The Girlfriend Photo Guide (Part Two) – With Garreth Barclay

Your crash course on taking photos of your girl.


Thaaqib Daniels, Photography By Garreth Barclay |

Your girlfriend hands you her phone and asks you to take a “good” photo of her for her Insta feed. Suddenly, you tremble at the thought of pushing that capture button and the photo comes out blurry, your hands forget how technology works, and you soon realise that taking just one photo was going to be a much bigger task than you expected.

Sound familiar? If so, you can swipe left on all those fears, because we have the answers. Here’s your guide on taking photos of your girlfriend, with help from a pro photographer.

Garreth Barclay is a professional photographer who specialises in swimwear and fitness photos. The 29-year-old has also shot many of our magazine covers and is one of our most trusted men behind the camera. We asked him to give a few photography pointers to all the Instagram boyfriends who need to learn how to take professional photos ASAP.

Scenario: “I’m out with my girlfriend and she asks me to take a photo of her. How many should I take? And why? Please help.”

“I usually only need to take 1 or 2 but knowing the ladies and how much they love options, don’t be shy to take anything more than 10 photos.”

What The Boyfriend Needs To Know About Taking Photos

“Lighting! Lighting! Lighting! Chances are you will be using a phone to take these photos and the capabilities of a phone camera doesn’t match a professional camera. So your lady might expect the best from you, so don’t disappoint her.  Find a great spot, make sure the photo is beautifully lit by searching for a good angle regarding lighting.”

Related: We Asked 5 Insta-Beauties One Question: What Makes Women Follow Guys On Instagram?

New Profile Picture

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“Would usually be a good head shot, so take the time to find her good angles and shoot away,” says Barclay.

Outfit Shot

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“Girls love to pose in their outfits, showing off their latest fashion or how good they look, so capture her from every angle (side, front, back etc). You will regret not taking atleast 30 photos here.”

Related: How To Clean Up Your Act According To Amanda du-Pont

Beach Babe

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“This one is more fun than the others, here you get to take a cheeky photo. All you need to do is capture happiness, fun, and good times.”

His Top 3 Mobile Photography Tips 

  • Door or window lighting is probably the most flattering lighting for anyone.
  • Download Snapseed off the app store for great control over quick and easy editing skills. VSCO app is great for customised and ready-set filters.
  • When taking photos, always try take from a higher angle and not straight on. Higher angles tend to be more flattering to a person’s body and face.

Favourite Photo Editing Apps On Mobile And Desktop? 

“I edit using Adobe Photoshop on my laptop, sometimes I even edit my mobile photos on there. On my phone, as mentioned, I use SnapSeed and VSCO to edit my photos.

“Most photographers end up being perfectionists trying to create and edit the perfect photo, so Photoshop allows you to be able to tweak your photos in every way possible. You have more control than an app on the phone.”

Related: Girlfriend Photo Guide (Part One) With Pro Photographer Tegan Smith

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