Let’s start with some real talk; social media is a weird place. It’s not always easy to tell what’s real and what’s fake. It can be easy to get caught up in the obsession of likes and followers. When it comes to social media, Instagram is my favorite platform and Snapchat’s a close second. I’m definitely a visual person and I love seeing photos of people’s lives and travels. I also love the curated layout of Instagram. It’s like a quick, easy look into your life.
My favorite part of Instagram is finding inspiration from others. I’m always finding new places to travel, new things to try, and most importantly loads of style inspiration. In my reader survey from a couple of weeks ago (find it here to give me your opinions!) a few people asked for more posts about social media. I thought I’d share a few of my Instagram photo tricks and tips.
iPhone vs Camera?
I take most of my Instagram pictures using my camera. This is my DSLR of choice. It has built in wi-fi so I can immediately upload the photos to my phone with the Fujifilm app. This is also great because you can use the app as a hands free control if you’re using a tripod. Lots of technology goodness with this camera. I also use my iPhone for some photos like if I post a picture of brunch or coffee or just something I see that I love and need a quick snap.
How do I edit my photos?
I use the VSCO app to edit all my photos from my phone. I use Lightroom for the photos here on my blog. I love how easy VSCO is to use and you can use preset filters. Most professional photographers, bloggers, people good at Instagram use VSCO to edit their photos on their phones. I don’t necessarily have any filters I use on the regular, I tend to edit my photos manually.
If my photo is too dark, I turn up the exposure. Or play with the shadow details.
If my photo is dull, I turn up the saturation to make the colors more vibrant.
Want to emphasize details, like a landscape photo? I turn up the clarity to make the details stand out, like this photo.
My favorite color is pink and it definitely is the inspiration behind the aesthetic for A Study in Chic. That means my Instagram is no different. I try to keep the filters on my photos in a pink hue and/or with something pink in them. I also keep my photos bright with lots of natural light.
If you want a quick edit, go through the VSCO filters and find the one that you love the most and stick with it. I know people who use two favorite filters layered on top of each other and that’s what works for them. You have to find what’s visually appealing to you and go with that. They’re your photos after all!
What about hashtags? How do I use them?
Let’s start by saying I love hashtags. I think they are the greatest thing ever and my biggest source of inspiration. I use hashtags as a way for people who don’t follow me to see my pictures. It’s a great way to get your photos out there and in front of people. I always keep hashtags in my post to a minimum or only the relevant ones and then I post a comment with hashtags that are relevant and will get my photos in front of more people. I also use hashtags to look for other photos. A few of my favorites are #flashesofdelight (Glitter Guide‘s main hashtag), #thatsdarling (Darling magazine’s hashtag), and #pursuepretty. I always find tons of great photos with these, which leads me to my next point…
Go out and like and comment on other people’s photos!
Instagram is all about engaging with other people. Like their photos and comment telling them you love it. Or read their captions and comment on those. A great way to connect with people is through captions. You may post a photo of a beach, but use the caption as a way to tell a quick story, something inspiring that happened, something annoying that happened, basically something that helps users connect with your content.
Most importantly remember it’s just a bunch of pictures telling a story. Don’t put too much thought or pressure into getting the most likes and followers. Have fun and be genuine!
Have more questions about Instagram or photos? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org!
xo – Tracy