​Photographer Reveals Interesting Tricks Behind Many Social Media Snaps

While we're repeatedly told that what we see on social media is rarely a true reflection of someone's day-to-day activity, and is just essentially a highlights reel of their life, it's still hard not to scroll through Instagram and feel a pang of jealousy sometimes. All those flawless selfies. All the gourmet dinners. All the beach-side 'hotdogs or legs'.

But one photographer has decided to break things down for us a little bit and actually PROVE to us that all is not necessarily as it may seem on social media.

Calob Castellon is a graphic designer and photographer from Calipatria, California, whose often-dreamlike images often seem a little too perfect to be true.

But rather than string us all along, he's been upfront about his work on Instagram, letting us in on his tips and techniques for those phenomenal shots - from using strategic backdrops and Photoshopping certain details, through to using light boxes to cast a glow on models' faces.

Calob's photos often feature model Diana Reynoso. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram
Calob's photos often feature model Diana Reynoso. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram

Many of the photos he posts also include a few behind-the-scenes snaps to help show what's been involved in the finished result.

Model Diana Reynoso photographed in front of a 'fish tank'. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram
Model Diana Reynoso photographed in front of a 'fish tank'. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram

Calob has almost 350,000 followers on Instagram. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram
Calob has almost 350,000 followers on Instagram. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram

Both his creativity and his open approach to sharing details about his work seem to be a hit, as he's amassed almost 350,000 followers.

Calob often uses artificial light sources for his photos' signature glow. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram
Calob often uses artificial light sources for his photos' signature glow. Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram

Not all Instagrammers are quite so forthcoming, however.

Towards the end of last year, Swedish influencer Johanna Olsson came under fire after admitting to Photoshopping herself onto a backdrop of the Seine in Paris in a 'fake travelling' Instagram snap.

Despite all of the ridicule and criticism, she still refuses to take the pictures down, arguing that she's not got anything to be ashamed about as 'a lot of influencers' do the same thing.

Johanna Olsson admitted to Photoshopping this photo of her in Paris. Credit: Johanna Olsson/Instagram
Johanna Olsson admitted to Photoshopping this photo of her in Paris. Credit: Johanna Olsson/Instagram

Addressing the backlash, the 28-year-old posted an Instagram story for her 528,000 followers that said: "I wanted to talk a little bit about the pictures I posted in Paris. So I did one picture, shot it and didn't think it looked that nice... so I took a different background and put the background into it.

"And when I put it up nobody noticed so I thought, 'This is good.'

"So I admit it wasn't my finest Photoshop skills. Now in Sweden this thing has gone crazy and TV shows want me to come on and talk about my 'fake travelling'."

She continued: "It's a bit ridiculous I think. There are a lot of influencers out there that Photoshop in birds, rainbows or crazy skies and I could do that but I don't like that.

"I just wanted to make that clear that I was in Paris, but I did Photoshop the background, but I'm not going to take them down because it's a collaboration and they're nice pictures - it's a good outfit!"

Sounds like she could do with a helping hand from Castellon...

Featured Image Credit: Calob Castellon/Instagram

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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