I’ve always considered Instagram to be the better version of Facebook. That is because while on Facebook people post photos of their wanderings, family and friends, photos snapped carelessly with a phone, Instagram, on the other hand, offers users the possibility to be more creative nowadays. Although its name suggests posting or sharing photos immediately after taking them, as we all did in the early days, the whole Instagram concept has changed over the years.
Since 2014 when I first posted a photo, I’ve witnessed some shifts in what we call “Instagram trends.” In the beginning, reposting was a big deal, whether you reposted quotes, random relevant or not statements or outfits, these were among the interesting posts. Then, macros were gaining territory. Nature, insects, flowers, shoes and other accessories were under a magnifying glass. After a while, users refocused and the “studied pose” began to be in trend on almost every fashion enthusiasts and lifestyle profiles on Instagram, all as an outcome for the blog posts published at the time and self promoted there. Eventually, nowadays tendency introduces a more natural-like pose in the posts, as we see photos of people walking, spinning, dancing, eating or drinking. Moreover, as Instagram became more of a business visual advertising is the latest trend, as everyone wants to be creative and featured.
All in all, Instagram is a fun and creative place for different types of people, photographers or just amateurs who like to experiment and seek interesting, charming and original, fresh perspectives.
These being said, let’s go through my common sense steps for an Instagramable account:
If you want to have really nice photos, using a good camera is a must. When I started I had a compact Samsung, with which I took a few really great macro shots, but that was it. I had a taste of photography and since I liked it so much I started investing in a good DSLR for a more professional result. Nowadays there are phones that can take good shots and there are many who can work only with that, but it all depends on what kind of photos you want to have.
When it comes to content things may get a bit difficult or confusing, as everything is extremely subjective and not everyone has an eye for the perfect composition.
Let’s start with the subject. Assuming you take a photo of a person, a female. Needless to say her make-up has to be on fleek, if she wears any, because smudged or unblended make-up is really unwanted. Also, don’t forget about facial expressions and angle. As I studied my face in photos, I noticed that my left side looks better than my right one and what body poses work for me.
The background also plays an important role in your photo. I’ve seen photos on accounts with hundreds of thousands followers in Morocco, for instance, in a carpet shop. Either a she or a he or both sit in the middle of the carpets. I’m sure such photos are familiar to you. This types of photos are definitely not something I would take or post as you can barely see the subject in it. Basically, that is a big carpet shot, as you get lost in the backdrop. I prefer a bit of contrast.
On the same issue, don’t post photos in which are tens or hundreds of other people, for instance at the Fontana di Trevi or Duomo di Milano. I did this mistake and as good as I looked the photo is still ruined.
Some things that I notice and spoil a photo are trash bins in the street, laundry on the sofa or other things that do not blend in or well. Pay attention to small details and be selective.
This step is essential because you want you photo to stand out a bit. I don’t like to edit my pics too much because I always aim for a more natural result. I prefer to play with the light, sharpness, saturation or even warmth. Also, I sometimes add an Instagram filter, but before I post it I make sure to adjust the strength to make it less overpowering. It’s important to know when to stop editing.
Some prefer to have a themed profile, that is using the same filter or an editing template to go with every post, so that everything looks as an entirety. If you find this boring, you can choose a colour, an object or even a concept which can dominate, in a row, 3 or 6 of your posts. The minimal theme is also really great, but a bit difficult to achieve. For more examples, check this post.
In the following examples, you can notice the red colour and the yellow in my hair and sunflower. For days with zero inspiration I came up with a solution. I wrote phrases or words on small pieces of paper, words like “music” or “the future,” and I randomly pick one and shoot 3 different photos related to that theme.
Don’t be one of those people who pop up in every single photo because it’s really boring and exhausting to me at least to see your face every time. The same goes for architecture or landscapes, unless you choose to be part of a single niche. Otherwise, play with the camera, backgrounds, change some angles, post and see how much and what kind of feedback you get.
6. Stay inspired
if you ask me, being original nowadays is a real struggle, as we all have unlimited access to so much varied content via all social networks. Unconsciously, concepts and ideas get inside our head tricking us into believing that we were the ones who came up with certain things when there is a great chance that someone already has something similar if not the same post.
However, authenticity as it may seem quite hard to achieve, it’s not impossible. What you can do is take an idea and reinvent it, make it yours, own it. From experience, copying some post will only leave you frustrated because chances are you may not get the same result. For instance, in springtime when every girl behind a “successful” account had photos at a picnic, under the pink blossoms, I went up in the mountains to have my picnic, thus changing the scenery. As you saw the photos above, I did not eat pizza neither on a Vespa, nor at a table in Italy, but beside the lake.
I hope you found this post to be enlightening and inspiring
Don’t forget to tell me what kind of posts you like and also dislike on Instragram