I’m not usually one to post blogging tips.
I like to think a chunk of my audience are outside of the blogosphere and so tend to keep my content related to lifestyle and such. But something that I can’t get enough of at the moment is Instagram, and I know everyone around me is feeling the same! I remember getting Instagram years ago, around 18 months after I started blogging (and finally got an iPhone!). No one from my ‘real life’ had it for a good year or so after that, and then slowly everyone seemed to creep in. Now, it seems to be the social channel of choice for a lot of people – the more visual people in my circles maybe, but it’s popular nonetheless.
This post isn’t about growing your following, or having great success with your Instagram (I’m pretty small-fry as bloggers go), but about how to enjoy Instagramming if you’re interested in taking some good photographs. My Instagram isn’t a photography showcase for my best work – far from, but it’s an enjoyable and creative way to illustrate areas of my life. Today I’m going to share what I use, to make Instragamming easier.
This stands with any kind of photography in my eyes, but it’s good, natural light. Not in the glaring sun, but not dark in the shadows, natural light gives not only a visually pleasing look to a photograph, but a sense of realness. Flash is my enemy, I hate using it, and dark indoor light is a no-go for me too. Unless you’re trying to create something with low light, Instagramming during the day is your best bet. Grainy flat lays of your dinner in a dark restuarant don’t do it for me!
This has been a god send, and having had my Olympus Pen a little over a year now, I couldn’t be without it. You can read my review of it here, but there are plenty of others on the market – Sony for example. You can connect your camera to your smartphone and instantly send your photos across – meaning your Instagram shots are top quality and don’t rely on phone cameras. It also teams up as a remote control so if you’re ever Instagramming yourself, without a photographer (I certainly never do that…ahem), it’s super helpful.
This one is really important for me, because I really like to think about how I want my shots to look. It might however, not be for you, if you’re a casual ‘in-the-moment’ Instagrammer. If you’re keen to curate your shots that bit more, backgrounds are really key. There are three I like rotate – the first being wood. Sounds bizarre but a lot of bloggers do it, and I use this technique for my blog photos too.
Unfortunately, I don’t live in a house full of white washed, distressed vintage furniture or marble bathrooms. Buying faux-wood floor tiles works really well. I have a selection – some smaller, square shapes and other longer, laminate pieces which I can use for blog photos. I have a range of textures and colours and this helps me choose what’s right at the time.
Next up is one that might not up your alley whatsoever, but for me, fresh white bed linen is really useful. Flat laying outfits onto my bed, or taking a shot of breakfast in bed, is made so much easier by a clean duvet cover. No crazy patterns to distract – it’s simple and it works.
And finally, location backdrops for out and about Instagrams. A textured wall, a pastel coloured garage door, a flower covered archway – I’m always keeping my eye out for potential backdrops local to me for that Instagram shot I want. If I’m wearing a monochrome outfit that I want to share, a red door way might juxtapose it perfectly. Knowing where these are in advance, takes away any impatient Instagram Husband aggro!
Now if you’re really serious, a few props never hurt anyone. Fresh flowers are obvious, if that’s your vibe, but I also have the odd ‘special’ mug or glasswear, that I’ll use when I’m Instagramming (no one wants to see the pint glass we pinched from the pub with my green juice in it, huh?). Jewellery works well, as does unique, quirky items – I love to use my old Yashica camera that my Dad gave me, as that’s my kind of style.
And finally, my favourite part – editing! I actually think I might save this for another post, but having the right photo editing apps is really important to me. I see a lot of people shooting their Instagram photos straight into the app, and not touching it’s built in editing tools. To me, this isn’t going to get the best out of your photos and carefully editing them is the bit I enjoy. Even if it’s just upping the contrast or brightening, I think it it really makes your photos a hundred times better. Keep your eyes peeled for my top apps for editing soon!
If you’ve landed here, you’re probably looking to find out more about Katherine-Louise. Run by me, Kat - put simply I'm a 30 year old who is decidedly normal. My blog is a destination for women just like me - the same interests and aspirations, working our way through the same twists and turns of life. Katherine-Louise is designed to inspire and inform; to give you a break from the norm as well identify with the beauty of routine. A fifteen minute recoup, or an hours vacation, it’s the go-to for Everyday-Joe’s, just like me, who want a few minutes off the radar.