If you aren't active on Instagram these days, you might not be aware that it has almost become an art form. Whether we want to admit it or not, we've all gotten caught scrolling 60 weeks deep into someone's Instagram profile – mainly to admire their landscape shots, fancy food snaps, and #OOTDs.
Although it's had its fair share of controversies, the social media platform is arguably the perfect online community to post the behind-the-scenes of your personal life with the aesthetic of a highlight reel.
Users have ultimately become business moguls, models, or visual artists of some sort, all thanks to the content they post to their beloved IG feeds. With a smartphone camera, endless editing apps and filter options, and just a bit of charisma, you can transform your "Insta" feed instantly. Ultimately, it's all about the way you want your followers to perceive you and your brand, all while bringing your vision to life.
Here are some tips for being successful on IG.
1. Know how to compose photos.Giphy
When starting a brand-new Instagram feed, you should ask yourself:
- "What do I want to share with my followers?"
- "What colors, sizes, and shapes appeal to the eye?"
Establishing what content you want to post is important – are you a makeup artist trying to change the world one smoky eye at a time, a foodie who loves to snap photos of gorgeously delicious meals, or a world-traveler who wants to share their exploration with others? Are you just posting memories from your personal life? The possibilities are endless. At the end of the day, you're posting for yourself and you should be happy with what you see being represented through your profile.
2. Learn basic retouching.
Before and after editing on Facetune.
This step is completely optional based on personal preference. For decades, there has been a stigma around photo retouching because it's "unrealistic" and has a bad rep for affecting beauty standards across the globe. However, if you have a selfie that you found would've been perfect without those eye bags or breakouts, you should be able to edit them out if you want to. If you want to add a little light in your eyes or de-focus your background for a more professional look, you should be able to. Facetune is an affordable app for easy and basic photo retouching.
3. Master color schemes and filters.
Youtuber Kelsey Simone's Instagram feed is a prime example of keeping a consistent theme with a distinctive filter and color scheme.
Kelsey Simone / Instagram
What's the key to a gorgeously cohesive Instagram feed? Sticking to a specific color scheme or photo style.
Some people prefer not to incorporate a consistent filter or color scheme because it's a "hassle" or "too much work." However, when it is done, it adds a modern, professional flair to photos and improves the overall flow and seamlessness of your profile. One way to achieve this is to choose one filter and stick with it – edit all your photos with the same one.
Color schemes are also given criticisms because it's too difficult to find one that represents the content creator. For help choosing a specific theme or color scheme for our Instagram, check out this list of ideas. Apps such as VSCO, Afterlight, and Snapseed are perfect for adding filters over your photos and making them just a tad more cohesive than they are without one.
4. Know when to use heavy vs. light photos.
A light photo.
This is a very basic photography technique that can be used to achieve a not-so-basic feed. Having a combination of heavy photos and light photos not only broadens the content on your Instagram but makes it appear more organized. Photos containing groups of people or objects are identified as heavy, whereas portraits and selfies are identified as light photos. The key to this is posting a mixture of both heavy and light photos – one heavy, one light, but never two heavy or light photos in a row. Knowing exactly what you want to photograph and when you want to post it also helps a lot. Even if you don't know, make sure to get several angles so you can use them for later posts!
Curating a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed takes a lot of time, practice, and work, but it's all worth it in the end when it can bring you new and exhilarating opportunities.
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