Get ready for a crash-course on this crazy little app.
Before we jump in, I want to explain my purpose for this post. A lot of people ask me why I obsess over Instagram so much, and here is my answer: You are a business, and your social media is how you market that business. If you have an Instagram account, you are constantly marketing yourself. Anyone who sees your feed can and will make judgments and assumptions based on your photos--what the content is, how high quality they are, and the overall theme of your feed. I aim to represent myself through my Instagram in the best way I can, and this post offers all of my knowledge, tips, and Insta secrets that I've learned throughout my time spent obsessing over this app.
So, finally, here are 10 tips for your Instagram:
1. Quality is key. People like visually appealing pictures that are clear, in-focus, and not too far away. To further your photography skills, you can research the composition rules of photography, which focus on technical aspects of picture-taking, such as leading lines, the rule of thirds, and focal points.
2. Editing isn't just about filters. A lot of people assume "editing" simply means putting an Instagram filter on your picture and calling it a day. That is not the case. There are a ton of apps that allow you to adjust specific aspects of the photo, such as exposure, saturation, undertone, sharpness, and so on. They're super easy to get the hang of, and they can make an extreme difference for your pictures. Some of my favorite editing apps are Afterlight and VSCO.
3. Filters to fit your feed. Using similar filters on all of your pictures can help give your feed a more cohesive look. I personally use three of my favorite filters at different levels so that the colors and lighting all flow together. UNUM is a good app to use to plan out what you want your feed to look like.
4. Picture collages are out. Now that Instagram gives you the option to post multiple pictures in one post, there is no need to create a collage of a bunch of different photos. So, when your best friend's birthday is coming up, you can post multiple photos of them without trying to fit them all into a collage.
5. Natural light is bae. The moment I discovered natural light made photos look better, my life was changed. Especially for iPhone cameras, photos taken in natural light will appear clearer and less fuzzy. A key secret to selfie-taking is to stand in front of a window, or to sit in the front of a car, where you're basically bathing in natural light.
6. If all else fails, flash can be a beautiful thing. If you're taking pictures in a shadow-y place, or not enough natural light to make your picture look good, always opt for flash.
7. Get rid of that red-eye! The amount of pictures I see where the subjects have bright red pupils is astonishing. There's a handy little feature in the Photos app that takes away red-eye! Utilize that ish!
8. Avoid over-editing your face. 9/10 times, I can tell when someone whitens their teeth or airbrushes their face. When you use any tools to their highest power, it looks extremely unnatural. If your face is the only thing in the photo that's softened, or your teeth appear whiter than anything else white in the photo, it will be noticeable. A rule of thumb is to never use over 50% of the power when applying an edit to your face. My favorite apps to use are Facetune, Facetune 2, and Perfect365.
9. Pace your posting. If you have a bunch of great pictures from a photo-shoot or a vacation that you're dying to post, space them out so that you don't post them all at the same time. The only people who are allowed to ignore the quadruple-posting rule seem to be celebrities. You'll also have some killer #TBT pictures.
10. Let your Instagram be an expression of yourself. Don't go out of your way to take "blogger-style" photos, if it isn't something you usually do. For example, I love those pictures of milk being poured into iced-coffee, but I'd never take a picture like that because I hate iced-coffee. Be yourself, be original, and have fun with it!