Anyone that knows me knows my Instagram feed is very important to me. Like a lot of other Instagram-obsessed folks, I spend a lot of time taking and editing photos, curating my feed, and bugging people about their opinions on edits. I don’t have the best feed, but I take a lot of care to make it look decent.
I shoot most of my photos with my iPhone 6. I only bring out my actual cameras to shoot when I know I’m doing something cool that day. I like taking “everyday” shots with my phone, as it gives a very personal feel. I’m obsessed with my Canon G7x because it’s portable and it takes high quality, great-looking photos with its wide angle lens. I use my Canon T6i with my 50mm Prime lens to take a lot of product shots, closeups, or anything that looks awesome with a shallow depth of field.
I use the iPhone Photos app to do minor edits like adjusting brightness and contrast. I then import my photos into VSCO Cam, where I add filters and try to make my photos look better than they actually are. I occasionally use Afterlight if I’m not feeling any of the VSCO filters. Sometimes I use Photoshop Fix to clone stamp out flyaway hairs or blemishes. I used to actually go on my laptop to use clone stamp (it was hella annoying), and this app has been a life saver.
I post photos according to how they look on my feed, and I post them in “threes” (I’ll get into that later). Kerenza (@kerenzayuen) suggested the app MyPics to me as a way of previewing photos on my feed (thanks Kerenza!) It previews photos in rows of four, but I imported a blank photo to make it easier to view my row of three. *Edit: Kerenza informed me you can change the preview to rows of three in the settings.
If I have more than one photo from an event or location I want to post, I pick three and arrange them in the order that looks best aesthetically. If I only have one photo, I pair it with similar photos that look good next to it. Here are some examples on my feed:
The third photo in the first row wasn’t from the same day, but the colours were similar to the first two photos. I placed the photos with pinks on either side of the blue photo to balance the row. For the second row, I placed the closeups on either side of the wide shot. For the third row, I placed the darker skies on either side of the lighter sky. The point of all this is balance.
Here’s another example. I placed the sunset photo in the middle in the first row because it contained each of the dominant colours in the adjacent photos: blue and pink. I placed the feet photos in the second row on either side of the selfie shot. The common theme in the third row is coffee. Although all very different photos, they pair well together.
I was always hesitant about using hashtags, but I recently discovered the power of them (I know, I’m late to the game). Based on the number of likes on similar and older photos, my last few photos on Instagram received probably 50 to 100 more likes than they would have had I not used hashtags. As for my follower count, I gained about 60 followers in the last week thanks to using hashtags.
That’s the gist of how I shoot and edit my Instagram photos. Instagram is my favourite means of expressing myself, and I spend a lot of time on it. I hope this inspires you for your Instagram feed!
Feature image taken by Jerry D.