My favorite feeds on Instagram have a good balance of pretty pictures + real life. Personally, I go to Instagram more for inspiration than to see people's dirty laundry or cluttered floors. But at the same time, like any person, I can start feeling inadequate when all I see are perfectly styled photos. A great Instagram feed (in my opinion) has beautiful images, but doesn't create a false sense of perfection. I want my own feed to inspire, as well as be relatable and real.
For styled photos, I will almost always clear clutter out of the way, wipe crumbs from the tabletop, or toss laundry out of the picture. Even photos of my studio table clutter are usually somewhat arranged. I don't always 'pre-edit' and sometimes I just shoot. It depends what I'm going for-- am I sharing a snapshot of my every day? Or is my goal with this picture to inspire creativity?
I think about how I want the picture composed. Do I want to back away for a more distant shot? Have a low horizon line? A high horizon line? More or less negative space?
My favorite vantage points are 'bird's eye', from straight above, or getting down low (on Silas level, or the level of my subject). It usually takes 3-10 shots to get the image I like. I'll tweak lighting, or my facial expression, or shoot until I get a clear picture of my busy toddler. I almost always use natural lighting (so much so that I rarely post a nighttime picture).
AfterLight is my go-to app for 100% of my images, so as soon as I'm ready to post a picture, I'll open up my AfterLight app. The first thing I do is crop my image. This is one of my favorite steps, actually. Playing with the composition and deciding what exactly my image will be is really fun to me. #nerd
Next, I bump up the exposure a few notches, maybe mess with the temperature (if I want the photo to read warmer or cooler), and then I add a filter. My favorite filter is Russ, at 50-75%. Rarely do I go 100% on a filter, except for black and white filters.
I'm interested to hear what you think about the balance of real life and pretty pictures. Is it possible to be relatable with styled photos? Do you unfollow some people if their pictures are too perfect? Do you prefer the relatable aspect of Instagram or the inspirational aspect?
PS. Find me on Instagram as @lindsay_hellohue!