I think one of the questions I get asked nearly daily is how to create a cohesive Instagram feed. At first, I tried to avoid the whole theme thing on Instagram for a while and just focus on my individual photos, but after a while I realised it was impossible because a) I’m a perfectionist and b) Instagram is an extension of yourself and your brand. As a content creator or influencer, a quick glance of your feed can give a brand or reader a snapshot of who you are. A visually impressive first impression counts on social media because it means someone is more likely to give you a follow.
Now I’m not saying every photo has to be edited or taken identically, but as a whole, there should be a certain flow to it.
Understand your brand
Before anything, I think it’s important to understand what your brand represents. It only takes a few moments on my feed to understand what I’m about and my style. My primary focus is fashion and travel, but every now and then I like to incorporate lifestyle posts. I know what I represent and I know who I’m trying to market myself towards.
Choose a colour palette
It’s so important to choose a few colours to stick to and incorporate into your photos. For me, I lean towards whites, blacks, blues and pinks. Although this can fluctuate a lot especially when I’m traveling. When I was in Bali, it was pretty impossible to avoid greens so instead I just embraced it! But for the most part, and when I’m at home, I’ll usually gravitate towards my neutral colour palette.
Plan your feed
Sometimes I have my feed planned a few days in advance and sometimes it’s over a week. Some of my photos are really busy and some have a lot of negative space, so it’s really helpful to plan when to post certain images. I don’t want my feed to become visually overwhelming – I want each post to be appreciated and complement each other. I use the app UNUM for this. Planoly is another great app for it too.
Stick to an editing style
As many of you already know, I edit all my photos with Lightroom on my macbook using custom presets. The reason I don’t use any apps is because I’m very particular with my photos and need the ability to be able to tweak colours to my liking. Mobile apps don’t give me that. Sure, it’s a bit of a pain having to import photos onto my macbook but it is my job, and photography plays a HUGE part for me, so I want the best results.
I understand it’s not for everyone. You might shoot with iPhone and not need to go to the extents as me. Everyone is different and there’s no right or wrong way to edit. Some mobile editing apps I’d recommend are VSCO, Snapseed and Lightroom for mobile.
When it comes to editing, I don’t edit every photo in the same way. It can really just depend on how it’s shot but I do stick to the same editing style. I desaturate yellows and greens, cool down the image, brighten the shadows, add a pink tint and vibrance. I also always make sure the image is bright and sharp. If you’re using filters, I would recommend sticking to the same 2-3 filters that provide similar or complementary results.
My biggest tip when it comes to taking the photos is to always shoot with natural light. We usually shoot on an DLSR camera and 99% of my photos are shot in natural light, usually outdoors. If it’s grey or low-lit day, I would probably cancel the shoot. I’m not the biggest fan of the sun either. When it’s too bright, it can completely wash me out. I prefer to shoot in the late afternoon or evening for a softer, even light.
You also need to take location into consideration. For instance, to break up a busy feed, shoot against a brick wall every now and then, use props like flowers or food for interest etc. Editing a photo can only take it so far – you need to think about where you’re shooting too. Sometimes I put together mood boards before a shoot to get an idea of the style and locations I’m looking for.
Well, I hope this post helps some of you with your feeds! As always, if you have any other questions, please do let me know in the comments.