Instagram. It’s a platform full of beautifully curated images and unrealistic ideals.
Buuuutttt—I bet you still want to make your Instagram feed look great, right? Instagram has kind of become a portfolio, of sorts. People can actually get paid or sponsored through some of their gorgeous posts and content! Like all things though, it isn’t as easy as it looks, and even though I don’t have millions of followers by any means, I thought I’d write a post to help anyone out there who wants to up their Instagram game!📸
I’ve spent months and hours of my time pouring over articles, wading through crappy click bait on the subject, watching YouTube videos, listening to webinars and taking influencer classes. So, I thought I would share what I’ve learned. These are just some tips that have made curating my OWN Instagram easier.
1. Treat Instagram like a business.
Now, if you want to use Instagram just for family pictures, blurry iPhone shots and the like, than this article probably isn’t for you. This is an article to help you get the most out of your Instagram. Now, you can always have a more personal account and then a more business like account, only putting your best images forward. Or, like me, you can save your more candid moments for Facebook and treat your Instagram like a business profile.
If you don’t take it seriously, it won’t look professional. Instagram should also be fun though! Don’t take it so seriously that it stresses you out! Just try to plan out you feed, tag big companies for clothing you’re wearing or items you’re using, and always include your location.
2. Using Different Apps to Get the Most out of Instagram
When it comes to Instagram, some people only use the features within Instagram itself, but to get the most out of your feed, here are some apps I like to use!
Preview App: This app is great for planning your feed. It lets you lay out your photos and see what they look like in a grid. I usually try to look at them in groups of 9-12.
Lightroom Mobile: I recently switched from VSCO to Lightroom and it’s been a game changer. I love having a preset that I can apply to all my photos to get the same look.
Snapseed/Retouch Apps: These are great additional editing tools. Snapseed is great for selecting certain parts of a picture and Retouch is awesome for removing unwanted items like a trash can. It also has an amazing “stamp” tool that let’s you clone an area and put it on another part of your photo!
I personally would never use the Instagram filters. Speaking of filters though…
3. Pick a filter and stick to it.
This is a harder aspect of Instagram, but to have your feed look cohesive, pick out a filter or make your own on Lightroom or VSCO and use it on all your pictures. You can adjust certain aspects if a picture looks too dark or light. I actually purchased a $10 Lightroom Preset on Etsy and tweaked it to be more my own look. This is a great “training wheels” kind of option if you know the look you are going for, but can’t figure out how to achieve it.
4. Plan your feed.
I have gotten in the habit of taking pictures whenever I think about it. It’s good to always be looking for photo opportunities because the more pictures you have to choose from, the more you can build your feed.
Here is what my feed looks like currently. I like to do a “criss cross” kind of pattern usually where I have 6 photos of myself, going diagonally, in an “x”. The rest of my pictures are what I call “filler” pictures. Pictures of buildings, food, my pets, books—whatever I think looks cool, because let’s be honest, some days you don’t want your picture taken! Here’s an Instagram Trick though: Take a bunch of pictures when you’re having a great hair day and just change the setting and your outfit!
Something I’ve been doing is trying to just take pictures in bulk instead of “as I go”. This way, I have at least 30 pictures—a whole month’s worth!—-ready to go. It makes it easier on me because, as a fulltime petsitter, I am busy a lot of times. Even so, I will always have at least 1 picture to post a day!
5. Don’t be afraid to use photos from the same shoot!
When you take pictures, you’re going to have multiple images and chances are, you’ll like a few of them! I try to take up close, detail shots and farther away shots. I will use both kinds in my feed, but I try to space them out and not put them right on top of each other.
6. Don’t have a photographer? Use a tripod!
Not everyone can afford to have a photographer trailing them 24/7, like big Instagram influencers. 🙄 It may seem hard to get pictures of yourself in this case, but just use a tripod! After messaging a few mega Instagram Influencers, I discovered that a lot of times, even they have to do this!
It will require a little bit of embarrassment at taking your own picture that you have to get over, but it’s not that big of a deal. Here are some answers you can have ready if people ask you questions😂:
1) I’m doing a photography class; self portraits are part of my next project.
2) I’m being paid to post pictures of the clothes I’m wearing for a brand! (They don’t have to know the truth!)
Just always make sure you’re in a safe area when taking pictures and try not to disrupt businesses or residential areas. Be respectful and be fast.
7. Be yourself and have FUN! 🎉
At the end of the day, have fun with Instagram.
I like to showcase my thrifting finds, asian restaurants I try and my travels! Let your feed show your passions, what you like and things YOU enjoy.