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27 May 2014

guest post | she puts the 'i' in instagram

Hi there, Being Erica readers! My name is Kim, and I blog over at What Peggy Said. I sometimes tweet over at @whatpeggysaid, and - would you believe, you can also find me getting pretty snap happy over on Instagram as @whatpeggysaid. In fact, if I'm honest, Instagram is my social media of choice; you could say that I am a bit of an Insta-addict. Because of this, Erica has asked me to share some of my top IG tips with you guys while she's busy moving house, so here goes...

Background Find yourself a good background. Think about whether it compliments what you are going to show off. It might be a cushion from your sofa, the open page of a magazine, or like the photos above, the back of a notebook or a cardboard box. A clear, bright background is always a winner if all else fails.
Composition Consider the composition of your photo. Both of the above photos are pleasing on the eye, but for me, using the negative space of the wood on the left hand focus adds a greater level of interest. Off centre generally looks pretty great, especially if you have a good background. Negative space is your BFF.
Lighting I know, I know, everyone constantly bangs on about natural light. Yep. That's because it's awesome. You can see the difference between photos taken in poor lighting conditions on the left, and good light on the right. Living under the grey skies of the UK, we know that these perfect lighting conditions are pretty few and far between. Find a good window and learn the angles that get the best photos, avoid taking pictures in low light conditions if you can. They just always look grainy.
Cropping Whether you crop your photos by crouching down at strange angles or by editing using an app, cropping your photo can make the world of difference. The photo on the left shows the reality. 3 plants sitting on a duster on the top of a radiator. Not exactly enticing. The photo on the right has the yuck cropped out so you can focus on the pretty. Simple, but effective (and you can hide the mess of your house/workspace/life easily) That's the technical side of things covered. Now lets look at how to get the best of your perfectly curated insta-shots:

  • Invest in an editing app - I love Afterlight as you can fully edit the contrast, saturation, exposure etc. Once you have started playing with an editing app like this you can learn a pattern of actions to achieve the look you desires. (dear Android users, try A Beautiful Mess as it appears to be the only decent photo editing app for non-apple phones.)
  • Don't overuse filters - I avoid instagram filters like the plague on the vast majority of situations. Occasionally they have some use, but if you use an app like afterlight or VSCO you wont need to touch insta-filters at all.
  • Variety is the spice of life - Love your new shoes? Share a picture and I am almost guaranteed to like it. Share 12 photos in a row of said pair of shoes, I will scroll on by. Try to vary the subject of your photos if you can. I sometimes look at my profile page just to see what it looks like. I don't like it to be too samey. 
  • #Hashtag - Hashtags can be a great way of searching for and finding photos on something you're interested in, or an experience that you want to share with the masses (#bloggersdoedinburgh, anyone?) but #dont #overdo #it #by #hashtagging #everything #in #the #photo
  • Be sociable - leave comments, chat, join in with 'groups' (I like to join in with #makeitsewcial on a Monday) and don't be scared to make friends. I have Instagram to thank for my love affair with Erica, afterall.
  • Have fun - It's all about sharing photos, having fun and being sociable. It doesn't matter how many likes, or followers you have. If you enjoy it, do it.

Like I said, you can find me on Instagram @whatpeggysaid. I don't profess to be an expert, and I'm certainly no insta-celeb with 32K followers, but I do know that I like to see pretty pictures scrolling down my iPhone screen at least 250 times a day. (thanks so much for stopping by Kim!)

Add your comment

  1. Love this post! Such good tips!

  2. Love this post - small tips that will make a real difference

  3. Maisie Gibbons28 May 2014 at 21:03

    I adore afterlight <3 nd VSCOcam is fantastic too! x

  4. Beautiful photos! So cheerful and eyecatching - and I love the tips too. I've recently been trying to adopt the 1/3 rule, where your item or focus only takes up 1/3 of the screen, and the rest is background. It makes it so much more interesting. I live by Afterlight too :)

    Jo xx
    She Wears Burgundy


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