It’s all about #content and #engagement. Beautifully photographed squares are essential to growing your ‘Gram. You’ve probably mastered all the photo editing apps by now, but if you’re not cranking out new, varied content, that same old preset may not cut it.
What to do? Don’t worry, everyone loses inspiration once in a while! Being creative isn’t just something you can switch on and off. Somedays, no matter how hard you try, nothing comes out right. Brian and I have an agreement: No matter how cool of an idea we have for a shot, if it’s just not working out or we can’t get it right, we don’t force it. Has that ever happened to you? You can see the perfect IG post in your head, but the picture you’re snapping just isn’t it? Happens to the best of us, friend.
In those instances, the best thing to do is redirect towards something completely different to get those creative juices flowing again. If you’re tired of trying to force the perfect shot, of if you’re feeling a bit blah about your feed, OR if you’re happy with all of the above and just want some fresh ideas to add to your Instagram game, check out some of these. Be sure to comment with your favorites, or to add a new one to the list.
1. Detail Shot
Highlight your outfit or some exciting detail on you by cropping your picture. The eyes are the window to the soul and the viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to a person’s face in a picture. Cropping your face out will draw attention to the detail you’d like to show off, like a necklace, new lippie color, earrings, or a shirt.
Who doesn’t love a good quote? It’s a great way to share something that inspires you and gives you an opportunity to expand on why in your caption. Creating your own: make sure the words are completely legible and the background isn’t too distracting. Use a website like Canva to create it or the Snapseed app for good text templates. If you’re using a graphic you found online, try to give credit to the source in your caption. Thats just good karma.
3. The Flat Lay
I love me a good flat lay. The possibilities for these are endless: flowers, glasses, coffee, your (or someone else’s) hands or feet, pens, maps, notebooks, crystals, pretty foods, leaves, books, computers, notes… seriously, endless. Make sure you’re taking your picture against a neutral background like a nice floor, countertop, or even a white poster board* (*PRO TIP!) and make sure to allow for plenty of bright, natural, indirect light.
What’s better than a beloved pet? Um, nothing. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’m dog-obsessed. While I’m not saying pictures of pets are just good for easy likes, I am saying most people will double tap a pooch/purrbaby before an outfit. It’s science.
5. Fashion Blogger
If you’re a fashion blogger, feel free to skip this one. If you’re not, why not play one for a day and highlight your favorite #ootd? Find a pretty background: maybe a colorful wall, an empty city street, a big open space or even just a (clean!) mirror. Make sure to tag all the brands in your picture! In your caption, share a fun story about your outfit and where you got it, or tell why it’s your favorite.
If you don’t post selfies very often, try sharing one. While those pictures of lovely places and beautiful things are all very attractive, people like to see the normal gal or guy behind it all. It creates more of a connection with your followers to be real with them, and you can’t go wrong with a good ol’ fashioned selfie. Just, please, leave the Snapchat filters out of it. Nothing will make me click Unfollow faster than a superimposed set of bunny ears and a nose. No matter how cute you look.
7. Different Point of View
I love doing this in my every day photography. Kneel down, lie down, stand on top of something, lean weirdly to the side: find a way to look at your subject/picture from a completely different angle. The results may surprise you. You may even create a new viral pose like @muradosmann. Have you seen the #followmeto pictures all over the interwebs? He may not have been the first to ever shoot a picture like this, but he’s the first to have gone viral for it.
8. Throw it Back
Do you ever participate in #ThrowbackThursday or #FlashbackFriday? It can be fun to share a picture of back when you thought you had it all figured out. Most smart phones index pictures by date, so if you’re not wiling to show off that 5th grade haircut, a picture of a few years ago can work, too.
9. Your Happy Place
Back to the #IRL posts, sharing the place you are happiest in is a major conversation starter. What is your happy place? People love to feel a connection with the people they follow. Share a bit of your soul and let them into your world.
Get outside. You don’t have to go far, but find a place you can connect with and share it with your followers. Show off the natural beauty that surrounds you.
11. Behind the Scenes
Show us where the magic happens. People love to see raw, real life stuff, so show them what you’re working on. Share your messy desk, or a shot of something absolutely essential to doing what it is you do.
12. Sneak Peeks
Share a teaser for something big you’re working on. It could be as simple as throwing a dinner party and snapping a picture of the table set up. Be sure to accompany the picture with a good caption such as asking people to guess what you’re working on. #engagement
13. A Milestone
Go ahead, show off that baby bump! Or that graduation cap! Or that engagement ring! If it’s important to you, it’s important to your followers. Sharing your big moments with them keeps them in the loop and makes them know they’re included and appreciated.
Share some movement with a Boomerang. A cheers, a silly dance move, a laughing kiddo. Since videos can’t be edited the way photos can, try to shoot your Boomerang in plenty of natural light.
15. Bright Colors
A big POP of color is eye catching and engaging. Find a bright colored wall to stand in front of, wear a neutral outfit and hold colorful flowers or wear a bright shade of lipstick in your selfie. Grab their attention with something dramatic.