Happy Friday! I hope you guys all had an amazing week and are excited for Easter weekend! We’re headed to York tomorrow to spend time with my husband’s family. I’m excited to eat chocolate, go to an Easter service at one of the churches Ross grew up going to, and to just spend time with family! What are you guys up to?
Belle by Laurelle is almost a year old now, and over the last 6 or so months I’ve gotten quite a few compliments and questions. While I’m no expert, I decided to start a series on being a blogger/digital influencer, to answer some of these questions and to share some of what I’ve learned and what I’ve found works!
One of the things I’ve gotten a lot of questions and complements on is my Instagram feed. Now, I personally don’t think my feed would come anywhere close to being considered among the most cohesive or beautiful feeds out there. I do, however, put a lot of time and work into cultivating an aesthetically pleasing feed and feel a sense of pride for what I have created, as any artist feels about their work. (Yes, I do consider Instagram feeds a form of art. 😉 ) And since I must be doing something right to garner positive comments, I decided to share what I do to create as beautiful and cohesive feed as I possibly can.
1) Be Consistent with your Filter
One of the biggest ways to have a feed be consistent is to make sure your photos have the same colors, tone, and look. A filter is a great way to do this. I actually don’t use any of Instagram’s filters, as I personally feel they alter the original colors and other photo attributes too much. Instead, I opt for VSCO. I love their filters and how nuanced you can be with the settings. I also love that you can change the ‘tint’ of a photo, as I often find one of the biggest problems between two photos matching is the presence of too much pink or green. But more on this in my next point. I have one filter that I use on all of my photos, almost all the time. I have changed my filters on occasion, but when I do, it’s a change I usually stick with for a few months. Otherwise, it’s a one-off decision I make because the lighting in a photo has made it necessary for me to use a different filter to make the photo match how my photos usually look. It’s very rare that I do this though.
2) Be Consistent with your Colors
As I mentioned in point 1, often times photos don’t mesh, even after the same filter is applied, is because of the presence of different colors. I try to keep my color palette generally the same, with a lot of black & whites, neutrals, and a bit of blue & green. When I do choose to introduce a new color, or I have a few photos I want to share that have a different tone, I gradually ease my feed into working with them, and then ease my feed back to how it normally looks. For example, if I am going to be featuring a pink top, I might include a flatlay with a bit of pink in it before I share the pink top, and then after maybe a shot of a street in Philly with some pink blossoms. It’s actually very similar to what I tell my piano students about their dynamics when playing a piece, everything should be gradual and you don’t want anything sticking out like a sore thumb. 😉
3) Be Consistent with your Tones
This is similar to point 2, but different in that I’m referring more to the overall color tone of the photo, not just specific things in the photo having different colors. I play around a lot with the Temperature (warmth vs. coolness) and Tint (green vs. pink) of photos to get them to match just right. Most apps have a feature that allows you to adjust the Temperature, but I’ve not found many that allow you to effectively adjust the Tint. VSCO has this feature, so definitely play around with that if you are finding your photos are not matching well! I also love the app ‘Darkroom’ and paid around $5 for the extra feature of being about to adjust specific colors. You can increase or decrease specific colors, including red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, purple, and pink, and it helps immensely in getting photos to blend well.
4) Be Consistent with your Positive & Negative Space
Another element of having a feed look cohesive is having the amount of negative space and positive space e consistent and blend well. When done right, it results in something very visually appealing. Positive space is the subject(s) in a photo, while negative space is space around it. Most of my photos have more of a balance between the two. But they do differ depending on what kind of shot it is, and I try to be aware of that. For example, my outfit shots usually have a blurred background, so they come across as a bit more busy with more positive space, but are fairly balanced. My flatlays tend to have more negative space because of the white marble backgrounds. My shots of other things, like a food spread at a restaurant or a pretty view from wherever I happen to be, tend to be the busiest and have the most positive space. I usually achieve a balance between all three by altering my photos, going back and forth between an outfit shot, and another photo, such as a flatly, view, or a detail shot of a product It helps create consistency and creates a nice flow.
5) Be Consistent with your Light
Another element of creating a consistent feed is making sure the amount of light vs. shadows in a photo is balanced. If you just shared a darker and moodier looking photo, you probably don’t want share a sunny and bright photo next. I try to keep my photos in the middle, that way it is easy to edit them to match each other. Some people pull of a brighter or darker feed well. I find that sometimes it can mean editing a photo to the point where it doesn’t look so great, so I prefer to stay somewhere in the middle. For example, with a bright feed, you may have to up the exposure on photos a lot so they match but have it result in parts of the photo being washed-out or over-exposed.
6) Use a Feed Planner
All of these tactics are much less effective if not used in combination with a feed planner. Nothing helps you to create a flow of photos that match and blend well more than being able to move photos around to see how they work together and what looks best. I use a few, my favorite being Mosaico. I also have a private separate account where I post my photos just to double check they work before sharing to my public Belle by Laurelle account.
At this point, some of you have probably come to the conclusion that I’m insane and suffer from severe OCD. 😉 Maybe that’s a teensy bit true, but I just see it as being incredibly passionate about this form of ‘art’ and I can honestly say I have so much fun creating a ‘cohesive’ feed. It’s like a puzzle to me! Do any of you go to extreme lengths to create a cohesive feed? Or use any of these tactics? If not, are you going to try any of them out? Let me know below!