Snap. Edit. Post. Stun. If only it were that simple. The truth is that a lot of creativity and strategic thinking go into curating a beautiful Instagram feed. Have you ever been absentmindedly scrolling through Instagram when suddenly you see a picture that makes you stop and stare, while your thumb hovers patiently over your screen? And then you click curiously on the individual’s profile only to find that, holy hell, all of her images look bomb dot com, individually and as a unit?
Same girl. Same.
I’ve worked a lot on my Insta feed since becoming a blogger. Sometimes I’m required to post images in partnership with brands I’m working with, but when I get some down time, I get such a thrill out of creating my IG feed. It makes you feel like a magazine editor, visualizing the shots you want to get, choosing the setting, editing, and mapping out how you want all of the little pieces to form the big picture. Do any of you guys get on a high when you’re on an Insta streak? Because I’m out walking around thinking I’m Anna Wintour.
In case, you’re new to the Instagram game or just feel like you want to enhance the appearance of your feed, I’ve compiled some tips that will help you go from “meh” to “mamma mia!”
Choose Your Color Scheme
This is probably the most important part of creating a visually appealing feed. If you post every single picture you take, your feed is going to look sloppy and poorly planned. By choosing a color to dominate your feed, and be present in each photo, you’re on your way to a gorgeous layout. A lot of bloggers like to stick to a monochromatic color scheme. Bright white hues are another popular choice and lend a crisp feel to your feed. I’m currently really digging the rose look so I’ve been incorporating blush pinks into my feed and editing my pictures with a pink tint. If boho vibes are your jam, you may be into a more rustic, faded look in your photos.
Pay Attention to Lighting
You can achieve a color scheme by paying attention to how you set up a shot. If you’re shooting outside, what’s your background going to be? Is it bright and open or dark and moody? You can seek settings for fashion photos that align with your chosen color scheme such as white walls, rustic brick, neutral backgrounds etc. If shooting indoors, the same rules apply. Proper lighting can completely alter the way a photo comes out. I’ve found that the best days to shoot outside tend to be overcast when you’re not battling the sun or shadows. These photos are also easier to edit!
Don’t Fear the Flatlay
You see them all the time. The makeup tray in artful disarray. The coffee mug next to a preppy notepad and laptop. The magazines spread out tantalizing on a duvet. The goal of a flatlay is to make it look natural and effortless when in reality, you’ve got to do a lot of tedious work to nail it. I always recommend looking up images of what other people have done and getting a visual idea of how you’ll set up the shot. You’ve got to act like a set designer in a way, spreading things out just so, and balancing clean shots with clutter. It’s good to have some sort of white sheet, furry rug or table you can use as a backdrop, and adding flowers is always a good idea. Practice makes perfect!
The more consistent you are with the number of photos you post, the type of photos you post, and the way you post, the better. When you’re consistent, your page starts to really come together like a digital magazine spread. Start by determining how many times you’ll post a day or week (you can always increase this later) and then aim for the same formula. Maybe you want to do a full body shot, detail shot, scenery photo, flatlay, repeat. It can be hard to really stick to a photo formula (phormula?) because obviously, you can’t always get the shot, and you probably have a billion other obligations in life. But having a general idea of how you’ll manage your feed will help you keep your profile looking pristine.
You don’t have to sit in your bedroom, squint your eyes, and try to crank out, original ideas from scratch. It’s okay to turn to Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, or flip through magazines, in order to get your creative juices flowing. Seek inspiration from others and then put your own spin on their content. Don’t be a photo plagiarizer (is that a thing?), but pull elements from different sources and use them to fuel your own feed. Maybe you look the pose a woman is doing in one photo and want to combine it with the lighting you found in another. We love creating mood boards in the office before photo shoots to help guide us when we get stuck. First of all, it’s fun. And it really does help.
There’s An App For That
When it comes to editing your photos, there are a heck of a lot of resources to choose from. This topic deserves a post of its own. You don’t want to go overboard on editing or your photos will get too grainy or oversaturated and the quality will plummet. However, touch ups here and there, especially with brightness, a bit of contrast, and filters, can drastically improve the way a picture turns out. My favorite apps for editing are Lightroom, Meitu, and Snapseed. I’d suggest finding one or two that you consistently use for editing and then trying to edit photos in a similar way each time. Sticking to the same filters will help you master your color scheme and also save you from days of deliberation.
Have Fun With It
Social media has its pros and cons. If you get too serious about Instagram, it can drive you to the point of obsession. I’ve seen this happen and it ain’t pretty! Don’t forget that at the end of the day, it’s just an app for sharing beautiful imagery and inspo. It has nothing to do with your self-worth as a person, and tbh, a cooler feed does not equate to a cooler life. Have fun with your photos, stay lighthearted, and remember that a moment is only worth capturing if you take the time to live in it first.
You’ve got the tools you need to curate a feed worthy of an exhibition. Be sure to leave me a comment if there are other social media related posts you’d like to see! Happy snapping.