HOW I PLAN MY INSTAGRAM FEED: A GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS!

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.

Also another example of a 9-grid visual balance, planned via Preview.

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)

Featuring my best friend and babies 😀

XOXO,

Written by Adhisa Ghosh

BENGALI AT A WEDDING

If you have been following my blog since the beginning you would know that I am a Bengali, hence being obsessed about wearing sarees for any traditional or festive occasion runs in my veins, by default.

Nevertheless, I am one who adores the nine yards. I love a good traditional handcrafted saree. Mostly because I empathise with sustainability, handwork and the special skills that our artisans posses, who keep working generations after generations in preserving a craft and heritage. I feel obligated in some ways to be able to help in keeping this legacy alive.

Hence, I always try to go with sarees as my first option for any festive or traditional moment instead of splurging on designer labels that have zero contribution towards sustainability, culture or heritage. I am so selective about the fabrics and embroidery, I had rather know that my investment is not only in a piece of fabric or handwork but it also goes a long way in contributing to a family who works hard day and night, stitch by stitch.

THE MAHESHWARI SAREE

The handcrafts and weaves of India are elaborate. That is probably why this country has such a rich variety of sarees and handlooms to choose from. This saree is from a boutique in North Bengal, Siliguri. Indigenous sarees and traditional handcrafts are found at the boutique.

The Maheshwari Saree comes from Maheshwar, a city in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. An ancient town on the banks of the Narmada, was originally the capital of the Malwas during the Maratha Holkar reign till 1818 and enjoyed a considerably elevated status in terms of royal interests. It was this encouragement by the royal family that the Maheshwari saree came into existence.

Legend has it that Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar employed a special team of craftsmen from Surat and Malwa to design an exclusive nine yard saree that could be gifted to her relatives and guests who visited the palace. With the first saree conceptualised and designed by the Highness herself, Maheshwari sarees went on to become a huge hit in the royal and aristocratic circle.

BENARASI CHANDERI SAREE

The town of Chanderi in Ashok Nagar District of Madhya Pradesh is known for its historical importance as well as the world famous hand woven Chanderi sarees. Records show that hand looms wove Chanderi sarees for royalty between the 12th and the 13th centuries.

While some references to the Vedic period in Indian mythology suggest that Chanderi fabric was introduced by Lord Krishna’s cousin Shishupal, one can find its mention in Maasir-i-Alamgir (1658-1707), wherein it is stated that Aurangzeb ordered the use of a cloth embroidered with gold and silver for making khilat (a ceremonial robe or other gift given to someone by a superior as a mark of honour).

The material was very expensive. The beauty of this fabric was its softness, transparency, and fringes embellished with heavy gold thread embroidery. According to the records of a Jesuit priest, who visited Marwar between 1740 and 1761, Chanderi fabric enjoyed royal patronage and was also exported overseas. A British visitor, RC Sterndal noted that Chanderi was the favoured fabric of Indian royal women because of its soft, light texture and transparency.

(Source: CHANDERI SAREES: A LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF THESE ROYAL WEAVES)

Though these various accounts make it hard to put a date on the birth of Chanderi sarees, it’s clear that the fabric has always had the patronage of the ruling class of the country because of its unique sheer texture and intricate embroidery with gold and silver.

As a fashion blogger and MBA in Luxury Brand Management graduate, my initiative also strongly supports the handcraft of Indian weaves and sustainability of our traditions and heritage.

It starts from home.

XOXO,

Adhisa