With over 700 million monthly users, there’s no denying that Instagram is one of the best social media networks on the market right now.
Based on sharing stunning, aesthetically pleasing images, Instagram has taken the photography world by storm. But getting your work to stand out above the rest can be difficult with so many others in the game.
Growing your Instagram following isn’t all about using the right hashtags & posting consistently.
In fact, there are many different ways to attract new followers on Instagram. One of which includes sprucing up your feed with a stylish, professional theme.
Ever scrolled down your Instagram feed & known exactly who’s photo you’re looking at? Well, that’s probably because they have built a solid theme on their Instagram. Whether it may be their unique photography style, how they edit their photos or the simple fact that they use borders.
So how can you create a stylish, professional theme for your Instagram?
Well, there are many different ways you can go about it actually. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular ways to add a cohesive theme to attract new followers & build your personal brand.
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Create a Grid or Pattern
Posting your photos in a grid or pattern can be one of the easiest ways to create a cohesive theme on your Instagram.
There are many different ways that you can create a particular pattern. Let’s take a look at a few of the most popular examples.
Post your photos in a pattern. Use graphics or quotes to break it up. Post selfies in a pattern. Create all different types of grids (maybe create an example).
Say you’re using your smartphone. All you need to do is download some simple editing apps & decide on the general style you want to achieve. Once you’ve worked out what look you’re going for, it’s time to start editing.
Let’s look at VSCO first. Totally free from the Android Play Store & Apple App Store, VSCO is one of the best editing apps. With loads of gorgeous presets, VSCO makes photo editing simple. Create your profile, add your image & scroll through the presets to find one that suits your style.
Once you find your style in VSCO [or any other app you use] take note of the details. Add a note in your notebook or on your phone to remember what settings you used. This step is super important, especially when you are trying to create a consistent theme on your Instagram.
Want loads of great ideas for filtered themes? No worries – stop by & visit my best friend Pinterest and she’ll get you sorted. There are literally thousands of different pins with the exact details from aperture to shadows & highlights. In fact, I have a whole board filled with ideas for Instagram themes & other social media tips on my Pinterest. You know.. Just in case you wanted a head start.
Now, if you prefer to edit in Photoshop & have never heard of the term “actions”, let me explain.
Actions are [as the name suggests] actions recorded by someone, saved & then put up for sale (and sometimes for free) for the use of others. So instead of manually adjusting your curves, recovering your highlights & brightening your backgrounds for every single photo you take, you can just let the actions do it for you.
Using actions is not a cheats way out of editing.
Actions are designed to help decrease the amount of time you spend on post-production. And let me tell you, actions saved my butt throughout my portrait photography career. Whether I used premade actions I’d bought or ones I’d created myself, using Photoshop actions cut my post-production in half.
If it’s a matte, dimly lit style that you’re after, no worries my friend. I guarantee you there’s an action for that. In fact, there is probably an action [or a filter] for just about anything you can think of.
A few of my favourite actions come from Paint The Moon & Greater Than Gatsby. Looking for something a bit more affordable? Do yourself a favour and make sure you check out Creative Market. Their Photoshop & Lightroom presets are incredibly designed & very budget-friendly.
Add a Solid Border
If your Instagram feed is full of beautifully styled flatlays but is starting to look a bit cluttered, it’s time to invest in some borders.
There are tonnes of free apps available for download to add borders to your photos. And of course, actions for Photoshop are easily accessible too.
My number one choice of app is Whitagram. It’s simple, minimalistic & so freakin’ easy to use. All you need to do is open your photo library, select your photo & adjust the slider until you achieve the border width you like. You can even send the photo straight to Instagram from the app itself.
Depending on your niche & Instagram style, you may even want to change the colour of your border. Just be sure to keep in mind how it’s going to look once your whole feed comes together. And, if you’re really not sure if the colour suits perfectly, download one of my all-time favourite apps, UNUM & get a live view of your Instagram.
The only downfall of adding borders to your Instagram photos is that it limits the orientation you can use. For instance, if you use a white border theme like on my Instagram & decide you want to post a portrait [or landscape] shot, it will look out of place when viewing your photo grid. Bugger, misaligned borders aren’t pretty.
– How to Style Your Photos Like a Professional
Last but not least…
Just do what you do best.
If you’re known for creating sharp, crisp & perfectly styled flatlays, roll with it.
Don’t be put off by having to keep up with what everyone else is doing. You’ll only end up confusing yourself & your followers with soon catch on.
Find your style & stay true to yourself.
Remember earlier when I spoke about recognising other people’s photos before you even saw their name? Well, guess what, you too can achieve this level of professionalism on Instagram. And who knows, you may end up making $1000 from a few posts like I did, sooner than you imagined.
Creative a cohesive, beautiful theme & you’ll be a superstar in no time.
How do you theme your Instagram?
Tell me in the comments below!