground or a passerby that strays into my shot.
Finally, list 5 do’s to achieving the best travel photo for Instagram.
- Be safe (I see people risking life and limb for poses that will stand out, and it's not worth it).
- Be polite and respectful (If you're shooting in a residential area at the the entrance of someone's home like the colourful peranakan shophouses in Singapore, be as quiet and unobstrusive as you can).
- Be patient (You may have to wait a while for crowds to clear before you get the scene to yourself).
- Be creative (Sometimes, an overlooked spot can come together wonderfully, such as an archway in Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal – the yellow colour worked beautifully with my dress!).
- Don’t take it too seriously. Travel isn't just about capturing the moment, it's also about enjoying the moment.