Before I ventured over into the “Home Decor & DIY” community I was your typical Instagramer. I posted a ton of selfies, pictures of my food, random shots of my feet up on the table watching The Kardashians and so on. If you look back far enough, you’ll see what I mean. My current Instagram account was a total unplanned accident. One day I posted a really bright and sharp picture of my living room and the rest was history.
I was always so amazed at some of the accounts I would come across. How in the world do they have such perfect pictures? Everything makes sense, it flows, how do they think of that? I guess before we bought a house, I never really had a common theme that I was passionate about. I suppose I could have posted about nursing (which there is only so much you can post in pictures), I could have posted about my makeup obsession but to get a really good quality photo of your makeup you absolutely need a good camera. Assuming you are here to get some tips… we don’t have a good “fancy” camera (or maybe we do but don’t have time to snap, upload, edit, email, upload again to IG) .
Here are some photo taking and editing tips that I have found useful while trying to keep my audience interested on Instagram.
Find your common theme
If you want more traffic, followers, likes and so on make sure your Instagram page has a common theme. As you may know, my theme is “home decor/DIY.” Your viewers follow you because something about your feed attracts them. Usually when I find a new friend I glance at their overall page (usually the first 9 photos or so) if I am drawn to them I follow! If your Instagram is a personal page with a lot of selfies that’s OK, but keep a common theme…make sure it flows!
Find your style
What kind of photos are you drawn to? Do you like black and white? Do you like really bright, white and neutral (that would be my style)? Do you like a lot of color? Do you like really sharp and modern? Do you like vintage style photos? The list is endless. This is the time for you to find your style. I like the style that I do because I am simply drawn to bright, white and neutral pictures. I am not one that is drawn to warm colors. I do have a lot of wood in my photos, mostly because of the rustic style of my home and wood is usually “warm” but I do use some editing features to cool it down a tad. When I have color in my photos, I try to make sure it is from nature, such as plants and flowers.
Shoot in “square”
Do you ever shoot an awesome picture and then can’t get the entire shot to fit into your Instagram square without having to download an additional app to adjust the size? I discovered the “square” option on my iPhone camera within the last year (I know it took a long time, don’t judge me) and it is amazing for those who are avid Instagramers. When you go to your camera application, simply swipe the screen to the left a few times until your shooting mode is in “square.” These photos will fit perfectly in on your Instagram page!
Choose the right time of day
Do you ever notice how pixelated your photos are when your setting is darker, pretty much anytime after 730 PM in the summer (in Wisconsin anyway). Unless you’re outside, you get more daylight out there! This means your phone camera does not have enough light for a good quality photo. So choose the time of day you want to take your photos. Coming from someone who photographs their home, I suggest you shoot early in the morning or during the evening when inside. Outside you have a bit more time and light!
Stick with a common filter
I do not use a filter on my photos but I know many pages that do and they look incredible (Keep reading and I’ll tell you what I do to my photos). Just like having a common theme you want your photos to have a common color theme, which is where the filter comes in play. If you want more traffic, you need to have consistency and using one (or as many as you want) common filter(s) on all photos is key!
Brigthen & Sharpen
My FAVORITE part! I actually always wondered how some people got their photos to look like they come from a magazine…so I asked one of my IG friends and she simply said “Brighten and sharpen.” You can edit your photos in your iPhone camera app but my favorite way to brighten and sharpen is in Instagram. Once you’ve chosen your Instagram photo and are ready to edit it and/or add a filter you will see a small wrench on the right hand side of the app. Tah-Dah! I usually brighten as bright as I can without it looking totally washed out. Personally, the brighter the better. Then I reduce the warmth of my photos because I like the cool tones. Finally I sharpen! If you do this, people will tell you that your photo looks like it’s out of a magazine.
Have fun. This will be my number one recommendation to you. Don’t ver lose sight of why you are posting these photos. I did it because I got an amazing response and formed so many friendships through a tiny square photo. I have had days where I felt I needed to meet a criteria, days where I felt I needed to post a certain type of photo to succeed. Well, don’t let yourself think that way. If you don’t want to have a common theme, common filter, bright light…so be it, you do you and I applaud and encourage that!
I have learned a lot about picture sharing since my journey in this “Home Decor & DIY” community. Much of it was from fellow Instagram sisters and BFFs who share their photo editing secrets with me. I think my account has come a long way, but has a long way to go. I have to remind myself, once in a while, that it is okay to post a picture that doesn’t fit in because this is ME. This is my life, I am not a robot and maybe some of my friends and followers actually want to get to know me a bit. I hope that you are more encouraged to take some awesome pictures with your phone after reading this. You don’t need a fancy and expensive camera to draw people in. Be YOU, and share your style, and people will love you for you!