Rome is one of the most Instagrammable and photogenic cities in the world. The romantic streets and historic architecture make for beautiful backdrops, their delicious cuisine makes for exciting (and yummy) props, and their stylish culture adds real pizazz to the overall image.
When in Rome, you’ll of course want to get as many good photos of the tourist areas as you can, but capturing the right shot, with great lighting and without 100000 tourists around you, is tricky to organise. Most of the time you will have to wait and wait for the perfect moment, you’ll also have to be quick on your feet and be ready to strike a pose as soon as you get that moment without anyone else around.
I loved the photos we took while we were in Rome recently, so I really want to share our tips with you on how we were able to capture such gorgeous photography moments.
Here are three ways to help you take the perfect Rome Instagram photo.
Find the best light
Early in the morning (around 8am in the winter and approximately 6/7am in the summer) and late afternoon/early evening (around 3/4pm in the winter and early evening around 6pm in the summer) are generally the prime times to shoot for lighting. You will get that soft, atmospheric light, which is so dreamy, especially in Rome.
We found the light too harsh to shoot in certain locations, such as the Trevi Fountain, in the middle of the day, so we would do outdoor and indoor cafe/restaurant shots or street style shots during the day instead.
This Colosseum image was taken around 3pm in winter at the start of January. We had a real mix of weather while we were in Rome, however this created a massive variety of shots for us – blue sky and sunshine for a summery look, and grey and black skies for dramatic winter looks. The skies can be really changeable in Rome, but use this to your advantage to get creative with style of shots you take. Don’t worry if it’s cloudy while you’re there, as the overcast weather can create fantastic moody lighting in images, especially when you edit them afterwards. We generally found it to be cloudy in the morning, but by the afternoon, the skies were clear and sun was shining, so we really had the best of both – hopefully you will too!
Get Up Early
The early bird catches the worm, and this is certainly the case if you’re wanting to get those perfect Rome Instagram pictures, without the hundreds of tourists and sticky beaks behind you. There’s of course the added benefit of good lighting when you get up early to shoot, so you really kill two birds with one stone!
When we’re away we tend to pick one day of our trip where we get up around 6am and dedicate the whole morning to shooting. We plan where we want to go and what style of outfit/s will suit the location/s best. It’s always a good idea to check the weather before the morning comes too, to make sure there’s no rain.
This image was taken on the rooftop of our hotel, Relais Vatican View, while we were in Rome in January. I woke up around 6am to get ready to go out and shoot at 7.30am. However, when 7.30am came around, it was still relatively dark outside, so we had a coffee and waited until 8am to go outside. It was still quite dark when we went out to shoot as it was an overcast day, but this made for gorgeous soft blue lighting in the images once we edited them. It also made myself and the colours of the buildings softly pop, creating a beautiful composition. Getting up early also meant there was no one on the rooftop, nor on the streets, so it ignites a story making it look like I’m the only person in Rome.
Match the Outfit to the Location
As I mentioned in my What to Wear in Rome article, Italy is known for being one of the most stylish countries in the world, so you have to make sure you look the part while you’re there. Glamour, beauty and passion is a part of the Italian culture and approach to life. You can see this not only with their fashion sense and unique designs, but with their architecture, their art and sculptures, their lifestyle, and their food and wine too.
Take inspiration from the Roman culture and surroundings, and style outfits which are statement-making, but at the same time, fit in with your photoshoot location. I chose a lot of block colours for my Rome wardrobe, which allowed me to standout, but to also blend in to the beautiful places we chose to shoot. In other words, my outfits, as romantic as they were, weren’t too over the top to take away from the glorious Roman architecture. They instead worked together to look like a match made in heaven.
Although I said to you above, you should previously plan your outfits to suit your location before going out to shoot, I have to admit, I didn’t plan for this outfit at all. We hit the streets around the Vatican early in the morning (about 8.30am) after we finished the photoshoot on our hotel’s rooftop and we had no idea where to shoot. Tourists kept looking at us as they walked past, making their way to line up for the Vatican (if you want to shoot around there with no one around, you have to go incredibly early as we noticed people lining up at 7.00am!), and I just wanted to get the shoot over and done with… it was time for breakfast!
Amazingly, after only walking for a few minutes, we came across a beautiful terracotta-coloured building, which had an old, but glorious blue door. We did one test shot and knew straight away the outfit and location were a match made in heaven. What do you think?
I hope these tips will not only help you while you’re taking photos in Rome, but in any destination. Watch this space for the next article on this series, where I’ll be sharing where the most Instagrammable places are in Rome.
Now you know how to take the best Instagram photos in Rome, find out where to take the best Instagram photos in Rome