I cannot believe this is going to be a blog post, but I think our increased social media dependency has amplified with the pandemic and lockdown.
Hence, without any further drama, I am going to tell you some simple steps I take to curate my IG feed. Personally, I feel I have grown since the last 2 years, in terms of my personal content and aesthetics. That also could be because I was not very involved or never thought of how Instagram could be so much more than just sharing a photo.
How you treat your Instagram can define the way you grid it.
For example. if you want a pretty aesthetic driven feed, based on your interests, likes and dislikes, you will need to follow up trends and also see what is reflective of your lifestyle.
The way I plan mine these days is completely based on fashion, lifestyle and mood.
I think at the end of the day, you need to know what works for you and what doesn’t. There are so many apps that can help you align your feed but these few steps are the easiest way to nail a good feed, for beginners!
STEP 1: GOOD PHOTO
Take a good photo! Start clicking what best comes close to your page topic. Love fashion? Replicate trends and click. Love makeup? Do some glam looks. Love baking or cooking? Indulge in some food photography.
These days, you do not need a digital camera, a good phone does most of the work, with the help of some quick editing apps!
STEP 2: FEED PLANNER
Once you have the aesthetics nailed, remember your feed needs to speak about the journey you are curating. Post relevant information. Post relevant content. If I am visually balancing by posting fashion/lifestyle themed content – I am not going to suddenly post about technology! Especially, if it is not going visually with my theme.
Your Instagram grid works in 9 image graph. So, your 9 images are 1 complete grid that won’t shift. Once you understand that, you can take help of apps like Preview and other similar feed planner. This is the best when you are serious about curating a good feed!
STEP 3: SYMMETRY/ASYMMETRY
Visual balance ! This can be tricky. However, what I do is I create a visual symmetry/asymmetrical balance with photos. Let me simplify.
Below is an example of a 12 grid. (3photos * 4 rows)
If you take the two rows from below- you can see a triangle block in the 6 grids. I have repeated my close ups and far shots alternatively. I have kept a pattern in the repetition and I have kept the colour palette close to similar shades – white, beige, sunset, fall colours, maroon overtones.
I have also balanced heavy images and scenic images alternatively, so it creates a semblance and does not look too crowded. So, to sum it up – you should plan your feed with a balanced rotation.
1close up – 1 far shot – 1 close up : 1 fashion portrait – 1 lifestyle image – 1 fashion portrait. (3:3)
STEP 4: EDITING APPS
Filters! Filters! Filters!
While being natural is great, I really cannot upload a photo on Instagram without basic corrections of light and shadow. I am absolutely against using filters and apps that completely distort your face.
However, there are certain apps that I use to get the base filter corrections similar for the photos I want to post in a grid (9-12 photos).
These are Snapseed , VSCO, Prequel (for their video effects and plenty of blogger and grainy image options, grunge & retro edits) and Polarr. Some of these also have paid features but I am not that advanced. Snapseed is completely free and that pretty much does my work. I also use this app called Unfold for stories – it basically gives me a clean template layout.
And you are set!
Once you get an idea about balancing your visuals and finding a middle ground to harmonise your colour palettes, half your battle is won. Good resolution photos are everything!
Also, I think because i have OCD, I am so particular about wanting to keep it clean, minimal. At the end of the day, your content needs to come from a place of passion, of authenticity. Of speaking about who you are, even if your captions are not. It needs to at least be aspirational in terms of having a reach and engagement. I have never curated my Instagram for want of followers. I think I do it mostly because I enjoy the platform that allows me to express my styles, fashion, other sensibilities and make it like a mood board. More than just post photos for the sake of it! I like the limited curation and reach it has, and I don’t want that to change.
I have a very Bradshaw heart. (I love how only a few would understand this reference)
Written by Adhisa Ghosh