I hope your Sunday is going swell, I'm currently waiting for my Sunday roast and in the meantime I thought I'd write a little bit about my favourite app; Instagram! I love to use Instagram for inspiration, being a massive photography fan, when I find a feed I like I'm hooked. So what is it that makes me follow?
(Now of course you might be thinking who takes Instagram that seriously? But If you use Instagram for promotional or business purposes it can be a really good way of showcasing work and of course your Instagram can be however you like but these are just a few things I like to see in a good feed…)
I know pretty much instantly whether I want to follow an account or not, I quickly browse their feed and if it looks like there is a general theme/flow to their feed or they appear to be taken in a creative way then I’m there! I know this also sounds pretty simple and it’s probably what most of us look for when looking for inspiration but I thought I'd talk through what in particular I look for in my favourite Instagram accounts. I think identifying these points has also helped me to create my own photography style...
I think first and foremost the most important thing I look for in a good Instagram feed is quality within a picture. Now I'm not saying you need to take all of your photos with an SLR, as let’s be honest that’s not what Instagram was created for but making sure your photos aren’t blurry or distorted is a start. I use my iPhone for all of my Instagram uploads and I find with good use of lighting you can make a picture look pretty clear, play around with your camera whether it be on a phone, SLR or compact make sure you know the ins and outs of how to use your camera to the best of its ability. Another big tip which I find so helpful for any smart phone user is ALWAYS wipe your camera before using it to take a picture, you will be so surprised at how much dust and dirt is on your lens!
The theme and colour of your pictures can be very user specific, it can all depend on what your photographing, for example if your Instagram feed is based around taking photos of buildings adding a picture in there of the burger you had for lunch might not be in fitting with the theme and interest you’ve already developed (OK that was a really crap example but you get my drift? Ha), try to stick with a theme of what you photograph. My theme tends to be what I blog about, I like to try to collaborate my Instagram with my blog; for example my pictures are mainly based around beauty, fashion, travel and lifestyle. Along with paying attention to the theme of your photographs you can start to pick out colours within your pictures, This will again make your theme stronger; colour and hue really helps to create an overall theme. I follow a range of accounts, some nature-themed where the colours are muted greens and yellows, I also follow users with minimalistic monochrome accounts; it all makes your Instagram a lot more personalised. Look at your favourite pictures and what you like about them, try to pick out main features and include that in the next picture you take. There is no right or wrong way to do it, just play around and have fun.
Thinking about taking your photo sounds obvious but I'm sure we’re all guilty of taking a photo while someone is photo bombing the background or there’s been something within the picture that you didn't really want to capture. Photo composition is a big factor! It can really add that creative feel to your image, before you snap a picture of your daily coffee pay attention to exactly what’s in your photo; there’s no shame in re-arranging items within your Instagram square! Pay attention to the colours and textures within the photo and whether they fit with your feed. Move the subject to better light and change your positions to create an interesting point of view. The way you compose a photo can become a signature theme within your Instagram feed.
There are so many apps when it comes to photo processing; if you browse the photography section of the app store you’ll find hundreds to choose from. I chose some of my favourites on a previous blog post which you can read HERE. Of course this part is optional and if the photo is taken well it doesn't always need processing but a little bit of straightening and cropping can go a long way! These apps mean you can edit till the cows come home and play with a picture until you’re truly happy with it with numerous filters to choose from (go easy on them though, some of them are let’s say a bit much). I personally like minimally edited Instagram pictures/accounts, for my photographs I usually adjust the crop, straightening and add a little brightness and contrast; it’s all up to personal choice. Again this all comes back to creating a theme for your feed, using certain techniques will allow you to develop your own style of editing. If you don't fancy using separate apps you can also edit directly within the Instagram app which is a bonus. I think a little processing goes a long way, it can really boost the creative feel within your feed.
I hope you found these tips helpful, what do you look for in an Instagram feed? You can follow me on Instagram @emmagriffy