Instagram is my favourite form of social media. I find oodles of inspiration from the aesthetically please feeds, as a creative I thrive on people’s interpretation and expression of their lives and world and interests. I’ve had instagram for about five years with a personal account where I used to post nonsensical shit, non flattering badly lit selfies with the Valencia filter and a lot of punny posts.
My current blog Instagram account @harpingonthebizarre has been live for about a year now. Admittedly I put a little more thought into my posts compared to my original personal account. Here is a snippet of my previous account’s aesthetic.
The way I edit photos is dynamic and something I have picked up along the way, inspired by established bloggers who have mastered the art of a perfect instagram feed. Here are some of my own humble tips and apps I use to create the images you see on @harpingonthebizarre.
Instagram has become a huge marketing and business tool. Having a theme or ‘look’ is important. You want people to see your instagram and hve some insight into you and your personal brand. Whether it be a colour scheme, a particular pose, a filter, viewers should feel and see the cohesion and interconnectedness of your images.
Favourite instagrams with cohesion
Murad Osman: Followmeto
Harper and Harley: black and gray
2. Edit all images the same way
Using the same editing on all your images is really important to creating cohesion and you ‘look’. If you’re going for a more muted feed, it’s important to edit all images this way even if the initial image has warmer tones. The same applies if you want a bright feed.
My favourite editing apps are:
- Snapseed (FREE): sharper and clarify images. Adjust brightness, contrast, use their ambience feature and selective tool for editing particular parts of an image’s brightness, contrast or saturation whilst leaving the rest untouched.
- VSCO Cam (FREE): great filters. I bought all the filters as I use them often to edit my travel photos but I try not to use them on portraits of people as it can stuff up people’s skin tones in an unnatural way. It also allows you to see how the images will look on the feed prior to posting it with it’s own grid.
- Afterlight (0.99) : colour alterations.
3. Think about composition
Break your images into 9 quadrants and play with angles and positioning. Don’t try to be symmetrical. Off centre images can be just as eye catching.
Poor lighting can make for poor quality images that aren’t crisp and have that awful grainy appearance. The best time to take photos are at sunrise and on overcast days. Midday sun is too harsh but can give a nice glary effect. To avoid the full intensity of the sun, shooting in the shade helps. I rarely use flash as it gives a cheap point and shoot feel to my images so I tend to deviate from using the lightning bollt. But I have also seen flash used in quite a contemporary candid way aka Terry Richardson style.
5. Edit the filter
Never whack on a filter straight without modifying the intensity of it. Whether it’s the general heaviness of the filter or micro-components like brightness, contrast, shadows, temperatures or saturation, have a play. Subtle editing is key.
6. Use good quality images
Some of the best instagram accounts use good quality images from their fancy cameras, and upload these better quality pics to their instagram. DONT ever use the app to take a photo.
For daily travel and fashion inspiration follow me @harpingonthebizarre X