In a year like 2021, having a gorgeous Instagram feed is no longer exclusive to celebrities, influencers, and content creators. With smartphones that are equipped with cameras with impressive quality and editing apps that democratize filters, there’s no reason why even the “common folk” can’t have an Instagram feed that can rival that of a professional photographer.
There is nothing more satisfying than a stunning and well-curated Instagram feed. You might want to curate your feed to eventually become a successful lifestyle or food blogger or want to do it for your fun and to make yourself feel good. If so, here are some photography and editing tips to help you achieve a feed that’s better than those of your favorite celebrities and influencers.
Decide on a single aesthetic
The whole point of curating your feed is to ensure that there is uniformity or a common thread that brings all your posts together—one that makes them look and feel like a cohesive whole. This can only happen if you choose a theme. Here are some tips for deciding on a single concept that expresses your individuality and uniqueness:
- Use words that help evoke the look and feel you want to convey. Is it words like dark and moody or bright and cheerful? How about romantic and golden? Come up with words or emotions that you want to evoke through your feed and use them as keywords as you search for inspiration on platforms like Pinterest or Google.
- Look at photographers or influencers that inspire you but resolve not to copy them outright. There is a thin line between inspiration and plagiarism, but it’s one you never want to cross as a content creator.
- Having one theme or filter will help keep everything cohesive, even if you don’t post the same thing (food, portraits, or landscape) every single time.
Use the same or similar filters for all your photos
Once you’ve decided on a single theme, use the same or similar filters for every photo you post on Instagram. This doesn’t mean you need to use just one for every shot—you can opt for color in some images and black and white in others, but you have to ensure that they come from the same filter family.
You don’t even need to use the default ones from Instagram; many influencers, content creators, and photographers sell their filters, and some even give them out for free. Just find the best group of filters you feel represents you the most as a creator or photographer, and don’t hesitate to use them. These filters are often available in the format of Adobe Lightroom (which is available for free on mobile), so you don’t need to use a desktop computer to do some editing.
Add a method to the madness
If you genuinely want your feed to look curated, look at it as a cohesive whole instead of just posting one photo at a time. One similar thread among the prettiest Instagram feeds out there is that the posters make a habit of evenly spacing out various subjects, from portraits to landscapes to flat lays. Don’t randomly post photos and call it a day; be mindful of what you post so that your feed doesn’t get out of order. Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Evenly distribute a variety of subjects, whether it’s nature, artwork, or even your selfies. Don’t post two artworks in a single row, and avoid posting portraits of people and selfies in a single row as well.
- Download an app that allows you to view how your photos will look together in a 9-grid layout. A grid-planning tool will help you see in advance what looks good on your feed before posting it.
Understand the basic principles of photography
Here are some photography principles that are basic, simple, and easy to follow but can make all the difference in your photos:
- When cropping full-body images, don’t cut them off at the limbs.
- The rule of thirds is the principle of dividing your photo into nine equal sections by using horizontal and vertical shots and placing your subjects where the lines meet. The iPhone grid can be extremely helpful for this.
- Use proper framing by isolating your subject through its surrounding lines like arches, bridges, fences, and even buildings if you’re on the roof.
Curating your Instagram feed can be a fun hobby that builds up your self-esteem. Stretch your creativity by improving your photography, editing, and curating skills, and who knows? Maybe you can eventually monetize your account. Good luck and have fun!