Testing out 2020 TikTok and Instagram photo trends around Baton Rouge

Do you ever see photos on Instagram and wonder how the person took them? On TikTok, photographers have been pulling back the curtain and showing users the behind-the-scenes steps to capture artsy photos. From ghostly photo shoots where people cover themselves with a sheet to milk-bath photos where the model lays in a tub of cloudy water, there were many photo trends circulating social media this year. Since one of the most memorable years of our lifetime is soon coming to a close, the 225 team decided to give the trends of our era a shot. Here’s what we had to say about the experience.


• Find a large, blank wall to create a spacious backdrop for a projector. If you don’t have a mount, prop the projector on a stand or table. The more wall space you have for the projected image, the more photo opportunities you’ll uncover.

• Pick a photo or video with a funky print, design or text to project onto the subject. I used a photo of African fabric to celebrate my Liberian heritage!

• Use a dark room for the photo shoot. If photographing in the daytime, use blackout curtains or pin blankets over the windows to darken the room. Any extra light makes the projected image
appear less clear and vibrant.

—Staff writer Cynthea Corfah


• Find a puddle during golden hour, or another time of day when the light isn’t too harsh. That’s when you’ll get the best reflections.

• Try to find clear water, without grass or litter, to mimic the most mirror-like surface. We went out after Hurricane Delta, so unfortunately we struggled with a lot of debris.

• Parking lots and bridge underpasses are great places to look for puddles around Baton Rouge!

—Editor Jennifer Tormo

• Cut out fun shapes on a posterboard. Don’t waste your time with scissors! Carve your design with an X-Acto knife; it’s much easier to work with and more precise.

• Recruit at least one partner for shooting, if not two. One person will hold the posterboard over you—casting the shadows—while the other takes your photos. If you’re short on crew, set your phone’s or camera’s self-timer and mount it on a tripod.

• Harsh, direct sunlight will give you the best shadows. Just try not to squint!

—Editor Jennifer Tormo


• Grab the biggest mirror you can carry and haul it outside. In my case, it was one that just came in the mail and was supposed to go in the bathroom. But first, let’s take a selfie.

• Find the best light (usually late afternoon). Calculate the angle of the sun hitting your face as reflected in the mirror. Perhaps get a degree in advanced geometry. Make sure you’ve also got a decent background like shade trees from above or tropical foliage.

• Wear sunglasses for cool factor, to protect against the harsh reflection and to hide crow’s feet.

—Managing editor Benjamin Leger


• Stand near a window during the afternoon or when the sun is peeking through the most.

• Use a CD to bounce colorful light from the window on to yourself or another subject. You may have to rotate the disc around until you see the rainbow.

• Experiment with the distance of the subject and the CD from the window until you get the perfect, visible rainbow.

—Staff writer Cynthea Corfah

This article was originally published in the November 2020 issue of 225 Magazine.