Instagram is probably my favourite social media platform because it’s all about the pictures; I am a very visual person and an app where I can spend hours scrolling through gorgeous pictures curated into beautifully aesthetically pleasing feeds, is just the app for me.
I’ve been obsessed with perfecting my own Instagram feed for a while now, even more so since reading Amiee Song’s book Capture Your Style. Those beautiful collections of pictures that look so well together are not as easy to create and achieve yourself as you would like to believe, it takes time, an eye for detail and a little bit of editing.
I am pretty proud of my own feed, and it brings me joy to look through it and admire how the photos fit together harmoniously. I often see so many beginner bloggers trying to create eye-catching feeds that could be so much better if they just made a few simple changes or tweaked photos ever so slightly after editing. Maybe a perfect Instagram feed is not what you’re aiming for, maybe you prefer your feed to be sporadic and just a collection of photos that capture moments that caught your own eye. However, if you do want to up your Instagram game keep reading for my top tips on how to curate a beautiful Instagram feed…
1. Consider how photos will look together.
What is the biggest secret to those Instagram feeds that are utterly beautiful to look at? All the photos work well together; it’s as simple as that. When curating an Instagram feed it’s important to think about how each image you post will look along side the others you have already shared; you have to take into consideration the image quality, the colours, the subject. If you post 5 beach photos but have a random night shot in the middle of them, it will throw the overall aesthetics. If your aim truly is to create something that is beautiful to scroll through, then each post must be carefully considered. With Instagram stories you can share anything you want with your follows and it doesn’t necessarily have to be part of your feed.
2. White should be white.
This is another simple tip that I picked up a while ago, something that until I started to think about it, had never occurred to me. White can appear different colours depending on the light you shoot in, it can end up looking yellow or blue. If you’re not careful about correcting the warmth of you pictures, and therefore making sure the whites are pure white, no matter how carefully you chose images they won’t work together. You can correct this in the Instagram app itself using the warmth tool in the pre-post editing; increasing the highlights can also help the whites appear more pure. Refer to the empty space around the picture as you edit to colour match your whites.
3. Think carefully about filters.
Using lots of different filters is an easy trap to fall into, one I fell into myself back in my early days of Instagram. However, if I haven’t already made it clear, consistency is key when trying to create a harmonious feed. Therefore, if you’re using lots of different filters on each post you share, your pictures will clash. I tend to avoid filters now, however if you do want to use a filter, make sure you use it consistently on every post you share and try adjusting the intensity of the filter so it is softer and more subtle. You can do this directly in the Instagram app by touching the filter a second time after you have applied it and adjusting the bar up and down to change the intensity. Alternatively VSCO is a great app for customisable filters.
4. Think in multiples of three.
A tip that Amiee Song preaches is to think in multiples of three, since the Instagram feed itself is built on rows of three. Maybe you want to introduce a new colour palette to your feed, or change the feel of it slightly because of a trip you’re on or a time of year (like Christmas); using the rule of multiples of three here will help keep your feed flowing despite making changes to it’s vibe. If you want to share holiday photos for example, share three, six, nine even twelve shots, that way when you change theme again your holiday photos will all sit together in little rows of three. Nine is the magic number because when someone is looking through your feed, nine is the maximum photos that they can see together at any one time.
5. Quality not just Quantity
The quality of images is important if you want a professional looking feed. I shoot on my DLSR and use a special SD card to share photos straight to my phone so that I can post straight away. You don’t have to have a DLSR to have a great Instagram feed though, most smart phones have high quality cameras these days, just make sure you play around with the settings and make sure the quality is always set at the highest to avoid pixelated photos.
6. Don’t be a clone
Your Instagram feed is yours to create, so don’t use this space to replicate something that someone else is already doing. The odd regram is acceptable, especially if it’s something like a positive quote; but give credit where it’s due and keep the regrams to a minimum. People will be more likely to follow you if you’re sharing original content. Don’t try too hard to make your feed look like someone else’s, go with your creative instincts and bend the rules to suit your taste.