26 February 2014

Instagram Tips

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Instagram is one of my favourite social networking sites just because it allows me to be creative and fulfil my aesthetically pleasing/perfectionism needs, as well as documenting my life in pictures of course. I love discovering new ways to edit my photos and choosing new things to photography each day. Saying that, I don't feel the pressure to post every. single. day. if i don't want to or I have nothing to photograph. There's no point in getting worked up about it, after all Instagram is meant to be fun and a way to boost your creativity.

Quality over Quantity. This goes for a couple of things. First, as mentioned above, quality photographs every few days are better than a load of them each day that don't look as good. Of course if you want to, you can post anything you like whenever you like, but if you're like me, you'll want to make sure all of your posts look relatively nice together or cohesive. I just can't stand looking at my feed in grid form and feeling like it all looks mismatched. A good way to maintain cohesiveness is with filters or editing, but more on that later. Quality over quantity goes for followers as well. I only have a little group of 100 followers but I'm fine with that. You don't want 'ghost' followers or people that don't like your photos. Also, what is really annoying to me is when people overload on 'sfs' posts - you don't need to gain a gazillion followers to have fun on instagram, and plus it's pretty damn annoying for your existing followers who have to put up with it. You're sending the wrong message across, that all you want is a higher number rather than quality followers.

Editing. I like to use editing to enhance my photos rather than make them look completely different and fake. I try and use natural filters that bring out the white/brightness in my photos. If you don't want to make it look like you've edited your photos when you actually have to obtain that clean, subtle look I have a few suggestions. My two favourite apps for photo editing are vscocam which is super popular, and afterlight which is also popular - vsco is free and afterlight isn't, but it's worth it! Afterlight is just over a dollar and you'll get a lot of use out of it. My favourite filters on vsco are: M5 and T1. If you don't like the filter completely, you can always adjust it slightly with the exposure, brightness, contrast tools and more. You don't even have to use a fitler - you can just brighten your photos, etc. if you like. Afterlight is way more specific and detailed with all of these editing tools and there is a huge range of filters too. My favourites for afterlight are: coal, frost, captain and glacier under original. The photo above is edited with afterlight - I upped the brightness and exposure slightly and used a filter but adjusted it with the handy sliding bar. I find it's good to experiment with different apps and filters. Nothing is stuck in stone - if you never use a specific filter it doesn't mean you can't now.

Use hashtags. Yes, I know what you're thinking. Hashtags, really? But I find they really do help you when you're first starting off. It's a good way to get people to discover your photos and categorise your photos. You don't have to use them if you don't want to, and you can delete them later if you like. Just don't overload with #followforfollow #bestoftheday #sfs etc etc. Now that's just really irritating.

Have a good range. Take photos of different things and places that compliment each other. Try and make sure you don't have a billion photos of food all in one go, or a few dozen selfies. If you think your instagram is looking a little busy, then take a few simple photos to add to the mix. Basically, balance things out and your aesthetically pleasing needs will be filled. If you're nothing like me, then just ignore everything I've said here. Don't be afraid to try different angles or different locations or different light in your photos. Just experiment a lot.

Those are my tips for having a great instagram. I use instagram as a tool for documenting my life in a more creative and fun way and really, it makes my life seem a tad better than what it actually is. That's the struggle isn't it? If you like you can follow me on my instagram here.
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