Not long ago I did a post about my favorite folks over on Instagram, and I thought I’d share a bit about how I edit and share my Instagram photos! Instagram is probably my favorite social media, because it’s so visual, and I’m a very visual person. I’ve developed a bit of a system with my use of Instagram, so I thought I’d share some of my tricks with you, featuring this month’s Papergang box!
Step 1: Take Photos
Seems like an obvious one, right? I take a lot of photos. If I see something I want to photograph, I take a lot of different versions of it, from different angles and heights if I’m able. Sometimes that’s as many as 20 or 30 of them. It’s mainly about changing up the photo so I have lots of options. Some will edit better than others, so it’s good to have choice.
Step 2: Narrow It Down
After I take photos, I head to my gallery and narrow down my favorites. I’ll delete any that are blurry, or too close, or just won’t work. Sometimes it takes a bit of time, and I’ll regularly toggle back and forth between photos until I narrow it down to a few that are good.
Step 3: Lightroom
Once I pick my favorites, I upload them into Adobe Lightroom. I have the app on my phone, and I love it! It helps that I use Lightroom to edit all of my photos from my camera anyway, so there’s a sense of uniformity with all of the photos I share. Once the photos are in Lightroom, I’ll adjust things like exposure, contrast, and shadow until the photo looks good! The thing I like most about Lightroom is that all the photos export to a separate gallery, so I can see what they will look like in my feed before I post them. I have an android phone, so many of the apps my friends use (like the ones mentioned in Carrie’s post, here) aren’t really an option. This suits me just fine for the moment, though!
Step 4: Upload to Instagram
Here’s a hint I bet you didn’t know: I use the same filter on all of my Instagram photos! I think it adds an air of uniformity, and helps keep the tone of all the photos in the same vain. For me, it’s Gingham. You can adjust how filtered the photos are and I do tend to turn them down a bit, but I still only use the one. Once I’ve done that, I may tweak the contrast and brightness of the photo a bit, as well as the tilt of it (or whatever that thing is called!) before I post it!
Step 4: Hashtag It Up!
I love a good hashtag. I have a rule though. I only use up to 5 hashtags. Sometimes I see people who comment underneath their photo and it’s a whole paragraph! I don’t think that’s especially appealing. I have ones I use for different things, though some I use on almost all of my photos. #bloggerlife is a common one. #exploringlondon and #prettycitylondon for architecture shots or #foodflatlay for those types of shots. I think hashtags definitely drive traffic but there are so many, I try to stick with a handful so it’s not too overwhelming. Sometimes I’ll even only have two or three.
I really take pride in my instagram feed. I want people to be able to look at the first 9 square and feel like they get me, you know? I want all the photos on my Instagram to feel uniform, while each offering some new view. It sounds a little weird, because I’m talking about a social media platform, but I feel like Instagram is the platform that represents me the most! So I put a lot of work into making it the best it can be!
What tips and things do you follow when you’re ‘gramming photos? What are your favorite things to instagram?