I dunno if you’ve noticed but I’ve got well into my outfit of the day snaps over on Instagram this year. I guess you could say I’ve developed a bit of a photo style (lol yes alright pink walls and Starbucks cups and laughing off to the side – I am v much a broken record).
But I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way, in case it helps anyone out.
I’m lucky in the fact I’m still seeing some growth on my account, so maybe I’m doing something right? I dunno. As ever, there is no right or wrong way to Instagram. There is no formula to success, you’ve just got to keep doing you whilst praying for some sort of internet miracle.
So yeah, here’s what I’ve been doing…
Now, there is some rumour going around that Instagram acknowledges the file size when you upload a snap, and if your file size is that of a photo taken on a professional camera, it’ll show it to less people.
Now, I have no idea if that’s true – but I have my own theory. A casual, off-the-cuff snap taken on your iPhone looks a lot more real and relatable and HI THIS ME than a blurred-background blogger snap, and because of that, people are more likely to like it because it feels more natural, like an honest insight into someone’s day, y’know?
Anyway yes, iPhone snaps for me tend to do far better than anything I upload from my Olympus Pen, and I know it’s the same for other bloggers I’ve spoken to. So don’t feel like you need to shoot on anything fancy, if anything it could hinder you.
Weirdly, I do get mildly more engagement when you can actually see my eyes, but I hate shooting without sunglasses on. They hide EVERYTHING – they hide my bleary eye make-up sliding down my face, they hide my eye bags and they hide every snap that could have been perfect had I not been mid blink.
So yeah, sunglasses.
I tend to stick to one or two of the same VSCO filters and set them at anywhere between 30% and 50%, then I use the iPhone editing settings to just up the brightness and contrast a little. My editing style is to keep the image looking pretty much the same, but better. Oh cripes, it sounds like I’m talking about a ‘your lips, but better’ nude lipstick. I hate me.
Anyway yeah, I see so many photos that look like they’ve gone through three filters, been completely de-saturated, had a tint put on and then gone through the washing machine or something – all to fit in with a ‘theme’.
I’ll tell ya what, themes seem to matter less and less these days – find a simple editing style that works for you and run with it. You don’t need to overthink it.
This applies for both Instagram and blog photos but I try and avoid standing in direct sunlight for outfit images because it can often play complete and utter bloody havoc with the exposure and add in some v weird shadows and contrasts – especially if the sun is behind you.
Could be cute and arty, but not so great at actually showing off what you’re wearing.
I tend to choose a wall in the shade if it’s a sunny day, but a bit of light cloud cover is the dream.
Which leads me on to… BACKGROUNDS! Now I like a classic wall – if it’s pink or white, well hell that’s even better. If I can’t locate one of those hunks then I tend to go for something equally fuss-free and neutral, like the side of a building in a light colour.
I like a splash of colour where possible, mostly because it fits in with my personality and style more, so a bright coloured door also works well.
Whereas Chloe likes a darker, more monochrome editorial kinda image – which reflects the kinda clothes she wears. So she’ll often go for road shots rather than anything flat.
Morale of the story: there isn’t one background that fits all, so work out what compliments your outfit and works with the kinda colours and styles you like most.
I’m mildly embarrassed over how many snaps are usually in my camera roll after a ‘can you just grab a quick snap of my outfit here’ session. I’m going to say maybe 50?
Although when I got one of my gals to take a snap of me before my baby shower she legit took three. THREE. WHAT DO I DO WITH THREE?
Anyway, take lots – get the person snapping away to keep going whilst you move position, the movement shots are often my fave.
It’s also worth stopping and checking what photos they’ve taken in case LOL your jacket collar is tucked in and they thought you liked it that way. (Obvs reward them with a coffee or a hug or y’know, an outfit photo in return or something for being such a diva).
If you want the focus to be on what you’re wearing, make sure you’re not standing 745637 metres away from the camera – I like a classic square shot with me in the middle and a little bit of space above and below me in case I need to straighten it when I edit it.
Other people love a portrait shot, and it’s nice to mix up with the odd mirror shot or half-body shot. You just gotta find what works for you.