Instagram tips and advice pt. 1. // Photography and content
Now, I am in no way an instagram expert, but I am an avid user of the social media and have been so for the past two years all the while I have managed to establish quite a successful account with more than 56.000 followers and counting. I have learned and improved at lot over the past two years and since many of you email me about how to take good pictures, how to gain followers etc. I thought I would share my tips and advice with you in a blog post.
When I started writing this post I realized that I have quite a bit to share on this subject so I have decided to divide this post into two separate blog posts, this one will deal with photography and content and in the next one will share my tips on how to get noticed on instagram and gain more followers.
Now, there is absolutely no need to use a dslr camera or anything like that – instagram is made for smartphones and intended to be used taking pictures with your phones camera, so do not worry if your pictures aren’t always perfectly sharp. If you have an old phone with a bad camera then it might be time for an upgrade though, good quality pictures are important if you want to build a successful instagram.
Many of my pictures are taken with my Nikon, but that is because I also use them on the blog and I prefer higher quality pictures on here. I however also use my iphone for the more impromptu shots and they are often the pictures that I end up liking the most – they are more personal and spontaneous, which in my opinion, is a nice change from the more styled food shots.
This is pretty much the most important thing in this whole post – to take good pictures you need good natural light and preferably lots of it! Artificial light from lamps, flashes etc. usually makes for awful pictures, they often turn out yellow, grainy or end up being completely overexposed – if you take pictures in natural light but close to a lamp then turn off the lamp while you take the picture, this will usually not only make your picture sharper and of higher quality, but also prevent that annoying yellow’ish color that comes from most lamps and artificial light. So to sum it up, there is nothing like natural light and it will make your pictures look amazing! I take many of my pictures in my windowsill to get as much natural light as possible – direct sunlight is usually not good either though, haha good lighting can be tricky!
Take pictures from different angles to find the perfect view of what you are shooting – be creative with it and do not be afraid to try weird angles or super close-ups, they often turn out to be my favorite snaps whether I’m photographing food, an outfit or people.
Editing – apps
Good photo editing can make the world of a difference – I have often managed to save some otherwise pretty bad pictures by using some of my favourite photo apps to edit them. My two favourite photo apps are Afterlight and VscoCam. I almost always use Afterlight to adjust light, contrast, sharpness and saturation and in VscoCam I am completely addicted to the F2 filter – it can seriously almost make anything look good!
Elsie from A Beautiful Mess did a great post on how to edit iphone pictures – find it right here!
What you want to share on your instagram account is obviously completely up to you, but my advice is that there needs to be some sort of consistency in what you post and that you keep your pictures in the same style. You can either do this by posting pictures that belong in the same category – e.g. food, fashion, makeup etc. – or by using the same filter and editing your pictures the same way. If your feed seems messy it will be less appealing for potential new followers.
When it comes to content it is not only important to keep your pictures in the same style, but you also need to keep it interesting and constantly evolving so your followers do not get bored – if you keep posting new versions of what is basically the same picture/subject your followers might lose interest. I for example like to post a lot of fruit pictures, colorful smoothie bowls and smoothies in mason jars and I know my followers love these type of pictures – they are kind of “my thing”, but I still make sure to always try to come up with something new and unexpected to mix in with the familiar favorites so my followers won’t get bored of my feed.
Another thing to keep in mind regarding the content is to decide how personal you want it to be – often people do not care for too many random (and often bad quality) party snaps, pictures from family gatherings etc. so I would personally not spam them with too many of these kinds of pictures, but I do think it is a very good thing to make your account personal and share a bit of your everyday life in pictures. I have deliberately chosen not to share very much of my personal life on instagram, but I love when my favorite accounts sometimes share pictures of themselves, pets, children, travels etc.
Stay tuned for Instagram tips and advice pt. 2 coming next week where I will write about how to get noticed on instagram and gain more followers.