Do it for the Gram
Of all the social platforms that fill our screen time, Instagram is the one that society is most drawn to. There is a reason why we all loved picture books as kids: they provide a sense of instant gratification with just a simple visual. By merely looking at the image, we could let our imaginations run wild with a narrative of our own making. But when a whole social platform relies on visuals, how do you stand out from the crowd? What will make your followers stop scrolling to give you the double-tap you so desire?
What Makes a Photo Instagrammable?
To answer this, we first need to dissect what exactly makes a photo Instagram-worthy. Looking at accounts that clearly have mastered this art, there are elements that make photos stand out in the feed.
- Single Points of Interest
Eye-catching content typically does just that! Your eye needs to be drawn to a single point of interest. Whether that’s through a pop of color, high contrast with a focal point and a background, or even having it be the only thing in the frame. Whatever makes the most sense for the photo, having the viewer’s eye immediately directed to a single point makes the highest impact.
ProTip: Putting your camera in Portrait Mode can help with this! Adding a subtle blur to the background helps quiet the noise and is ultimately more pleasing to the eye.
- Rule of Thirds and Angling
This is the Golden Rule for most photographers and it is one to live by! Framing and positioning of your photo can completely change the feel you are going for. So, what exactly is it? In short, it’s making your focal point asymmetrical in the frame. If you take your image and place a 3×3 grid on top, your focal point should fall along the intersections and not directly centered.
Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t center your focal point completely. But keep in mind, it can make a photo more predictable, and the whole point is to create interest.
ProTip: When you’re about to snap a photo, take a moment to move your phone around and play with the angle. Try getting down on the ground or standing on a chair to get a completely different perspective. Both techniques offer a new way to view your subject—and that creates interest and perspective!
- Candid and Authentic
At the end of the day, your viewers want to see something real: real moments, real feelings. Candid photos help convey the sense of a snapshot in time, transporting people to that very moment. They create a sense of authenticity, as opposed to a photo that is posed or staged. These can feel like the subject is forced and ultimately your viewers will feel the same. Keeping it light and real is always the better choice!
ProTip: Avoid letting the subject look at the camera! This is the best way to create candid, authentic photos. It’s simple but effective. Having your subject look down or “off into the distance” creates a marvelous sense of a snapshot in time.
Creating Your Look and Feel, Your Insta Brand
Now that we have some key elements that make a photo successful, we need to take a step back and see how these individual posts will come together as a whole: yout Insta-brand.
When you look at some of the highly followed pages (that aren’t celebrities) they all seem to give a feel when looking at their page as a whole. It can be something as simple as a consistent filter they use across all images or consistent subject matter.
All of these accounts have very different looks and feels but they achieve this branded look. They have set filters and an overall color palette that makes the page cohesive.
Getting started is tough, especially when thinking of how to make your content feel fresh and new while still being true to your brand. At the end of the day, your brand is you! You are constantly experiencing new things everyday and your followers want to know about it! Put your own spin on the common everyday and it instantly becomes a new experience for your followers since it’s through your lens.
Pro Tip: Try editing your photos outside of the Instagram editor! Try some of these top rated apps:
- VSCO has a huge selection of preset filter that make editing your photos quick and easy
- A Color Story is perfect for keeping a consistent color tone across all your posts
- Lightroom is great for anyone who is familiar with the Adobe programs and tools
Ready, Set, Gram!
Now it’s your turn! With these tips, you are ready to start creating thumb-stopping content that will grow your followers. Think about how you want to portray your brand and build a look around that. Try new things and experiment with your posts to change it up from the ordinary. Most importantly, no matter how you choose to brand your page, remember to have fun!