One of the most reoccurring questions I receive working in social media marketing is about keeping a consistent Instagram feed. Whether you're running a professional account or creating for your personal Instagram, this topic could be beneficial for you.
When I first started creating I thought the only way to have a cohesive Instagram feed was to edit all my photos the exact same way, which turned out to be easy, because I exclusively posted blanch white photos. My feed pretty much looked like a dentist's office. I posed in front of the same three white walls, went to the same "minimalistic" coffee shops, and I never once strayed from my theme. I went on for years like that, overexposing photos and refusing to post pictures I loved simply because they were too colorful.
It wasn't until I had begun working in social media professionally that I realized I couldn't whitewash every photo and expect to keep my content engaging. See, editing photos is about enhancing them, making them more pleasing to look at, transporting the viewer to that location at that time. It's not about putting restrictions on your creativity for the sake of your social media.
I know this might sound idealistic, but I promise we're getting to some concrete tips.
Here's the point of all this: you don't need to have the same photo, filter, style, ANYTHING to have a cohesive Instagram feed. Did you catch that? Cohesive, not matchy-matchy. BIG tea: you don't need to buy presets either. Don't misunderstand me, it's always a good idea to have some of your favorite filters and contrast levels in a recipe, but it is not vital in having a consistent feed. In fact I recommend NOT using the same filter and exposure levels every time. Shocking, I know. And if you're having a hard time believing me, then here are simplified tips:
1. Stay inspired.
Don't put creative limits on yourself. It's one thing to just love the way a filter makes a photo look, but it's another to sacrifice your vision and the initial beauty of a photograph just to keep up with your feed. I suggest starting simple, possibly using your favorite color and just going from there. Most importantly, don't be afraid to change your theme, or posting a photo that doesn't exactly match the one before it. Artists go through "series" just as your Instagram feed will go through changes, it's okay.
2. Plan it out.
I highly recommend the app UNUM, I know so many Instagrammers that use this app religiously, and I must say if you're ever nervous about the way a photo will look with your feed, then don't even hesitate - just download it. It links with your Instagram account so you can see exactly how your grid will look with new photos, without you having to post them first.
3. Do your research.
If you're the type of person who needs a mood board or an inspiration reference, then utilize that. If you want more negative space in your feed then try to look at photos more individually. If you want more colors in your feed pick at least 3 and start taking photos based on them. The hardest part is starting. Once you have a solid idea to work from, it'll get easier.
4. Ask questions.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Instagram should inspire you, not intimidate you. Instagram is a creative community, one that you should feel comfortable enough to ask questions in. If you know someone rocking an Instagram feed, ask them to shoot with you. If you're not sure how to edit a photo so it works with your feed, ask someone with an account you admire to edit for you. We should be reinforcing the idea that Instagram is a place to make friends and create together.
5. Make it personal.
I believe that what you post speaks to your passions and what you care about most. When you take a photo that you intend to post on Instagram, make it personal, make it yours, not anyone else's. Did you buy a favorite pair of shoes recently? Do you just love a certain mural downtown? There are reasons you like those things, you are the common thread in your posts, make YOU your Instagram feed, and the rest will scroll into place.
In the end, it's more important to post photos that you like, rather than posting photos for the likes.
-I'm inspired, I'm tired of whitewashed photos, and im_blu3