Thursday, 3 September 2015

How To: Take Good Instagram Photos

I often get asked about my Instagram, how I take my photographs and what apps I use, so I thought today i'd let you all in on my secrets. Instagram is by far my favourite social media. I love the combination of photography, styling, curating and networking. There's something very enjoyable about getting a little peek into someone else's life. Instagram has definitely transformed from being simply a social app where you share photos of yourself and your friends to something where people can share their work, their photography, their fashion styling, their interior design, their cooking... the list goes on. The bottom line is, I love it. So without blabbing on anymore, here are my top 5 tips to having an Instagram account that will always keep others coming back for more.

 1. Decide what your niche is.

This is really important. When I take a look at all of the Instagrams that I follow it is very obvious what their niche or passion is. Whether it be nature photography, cooking/recipes, fashion styling, minimal living, Scandinavian homewares or makeup, they all have a common theme. Having a consistent theme means other Instagrammers who enjoy the same thing will often find your account and follow you back. This develops a network of people who appreciate the same kinds of posts and thus creates an increasing following of people who love what you love. This is also just really nice for making friends who have things in common with you! 

2. Be Social! 

I think communicating on other people's Instagrams when you like their posts or enjoy what they do is really important. Just like reality, people cannot mind read so it's important to let people know when you like something they do or you appreciate them. I myself am guilty of not being able to reply to everyone who comments on my posts on Instagram however if someone asks me a question I almost always reply within 6 hours. This is really important. People want to feel like they are following someone who isn't just a robot.

3. Find your aesthetic. 

I tend to follow people who have a consistent aesthetic to their photos. This can be anything from foggy nature photography, black and white minimal styling, incredibly colourful food photography taken on a black table etc. Not only does your Instagram feed look really beautiful when you do this but it helps your followers know what to expect. I like to shoot my photos mainly with a minimal style theme with low saturation and black and white styling. Sometimes I have pieces of colour in my shots but overall the aesthetic is consistently the same. 

4. Make use of apps like VSCO Cam and Afterlight. 

These two photo editing apps are my favourite and used in almost all of my photos. VSCO Cam is by far my favourite photo editing app and probably always will be. Their filters are beautiful, the photo editing tools are really great for cropping, exposure and saturation. I also like to use Afterlight. Afterlight is fantastic when it comes to changing exposure, colour balances and contrast. I love taking photos only to play around with them on these two apps, it's almost like a hobby for me. I could do it for hours.

5. Be real, don't overuse hashtags and just have fun.

One of the most important tips I have is to just be real and have fun. Instagram is such a great tool for playing around with your creativity and making new connections. I love going on Instagram for drawing inspiration and finding new companies i'd like to work with or buy from. Don't try too hard to have people follow you or notice your posts. Hash-tagging more than four or so tags is just excessive and really annoying. Keep your hashtags down to things that are relevant to the photo you've posted and don't overdo it. 

Also remember to show your personality. People want to learn more about you and why you post the things you do. Don't be scared to show your more vulnerable side but also make sure to keep it hopeful. We sometimes forget that Instagram only shows people's highlight reels so communicating with your followers and being 'real' makes you a lot more appealing. I personally love following people who communicate with their followers, who aren't afraid to say they are working on something or are challenged by something at the moment and who maintain a hopeful attitude. 
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