Win at Instagram: Kanye's wedding photographer reveals his secrets

Story highlights

  • Conor McDonnell is the young photographer behind Instagram's most liked photo
  • 23-year-old has snapped the likes of Calvin Harris, Drake, and Justin Bieber

(CNN)By the time Kim Kardashian set out to "break the internet" in November last year, a photo by 23-year-old Conor McDonnell had already got there -- with a little help from Kim's music superstar husband Kanye West.

Watch: How Conor captured the Kanye, Kardashian kiss
Conor McDonnell


    Watch: How Conor captured the Kanye, Kardashian kiss


Watch: How Conor captured the Kanye, Kardashian kiss 02:26
McDonnell is the self-taught photography star behind Instagram's most liked photo, showing the couple's embrace at their May wedding, which has earned more than 2.4 milllion "likes" to date.
The Liverpool native has had a breakneck rise to success since his first Instagram post in November 2011, snapping the likes of Drake, Justin Bieber, One Direction, Mumford & Sons, Snoop Dogg, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, while traveling the world on private planes.
    Lasting relationships with stars Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora have followed, and candid snaps of the photographer's globetrotting, access-all-areas life have seen him accumulate over 25,000 followers on his personal account. Not bad for someone who told CNN Ones to Watch he started photography "by accident."
    Fresh from accompanying Calvin Harris on tour in South America, McDonnell shares his five top tips for anyone who wants to grow their Instagram fan base and take great photos on the go.
    From finding the right lighting, to which filter to chose: play the Instagram videos below to find out how to supercharge your pictures for social media success.

    Tip No.1: Lighting

    "Good lighting for me makes a shot. If I'm taking a portrait of someone, I'd much prefer to use natural lighting than a light bulb or manufactured lighting!"

    Tip No.2: Composition

    "I make use of the rule of thirds quite a lot: if you imagine the screen split up in three thirds, you place the subject in one corner. There's a lot you can find about it on the internet."

    Tip No.3: Exposure

    "There's a patch here of very bright light and just behind it there's dark. Trying to expose it right can be tricky but on the iPhone you can do it quite well just by tapping the screen and dragging the exposure up and down."

    Tip No.4: Filters

    "I'll upload a photo to an app called Snapseed, edit the brightness and contrast in that a little bit, export it. And then open in another app called VSCO Cam, which is my favorite app on my whole phone."
    "On VSCO Cam there's tons of filters, the one I use the most is probably "P5," then I can edit all sorts... And once I'm done I just export it and post it on Instagram."

    Tip No.5: Sharing

    "I know photographers who use a lot of hashtags, and hashtags can work if you want to build up your follower base, because a lot more people will probably see a photo than if you didn't hashtag it."