If you scroll all the way back through my Instagram feed you'll see that I've changed the style of my theme a few times. I love experimenting, and what better place to do it than on Instagram?
My Instagram feed in 2015 (left) - compared to my feed in 2016 (right)
Until recently I have been using what I call a "three in a row layout" Instagram theme where I post three connected images in a row. This showcases my photography, makes the overall grid look pretty cool, and challenges me to think about not only the individual images but also how the images work together to tell a story. It was a good experiment.
As my rate of posting increased it still looked cool - but only for a moment. I usually post 1 a day or every other, and I was increasingly annoyed at how imperfect the feed looked while waiting for the set to be completed.
Why and what?
The why of what I'm doing online is something I'm still getting to grips with - but I’ve realised I'm no longer using Instagram just to show off my work; I'm using it for my blog and other key updates (like my print giveaway). I still wanted a theme to keep things curated and help me pick images, but I didn't want to be so limited. I wanted to change it up, but I couldn’t work out how.
That’s when I discovered Olivia Bossert’s E-book
Olivia Bossert is a fashion and lifestyle photographer with a great grasp on using the online world to boost business. If you know my work, you know that there really isn’t any trace of fashion to be found! Yet Olivia's blogs, newsletters and podcasts have been consistently helpful to me: a nature nerd. When I look for inspiration, ideas and direction I want to go to someone relatable, someone I trust and someone who is succeeding from practicing what they preach. Olivia Bossert ticks all these boxes, so when she announced she was releasing How to Take Beautiful Instagram Photos for only £6.99, it was a no-brainer.
I want to share with you how this e-book helped me further explore my visual style.
In chapter 9 “To have an Instagram theme, or not to?” Olivia talks about all the ways you can achieve visual consistency. With her tips in mind, I set aside some time to scroll through my Instagram and Lightroom catalog to see what similarities I could see. It didn't take me long to find some patterns. Colours stood out the most: of the earth and sky, the sand and sea - blues, browns and greys with the occasional bursts of green and yellow. It turns out I am particularly attracted to these earthy colours.
Coincidentally, I was sorting out my wardrobe that week (be it a tiny one) and I realised that almost without exception the colours matched! "Great for the gram" I thought, but also so helpful to know when making purchases in the future.
In just one chapter Olivia has helped me understand a little bit more about my photography style - and my choice of clothes - which will help me to make more concise decisions in the future. I’ve learnt so much from this e-book and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their Instagram or photography.
My new Instagram theme is giving me the satisfaction and flexibility I have been craving, and is also very forgiving. There’s nothing to stop me merging it into new colour themes or styles, if that’s where my eyes lead me. I’m excited to see how it develops!
Do you have a grid style? I’d love to know what it is and why!