How To Take Your Instagram Account To The Next Level

It seems like everyone and their mother has an Instagram account these days, and in a sea of brunch pictures and #OOTD snaps it’s hard to stand out of the crowd. Whether you’re looking to expand your Instagram following for a business, personal blog, or if you just want to start taking better pictures, these tricks will help take your Instagram account to the next level.

Decide what you’re posting about
First things first, find out what your goal is. Ask yourself why you’re posting pictures on a public forum. For some people this answer may be as simple as a love of architecture or food, but Instagram is also a great way to expand your business, develop your art, and share stories— just choose one. Any direction is good direction.

Consistency is key
Once you’ve found out what that direction is, roll with it.  You can create consistency in so many ways; by taking photos of similar things, by using a rotating pattern of photos (a person, food, a landscape, then an object), or just sticking to the same filter. Consistency is about looking at the big picture and realizing that your feed is a mosaic and not just individual photos.

Hashtags
As much as we bemoan hashtags, they are the best way to expand your reach over social media. Once you’ve chosen what your goal is research relevant hashtags. Whether its  #vegan, #chasinglight, or just using plain old #vsco, using hashtags will help you connect with similar Instagram communities.

Lighting
Natural light is the only light. You can quote me on that.

Rule of thirds
You probably learned this rule in your 8th grade photography class. Essentially the rule of thirds says that (for some reason beyond my comprehension) humans find it aesthetically pleasing when the central object of a photo lines up along one of these lines.

Take your time
Every time I used to take my phone out to snap a picture, be it at brunch or in the comfort of my own home, I felt like the whole world was judging me. I would get so self conscious that I would have a full body spasm, and immediately put my phone away. After some serious soul searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that truly no one cares about me taking a picture of my waffles and if they do, a) they’re probably super bitter and lame, and b) I have so little shame anyway.

To conquer my crippling Instagram anxiety, I take a deep breath, think about what I want my picture to look like, and take my time to capture it. As long as you’re not actually standing on a chair in the middle of a busy restaurant (which, for the record, I’ve never done) no one should care.

Editing
VSCO, afterlight, snapseed, and the Instagram editing tools are your best friend. If you want to make you feed look more streamlined, choose a single VSCO filter to apply to all your photos and then edit on Instagram above that.

Be authentic
Instagram, social media, life— its all filled with Kanye West lyrics and people trying to sell you Daniel Wellington watches for 15 percent off if you use their promo code. People will follow you and appreciate what you do if you are authentic. Social media gets a lot of flack, but Instagram is a great opportunity to find your voice and connect with people— tap into that.

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Liz Willcock

Liz is a writer and photographer from Vancouver. She is an expert vegan baker and spends her free time writing short stories and reading Dickens and Orwell. You can follow her on instagram at @lizwillcock.

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