Hey guys! Back again for our THIRD installment in #themomblogcollective series! Today is one of my faves! We are chatting about Instagram photography and achieving that cohesive look to your feed! This is something I am always playing with and working on and I love hearing how other people take, edit and plan their photos! So let’s get right into the questions.
Share a little about your Instagram feed and style. What look do you go for and why?
I don’t even know how to describe my feed! It’s something I’m always working on and tweaking sightly. I know what I WANT it to be, but it doesn’t always (or ever) come out that way for very long. This is a classic example of being our own worst critic. I’ve reached out to someone in the past to ask them for editing tips/how they got their feed so smooth – and they were like “WHO ME? I hate my feed! I love yours!” and we had a good laugh!
I do like to go for bright, clean images. I like to keep the same colour scheme in my feed which right now is bright white, grey, soft pinks, greenery, and some brown/beige. I like to keep most of my photos white but honestly doing that for every photo is completely exhausting to me and I find it stifles my creativity. I never want to love a photo so much and want to share it, but hold it back because it doesn’t “match” so I try not to get too themey with it. I do the same editing on every photo so thats how I try to achieve a themed look. Some of my fave feeds include lots of colour and different styles of photos but the same editing throughout and I LOVE how that looks. (here are some examples – Ginger, Kaley, & Chrissy). I love how their feeds still have a look and a theme, but they aren’t afraid of lots of colour or grassy photos and I feel like you get a genuine look at their lives – not just plain white wall after plain white wall.
How do you create a cohesive feed on Instagram?
Step one in a cohesive feed is taking the RIGHT photos. I recommend taking photos in natural lighting only. A natural light photo will never look cohesive next to a photo you took at night with the light on.
Next is choosing a filter. As I mentioned above, using the same filter(s) on every photo is the best thing you can do! Some people switch between two or three similar filters, I just use one (more on that later). I love using the Copy/Paste Edits function in VSCO. If you have a photo of yours that you love the edit on, you can copy those edits, apply them to another photo and then just make small tweaks from there to fix exposure, warmth, etc.
As nice as it is to have a filter to slap on and call it a day, I recommend finding something that sets you apart a bit. A small, unique edit that is yours. There are only so many filters out there and a lot of the same ones come up a lot so find something to make your audience KNOW without reading the name that they are looking at one of your photos. Maybe you really cool things down, mix 2 filters, apply a slight pink tone, up the fade a lot for a lower contrast look, anything to make it your own.
Last thing. Feed planning apps like Snug, UNUM or Planoly are so helpful for achieving a cohesive feed and being able to see how it all looks together before you post.
What do you use to take your photos and how do you typically edit them?
I take all of my photos with my iphone 6s. I have a DSLR but honestly hate carrying it around and like the convenience and organic (messy/grainy) look of iphone photos when it comes to Instagram.
For editing I use a mix of apps. My faves being VSCO, Snapseed and Facetune.
I always start in VSCO and throw a filter on it. I’d say 90% of the time I use A6, but have done S2 or HB2 on some photos if I was feeling it. Sometimes, the stars align and the photo looks great just like that. I save it and upload it and I’m done. Most of the time it needs a little more work. Still in VSCO, I usually play with the exposure a bit, I always sharpen, I up the warmth, drop the skintone, and add a bit of tint (which gives the image a slight pink tone). I also sometimes drop the saturation if the image has a ton of colour or up the contrast if it needs it. I know that seems like a lot but at this point it’s second nature to me and takes me about a minute. If it still needs some work, I’ll take it into Snapseed and use the select tool to brighten/expose a certain area of the image. I also love the dodge and burn brush if I’m still seeing any yellow or shaddowy spots. I use Facetune for the patch tool to remove anything I don’t want in the photo (gum stuck on the ground, food on my kids faces, a stain on their shirt, stuff like that).
How do you get your kids to participate/smile for the camera?
This question makes me laugh. My kids have gone through stages of loving having their photos taken and also running away as soon as my phone comes out. To be honest, about 2 years ago, I used to care so much about Dex being in photos and I just wanted him to enjoy it. I would feel so frustrated when all he wanted to do was run away from me. After a particularly stressful shoot, I decided I was just done with it and wasn’t going to force it anymore. From then on, when we are planning on shooting something, we do one of two things. We either shoot something natural like a picnic, or the kids being as silly as they want. This way there’s no “smile” or pose required. Just have an actual picnic and we will document that! We also now ask Dex if he wants to be in it or not. Sometimes he says no, and we respect that and Elle (who still LOVES getting her picture getting taken and would yell “mommmmyyyy” the whole time if we didn’t have her in it) and I will snap a few shots. If the kids just aren’t feeling it that day, we just say “not today” and move on from it as fast as possible,or I’ll be in the picture alone (always awkward but better than arguing with two toddlers). It’s just too stressful and not fun trying to force a photo and then in the end none of them work out anyway so we’ve found what works and it usually only takes a couple minutes and then we are done.
What photos of yours tend to do well? What do your followers really respond to?
I don’t know if I’ve figured this one out yet. I know you guys love seeing photos of my belly these days haha and I can’t blame you, I LOVE belly pics! I think photos taken in my home tend to do well too – I think it’s just personal and real and people respond well to that. Also really bright, white, clear photos with context/lots going on, tend to do better for me than just me or just my kids and a really plain background. I’m still learning this and always trying new photos and trying to get creative in that way so it’s not just the same photos over and over again.
Thanks so much for reading!
Be sure to check out the other mamas in this series my clicking their blog links below!