For businesses today, Instagram is one of the most important platforms out there. Brands are built on Instagram, whether we like it or not. As you may or may not know, I have been using this year to up my Instagram game. More than that, I now run three accounts. Yes, you read that correctly. I have 3 Instagrams.
To most people, or at least most non-professionals, Instagram is a place where you can post photos of your best moments. You share that you're with your family or that you went to the beach or that you graduated from college. However, me and the other professionals out there do so much more than that. I post photos of friends, photos of books, photos of the places I go, photos of texture, photos of plants, photos of....well, you get the point. Of course, each Instagram is reserved for different content. My personal IG is strictly iPhone 7 photos that show things I see in my daily life. My Bookstagram is for posed DSLR photos of books and bookish content. And finally, my professional photo business account is for DSLR shots from my professional shoots. Yes, it's a lot. But, I decided to make this year the year I become an IG pro.
In all actuality, I only really need one account. If I merged all three, I'm sure everything would be fine. However, having three accounts gives me flexibility and it allows me to really stretch my creative muscles. Also, it's fun. Half the fun of these accounts is figuring out what to post next to create a theme or as the youths call it these days, "aesthetic."
aesthetic n. - "a particular individual’s set of ideas about style and taste, along with its expression"
In broader terms, an IG "aesthetic" is basically the brand/style/feel/look of an account. Most successful aesthetics are cohesive and beautiful, and they make you want to follow the account almost immediately. A great way to create an aesthetic is photograph similar objects with a similar background and color scheme, and then edit those photos in the same way with the same filter. Easier said than done.
Some people are incredibly talented at executing this concept. Certain types of IG's make this more easy than others. Of course, I try hard at creating mine, but somehow I always feel a little too flat. Aesthetic takes a lot of planning (I use the app UN UM), and sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to have a pretty profile. I've had more success with my personal and bookish accounts, but right now I'm really trying to figure out what the heck is happening on my photo account.
Don't get me wrong, I do think I'm good at taking photos. I love almost all the photos I take and post - individually. However, putting it into an on-going series is challenging. Not only do you have to worry about creating a good composition, but you also have to think about editing and using filters and making sure you have enough symmetry and negative space. One photo can ruin an aesthetic instantly. As such, it takes a long time and a lot of practice to get a good IG aesthetic.
I'm struggling. Every time I think I'm happy with the way my IG looks, I slack off or I lose inspiration or I completely ruin the theme I set up. My main problem with my photo account is that none of my photos work together in a series - unless I post three from one shoot in a row. I need something to break up my photos, like textures or graphics or even just text posts. I take a lot of inspiration from my friend Margot's IG - she's slowly gaining a following and every time she posts it makes me want to work on my own account!
The point is, whether you take pride in your IG or you don't, IG is an art form. And it's an art that I hope to conquer over the next few months. I appreciate all your patience as I try to figure it out, and I am always looking for tips and tricks on how to improve. Here's to finding your aesthetic!