Anyone that has researched the best practices for gaining followers on Instagram knows that your feed and profile should follow a similar style. I absolutely hated this recommendation and came up with an alternative so I don’t feel so constricted creatively while still maintaining a curated profile.
Gaining followers on Instagram can be somewhat of a mystery but there are lots of resources out there that give you some best practices to follow. One of the most important rules to follow is to curate your profile and posts. You can do your own research into these topics but if you wanted to save some time just listen to Peter Mckinnon, Jerome Courtial, or Chris Hau. I detested this rule, so much so that I stopped posting to Instagram for quite some time. I was fed up trying to turn my work into something I didn’t want it to be just to cater to the cliche “looks” we commonly see throughout Instagram.
After months of deliberation I found my solution; a way to post what I wanted to while still maintaining a curated profile. I present to you, “The Grid.”
Alright I know this isn’t some huge innovation in the world of social media but it was a liberating thought and encouraged me to start posting again. It solved my issues of wanting to post photos from the tropical island of Bora Bora and the endless moods of Iceland. The majority of people that shoot travel photos on Instagram all follow these three rules in their editing style:
- Raised blacks
- Blown out whites
- Very de-saturated with hints of color
You can find endless profiles using this style throughout Instagram, including mine from time to time. This is what I call “The Instagram Look,” there is absolutely nothing wrong with it and I’m certainly not dismissing its aesthetic. Editing this way provides a lot of freedom for creating content as it does not require perfect weather, sunrise, or sunset. You can take photos and edit them to this look no matter the weather or time of day; actually moody and rainy weather tends to work better in this style. This removes a lot of restrictions when it comes to creating a steady stream of content.
Personally I don’t want to edit in this style all the time. I love vibrant color tones in some of my photos just like I enjoy a good black and white edit. Curating my profile using The Grid really opened up some creative freedom for the content I wanted to produce while still appearing organized. I equate it to a themed gallery showing. I’ve accepted that if I conformed to the standards that I might be able to gain followers faster but then I’m just living my life for a follower count and I’d like to avoid that. I have come to the realization that my portfolio and social media work should be separate, something I will touch on in a future article.
What do you think? Do you feel constricted by the ideals of Instagram, and if so have you come up with any good solutions for yourself to post how you want but still have an eye catching profile?