I was recently on Studio 5 with ma’ gurl Brooke chatting about ways to improve your Instagram photos. We chatted about filters, styling, lighting and other important things as one does on live television. Many of the tips I shared were from my Photography 101 e-course (which is a great place to start when improving your photography). You can see my full segment here, and because I really like you folks (and my kids are still sleeping) I am sharing some of those tips below. But first, a confession:
Even as I type this sentence I am feeling totally insecure about giving tips to improve your Instagram photos. For one, I feel like my Instagram account is a great source of business stress for me and for two, Instagram can be a million different things to a billion different people. Speaking truth: there is hardly a day that goes by where I don’t stress about my Instagram. Here is why though…my Instagram is simultaneously for my business and for my personal record keeping. I do make sure that every image I post is “in line” with my brand, but sometimes I’m like, “hey that is a really cute picture of my kid’s feet! Why does the whole world not LOVE this picture and like it a million times??? Why???” (on knees staring at the heavens above and shaking fists in despair).
Just kidding, I’m not really that dramatic.
Some day soon I will write a full blog post about the dangers of comparison and the difference between a branded Instagram account versus a personal Instagram account. I will tell you that you are awesome (because you are) and I will talk about how hurt my feelings get when I’m not invited to the party that literally everyone is posting about on Instagram. But I’ll stay more on topic and give some tips for taking great pics because that is why you are here!
The thing is, Instagram is a weird alien business-personal hybrid thing for me so the quality of the images matters. And although I don’t have bazillions of followers, I have noticed some trends that work great for me and for other Instagramers (a word I am currently commissioning be added to the next version of the dictionary).
Tip 1: Have a look and theme for your feed. This is one of those things where you know it when you see it. It’s the all neutral feeds, the all bright-colored feeds, the every-image-taken-from-above feeds. My favorite examples of this are @studiodiy (who is a branding genius and a really cool person), and @local_milk (the yummiest coolest neutral feed out there). So tip number 1 is essentially determine your photo style, and then run with that!
Tip 2: Take photos from interesting angles. Try from straight above, straight on, far away, and up close. Playing with angles and cropping creates tons of visual interest and makes your Instagram feed feel more compelling.
Tip 3: Play with movement. Ginger Parrish of @gparrish has one of my favorite Instagram accounts of all time! My favorite thing about her feed is how she is amazing at capturing movement. Thinking creatively about movement makes for awesome pictures! Ginger also offers a course specifically on Instagram that I highly recommend!