How to Create Killer Instagram Photos That Rake in the Followers
Does your head ever feel like it's going to explode a little when you think about creating gorgeous, inspiring Instagram photos?
Yeah, me too.
Instagram isn't nearly as easy to gain traction on as it was a few years ago. The social media platform has grown exponentially, and standards have grown with it.
That being said, creating an inspiring Instagram feed is totally doable! All you need is a creative mindset, a camera, and my best pointers to get you started.
Include a Few Different Textures
When you're styling your photo, keep in mind that adding in different textures makes a world of difference in the final shot.
Imagine this. You have two photos side by side.
One is a white paper notebook on a desk surrounded by paper stationery, paper notes, and paper books.
The second is the same white paper notebook, but this time there is a stemless wine glass on top of a stone coaster near the edge of the photo. Next to the notebook, a beautiful small succulent with intricate ridges and spines livens up the desktop.
Which one do you think is more appealing on your Instagram feed?
Yep, the second one.
You see, it's not about the number of props or the style of the photo necessarily. Both of those examples have roughly the same number of props. But in the second one, I incorporated many more textures to add character to the photo.
My first example was mostly paper on top of paper on top of paper. The second one however, incorporated paper and glass and wood and plants to draw the eye and create some intrigue.
When you are styling your photos, I recommend using three to five different textures.
Make sure the lighting is gorgeous. If you've done any photography at all you know how important the lighting is. it doesn't matter how amazing your composition or props or style is, if the lighting is dark or patchy the photo just isn't going to come out well.
Here are my best lighting tips for creating that bright and airy look.
- Shoot outside. Unless the sun is super bright and harsh during your shooting time, it's almost always better to shoot in natural light. And if the Sun is too much, set up your workspace in a bright doorway or window area and use reflectors or white foam board to create even lighting.
- Speaking of that first tip, it's a good idea to use lighting reflectors pretty much any time you're taking a photo. Reflectors will bounce back the light in multiple directions to make sure that you don't have shadows and to add that lovely glowy look to your subject.
Add A Pop of Color
Another thing to keep in mind when you're styling your shoot is to make sure that you have at least one main color.
People scroll very quickly through Instagram and the truth is that vibrant colors stand out. Of course, you don't have to go neon to grab attention but I would recommend avoiding too many neutral or grayscale photos.
Keep With Your Brand Colors
Instagram is all about branding and creating a cohesive feed where the images look like they go together. this is a great place to solidify your brand and help your business stand out from the second people see one of your images.
When will you can do this is by simply only using photos that incorporate one or two of your brand colors and fit the overall look and feel of your feed.
Another way is to use filters to create a theme that people recognize as yours.
Include Photos of You
I know you’re probably cringing right now, but Instagram users LOVE accounts that include photos of the profile owner in the feed. Adding a face to your Instagram feed helps people connect and relate to you and your business, making them much more likely to follow your account.
You don’t have to put yourself in every image, but I’d suggest putting pictures of yourself in every few photos to help solidify your brand and online personality. One way to do this while being time savvy is to do a brand photo shoot.
Brand photo shoots are amazing for your business because you can easily get 25-30 amazing, professional photos of yourself to use on your website, Instagram, social media profiles, as your email bio photo, and more. It can cost a few hundred dollars to hire someone to do this (which is totally worth it!), but if you are on a budget there are other options.
Do you have a photographer friend that you might be able to swap services with? Or is there a student photographer at your local college that you could work with at a discounted rate? Don’t be afraid to check out local photography Facebook groups too- you may be able to find an up and coming photographer within your budget to help you out!
Use Styled Stock Photos
Styled stock photos were pretty much made for Instagram. It’s not easy taking all of the photos you need yourself, but styled stock photographers can help you fill in the gaps and impress your following with your style.
If you’re short on time, I recommend posting 2-3 styled stock photos followed by a photo of yourself throughout your feed and watch your Instagram followers grow. The combination of style and personality will go a long way in creating a brand that people want to be a part of.
Want to get some free styled stock photos to start your new Instagram off right? You’re in luck, because I’m giving away 10 of my best photos, plus a handful more every single month, to all the creatives who sign up to my VIP List. Want in? Just sign up below!