Hello fellow Instagrammers!
Today I'd like to share simple tips to help improve your Instagram feed. As I previously stated, I've learned these things kind of "on the job" but they have helped me develop the kind of style and IG voice that I am very happy with.
Beautiful photography eventually leads to more followers
Instagram is my favorite social media platform because like many others, I am visual. If I allowed myself, I'd spend hours exploring and discovering new IG accounts with beautiful photography. When you first start and don't necessarily have many followers or fame (like if you're not Katy Perry or something) you may have to rely on the one thing that you can have, and that is: beautiful and creative photography. On top of being a benefit to us, beautiful photography inevitably attracts followers. So instead of hating on the Instagrammer that has horrible pictures yet has tons of followers, I want to use this opportunity to brush up on my photography skills and bring something new and desirable to the table that will make people dream and want to follow along.
Inspiration and imitation are NOT synonyms
A good way to improve your photography is to look at other people's work and get ideas on angles, props, scenery, etc. That being said, always put your individual stamp on it by trying it in your own context with your own
materials. Use this as an opportunity to push yourself to be creative and not copy exactly what you see others doing. Also, be sure to check how your picture will look in the square format of Instagram because it may look very different from what you see on your phone or camera lens.
This is the hard part; especially if like me, you have not been doing photography for a long time. I found that the best way to play along until I figure it out (if ever) was to choose a sequence of themes, and photograph them on repeat. For example: I usually have a foodie picture, a lifestyle picture (styled and photographed on the table), an environment picture (nature or urban) and I repeat the themes, reinterpreting them in creative ways.
Here are some examples of varied accounts that I love and that have with distinctive yet consistent themes in their feed. I am sure you will recognize them easily.
H is for Hashtag
Hashtags (#) on social media are like the addresses to communities and people that either like the same things as you, read or just came up with the same idea of a hashtag as you. Through the use of hashtags I have found not only great photography, but also great people that I can connect with on little things that we already have in common. Look at what your favorite Instagrammers are hashtagging and use it or even better, use their hashtag if they have created one and join the fun. Don't be afraid to use several hashtags that apply, with your pictures and allow other people to find you. I like what this blogger
on the topic of Instagram.
As a result of using hashtags, some amazing IG accounts that I love have featured my photography several times (Mentioned in previous posts here and here). I don't say this so that you try using the hashtags I use because it may not work for you, instead I mention it to inspire you to find your own IG community through this tool.
When I started this blog, I decided that I was in it for the love of writing, of photography and interaction. I also decided that I was not in it for followers, stats, or the prestige that some people may be after. I simply wanted to offer something with my unique touch to the world by celebrating the small things that unite us all. This philosophy has shielded me from unhealthy competition and has made connections a lot more organic and so rewarding. When wanting to increase the traffic on your IG, be genuinely nice when you find something you like. Comment, "like" generously and sincerely, mention other blogs and participate in link ups and don't expect anything back. By liking other people's pictures you put yourself in front of them positively and they are free to look at your profile if they desire to or not, when they get the notification.
Everyone loves a good story
It is true that not everyone reads captions but I have discovered that many still do, so be on the safe side and use them; they may eventually work to your advantage. I use mine as a daily inspirational capsule and you can choose to use yours for poetry, clever quotes, funny anecdotes, song lyrics, etc. You choose, but put thought into it because it will add a voice to your photography style. Everyone has different boundaries of what is appropriate or not to share online, but in any case, be genuine and tell stories because I have discovered that people like them. In fact, I like them!
Do you have other ideas of improvement in this form of social media? Make sure to join the discussion by leaving a comment in the comment section below. Stay tuned for next week's photography post concerning my favorite photo editing and quote making apps.