Hey my loves, I am back this week with a post that was actually inspired by a message I received by the lovely Natalie over at natalieejane.com, she asked me to elaborate about Instagram as a whole, but more specifically, how I edit my photos and what tips/tricks I use to maintain a theme. So, here I am with that post for you all!
Firstly, I do want to say that I recently released an eBook, “How to Double Social Media Followers and Explode Blog Traffic”, which covers all my social media tips and tricks on Twitter as well as Instagram.
I touch every single strategy I apply into my Instagram within this eBook, so if you want to really go in-depth with learning how I utilize Instagram, definitely check that out right here!
Here’s my current Instagram feed to give you guys an idea of what kind of content I post if you aren’t following me already (hint: you should definitely follow me 😉 you can do so by clicking here!)
As you can see, I try to keep to a color scheme here, I know some people hate the term “theme” and don’t agree with it. Personally, I’ve noticed 10x more engagement when I have a theme or visually pleasing feed. If you rather post whatever you want, rainbow colors and all, GO FOR IT! This is just what I personally do that I see more success in.
So, my main goal is to take photos that capture my “theme”, which is anything white, grey, or black colored.
So moving onto the process I follow when I post and take my Instagram photos..
- Gather up all the decor and products I want to use in the images, and pile them up either on my bed or a counter.
Be ready, it’s a messy process okay? It requires clean up, but I set aside usually ONE day a week to just photo hoard and take a bunch of pictures that’ll last me a while to use on Instagram, as well as my blog.
- Make sure I’m taking photos in the DAYTIME. Make sure lighting is great, this is key to quality photos!
I always take my pictures near my bedroom window, with the blinds pulled up all the way, exposing all the sunlight possible. I don’t invest in those crazy lights to brighten up my photos, you can if you want to, but sunlight is cheap and definitely the way to go!
- I take all my photos with my iPhone… *gasp* I know, may be a shock.
I’m not ashamed to admit it! I have the iPhone 6s and hey, it takes GREAT photos! No shame in my game.. some bloggers invest in professional cameras for their blog and Instagram photo taking, and that’s totally fine! Do what works for you, bottom line! For me, my iPhone is easy and convenient, gets the job done!
- Try to set up props and a focal point in each photo.
In my pictures, I try to have one main focal point, and then surround that with props that can take up the empty space. For example, this photo below, my focus was my fabulous new phone case that I was showing off, but I covered up empty space with fillers, such as a tray and stationary items.
By the way, this one photo I took with a camera I have, the only photo where I didn’t take it with my iPhone because the phone was in the photo, lol. Otherwise, I promise I use my iPhone for every single other photo you see!
- Backgrounds! Invest in backgrounds for your photos!
This photo above with the iPhone case I was showing off was taken on a marble wallpaper background. Looks like it was a marble table top doesn’t it? Ha! Fooled you. Just kidding, lots of bloggers actually do this! It’s a great strategy I discovered. I actually bought this marble adhesive off Amazon here and purchased a regular poster board at a local Dollar Tree (I’m sure you can find these at any nearby store like Walmart or Target), and stuck the adhesive on! Voila! Fancy marble background.
I also flip it over and use the plain white site for when I want to mix it up and have a white background instead!
- Different angles, get creative!
When I have a set up, I try to take photos from every angle possible, not just an overhead flat lay. Granted, I’d say most of my photos are “flat lay” but I switch it up once in a while to create variety, ALSO so that I can re-use the photos later on!
Planoly is an app you can download FOR FREE that helps you plan out your Instagram feed, this is extremely helpful if you’re like me and trying to follow a theme! Definitely download this app and use it when you’ve taken all your photos to plan out your feed!
How do I edit these photos?
I’m gonna be real with you guys here.. okay? Totally 100% honest. I see countless other posts about how people edit their Instagram photos and they always have an app involved.
I know.. you’re probably thinking, “Chelsea but how do you make quality Instagrams then?!” Well.. believe it or not, it is possible without an app!
Is there anything wrong with utilizing an app to edit the photos? No! Of course not! I just find it unnecessary for myself. So, here’s what I do to “edit” my photos:
- I adjust the brightness, contrast, shadows and highlights inside the iPhone camera.
- When I post onto Instagram, I will make final touches inside the app itself to adjust brightness further if I need to.
Basically, when I “edit”, all I’m doing is brightening up the photo even more so than it already is. This is really the only goal I have in mind when it comes to editing. Of course I occasionally crop if I need to, but otherwise, no other fancy tricks here!
Some places to get photo props..
- Target – DOLLAR SECTION IS MY JAMMMM! Always look around the dollar section at the front of the Target if you live near one, they always have great steals. I find my stationary props there usually!
- Walmart – I’ve never personally gone here for props yet, but I’m SURE they have stuff you can find for cheap!
- Amazon – I’ve purchased fairy lights, the marble background, and you can always find other stationary or decor on there as well!
- Dollar Tree – Hopefully you live near this amazing store, where everything is literally a dollar, they will definitely have little trinkets and goodies to use for your props!
- Michaels (Or any other craft/art store) – I found my tray that I use for decor occasionally in photos, as well as fake flowers, at Michaels! Definitely check out your local arts and crafts store!
So, I hope this was helpful for you guys to get an idea of how I post my photos, the process behind the photo taking, and what tools I utilize! Basically, I keep it as simple as I can, which is perfectly fine! Again, whatever works for you is good!
Is there any specific process or some good apps you can recommend for photo editing? I’d love to hear it in the comments below!
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