“This is totally Instagram worthy” comes out of my mouth probably at least once a day. How annoying am I? Now to be quite candid, I am not an expert on Instagram.
This is not coming from a girl with 300,000+ followers, but it comes from someone who pays a lot of attention to detail, wants consistent high quality photos and is a bit OCD about each one and ensures it fits into the theme of her feed. Whatever that theme may be.
It’s very important that the image you’re taking is from a good angle and is a good image to begin with because you and I can take the same image but they will likely be two completely different images. I did this with a friend a few weeks ago where we both attempted to take a photo of a champagne glass by the pool. While we had the exact same phone (she had an iPhone 6 and I have a 6+) the images were drastically different. It usually take 50+ shots to have a good range of images and gets you to a point where you can pick the creme de la creme of the lot. It’s also important to note that sometimes you won’t be able to get a good shot no matter what angle you try. I’ve taken pictures of gorgeous meals and just absolutely beautiful settings, but the natural lighting was so dim and terrible that the image could not be salvaged. That happens and in those instances you have to cut your losses and run because a low quality image that’s grainy or doesn’t fit into the overall high quality feed is not an image you want to represent you, your brand, or your business. Many people also take images with equipment that is just not up to par in regards to quality. An iPhone 6 (and whatever the Android equivalent is) would have an appropriate camera for the high quality you are looking for in an image. Unfortunately the iPhone 4 and older are not your best bets. Some cameras will give you grainy images in most environments so when deciding on a camera, you definitely want to test the quality and understand what kind of end result you will receive.
Once of the most important and best edits to any image is brightening the elements of the image itself, usually the entire photo. Right below you will see an image with two of the same photo of the flower bouquet in my filming room. You’ll notice the top image is the natural picture and then the image below it has been edited and has been significantly lightened. Lightening up an image makes a huge difference, especially if you’re working with an image that just needs a little additional light. The picture is completely different and much more vibrant, fun and fitting within my Insta feed.
In the image below, I have thrown all the products used in my simple and glam look onto my desk. I included some of my potpourri and arranged the products in the most attractive way so the pink tones help bring the image together. The placement of the products and addition of potpourri makes the picture comes together and look much more appealing. At least for me, this is the type of image I would like and comment on if it were someone else’s feed so I’ve found the way to edit and make my images what I would enjoy seeing on others’ profiles. That is the key.
Now we come to the topic of theme. Everyone talks about theme. Theme this, theme that. What the heck does a theme really mean? Do all my pictures have to have the white background? Do they all need to have a certain tone of color in them? Should they all be white and black? What does the idea of a theme even mean? Well…I’m not the best person to tell you because my Instagram doesn’t have a specific “theme” as there’s outdoorsy backgrounds in some, my white background in others and everything in between too. If anything, I would say my theme is colorful and vibrant and I’ve really been focusing on making all posts as high quality as possible.
What apps do you need? Well..lucky for you I’ve got quite a few and you’re going to think I’m crazy but sometimes one image needs 3+ apps before the picture is ready for Instagram. OCD much? I use Afterlight and Aviary the most, with Afterlight being my typical go-to. It allows me to adjust just about everything I would want to, but I’ve noticed some features in Aviary that are easily used such as blurring and covering blemishes which is a necessity when you’re taking shots of makeup looks. I like to use Instagram’s Layout for adding doubles of me or incorporating 2+ images into one images for Insta. I have a few more downloaded, but I don’t necessarily use them quite yet (in learning mode currently to see if they’re worth the hype.)
I think at the end of the day, it’s important to research popular accounts and see what they’re doing. Followers tend to gravitate to certain themes and accounts with consistent high quality images (make sure to visit my top five Insta accounts post here) and see how your unique style could fit into a clean and unique theme. Many people always say they don’t understand why their following isn’t growing, but if your feed isn’t absolutely gorgeous in the early stages it is harder to grow the following. It’s always interesting to me to see some of my favorite blogger or vloggers and how they do on Instagram. Instagram following isn’t always based on how many fans or followers you have on other platforms, but specifically on the quality of the feed. Some YouTubers have significantly more followers on Instagram (e.g. inthefrow and Desi Perkins) so you can tell that her imagery is appealing even to those who are not interested in subscribing to their YouTube channels. Nonetheless, I haven’t found a specific trend regarding following on Insta based on other followings as I do not believe there is one per say but it’s important to see the successful accounts and see what they’re doing in order to figure out how your imagery can get noticed by a larger following.
Last point I’ll make is that hashtags can help, especially if you are including niche words and phrases. People search by hashtag so you will have followers find you through hashtags that are relevant to your image. I normally include the most important and most relevant hashtag in the original comment and then leave a complete separate comment with all relevant hashtags. In order to expedite your posting process, I recommend having a few generic hashtag strings saved in a note so you can easily copy and paste for your images and quickly adjust a few words here and there as necessary.
I hope you found this information valuable and if I’m not following you already, make sure to leave your Instagram link down below because I love finding new beautiful accounts to follow! I also made you a custom picture so you can pin this post and share the goods…you know you want to 😉
Happy Friday! Happy weekend & happy Instagramming!