If someone said to me ‘ what’s the app you probably spend way too much time on when you’re supposed to be working…’ the answer would most probably be Instagram. Damn I love that photo sharing app, and tbh I’m digging it even more now that it’s all got a bit themey. A controversial comment I know, as it seems you either love or hate the instagram theme thing. Whilst part of me does miss the real ness that Instagram used to be, like I genuinely used to instagram pictures of my dinners which consisted of baked potatoes on a plate. Like why did I think anyone wanted to see that? So weird, but now it seems that a baked potato is frowned upon. Well it’s not really but you know, you get my drift.
With Instagram no longer being about the grainy filter pics from behind the scenes of our lives, it’s got all glossy and swish. It’s like Instagram has had someone turn up on their doorstep to tell them that they’re actually the distant relative of the Royal Family in Genovia, and are now the new princess. That’s got to be the only explanation though right? And also let’s be honest who also wishes that this will happen one day? Just me? Okay cool.
I decided to take a plunge with an Instagram theme back in the Autumn, I didn’t know if I could really be arsed but I decided that it might be a good thing to have a certain way of editing all my photos, after all it kinda helps with that whole branding thing that everyone is talking about right now. (What is it about personal branding that makes you want to be a little bit sick?)
Anyway… ever since I’ve been editing my photos in the same way, and trying to think a little more about what to post, I have noticed a pretty big improvement of growth on Instagram. I think it’s gone up by 5,000 + followers in just two months. I’m not sure if this is good or not, but for me this is pretty fast and I think that’s pretty good right?
So today, after having a few questions about Instagram, and I how I edit, I thought I’d talk through some things that I have found to really help to grow my Instagram and ultimately make people comment ‘feed goals’ on my picture. (Which tbh, I don’t really get and makes me feel 84 rather than 24)
1. Planning What To Take: Sometimes i find it pretty hard thinking ‘just what do you upload to Instagram?’ Usually I tend to use Instagram as a little extension to my blog/YouTube. I use it as a promo tool for new posts, some snippets of new in products, or things I’m really liking. Behind the scenes stuff like normal things I get up to, pics of my dog etc… Sometimes I do think about creating a personal instagram where I just post whatever, as my current one is definitely used as one for my blog!
2. Knowing Your Camera: Probably about 80% of my Instagram photos are taken on my phone; an iPhone 5s. Yes the camera isn’t amazing, and I’m literally counting down the days till I can upgrade my phone butttt you can take good photos on practically anything. I would recommend setting up the grid on your camera which is great for working out where to place your pictures, making sure whatever you want to focus on is in the centre. You can set this up by going to; Settings, Photos & Camera, scroll down to grid and swipe that on. You can then turn it off whenever, but it’s quite handy for product photos. Also when using your phone, if you hold down on the place where you want to focus you can lock the focus, meaning that you can move around but the camera will focus on that one point. WELCOME TO 2016 everyone. This will be where everyone tells me that they already knew this and it’s just me who worked this out recently.
3. Good Lighting Is Key: Part of the problem with my baked potato photos (though there were many problems trust me) was the lighting. Photos always look better with good lighting right? So take photos by a window and use as much natural light as you can. If you’re taking photos at night, think about artificial lights (you can pick up cheap lights on places such as Ebay and Amazon) I usually use a soft box light if I need to take photos on a grey/dark day.
4. Think Outside Of The Box: You want people to follow your Instagram because it’s enticing and makes people go all heart eye emoji. Think outside the box when it comes to props and backgrounds, mix things up. I always try to find picture inspiration on sites such as Tumblr and Pinterest and just have a play around! I love using props such as candles, fairy lights, stationery, books, flowers, etc… You can pick up cheap props from places like Ebay and Amazon if you want something in particular 🙂
Before and After editing with VSCO cam. (Filter HB1)
5. What Editing Apps To Use? I think a lot of people have different preferences for their editing, but personally I love VSCO cam and Facetune. VSCO is great for creating different filter looks to your photos, I find that following VSCO cam inspiration accounts on Instagram are so handy for working out what different filters look like. My fave filter and the one I use on all my instagram photos is HB1, I then alter the exposure but usually like my photos to be nice and bright, add the contrast and usually get rid of shadows. I will then use Facetune, to whiten the background of photos, I use the whiten tool on walls, tables, etc…. just to make everything really nice and bright, and this makes everything match.
With VSCO cam you can also copy and paste your edits, so once you work out how you want to edit your photos, all you then need to do is copy the edits onto a new photo and voila sorted.
Before and After using my edits (filter is HB1)
6. It’s All About The Angles: I found that I started taking better photos when I started to play around with how I took them. For example, I always find that taking flat lay photos is better when you take them from above. Standing on a stool/chair always helps, or something crouching down etc… I used to take my photos straight on and that was it, but those amazing flat lays you see on Pinterest? Yep totally achievable now whoo!
So there are some tips on making your photos better for Instagram, you can see how I edit my Instagram photos in this video here….
What are your instagram tips?