Creating sets of images for instagram that work together / photography learning

Creating a space online where our work can really showcase what we are all about and how we work, has been quite a work in progress since last year. Before instagram, most of our work was uploaded to our website in blog form or added to our galleries. We often used facebook to share wedding and family photographs too but there was something quite special about the instagram community that drew us in a few years ago.

But it’s not as easy as it looks…Instagram requires a little more continuity and format. It doesn’t mean that you can’t shoot more varied images, but these are usually best kept for your wider portfolio.

I’m sure there’s many of you out there who still just don’t know how to create the kind of feed that show your work off to it’s best and tell a little of your story as you go along. So we figured we’d share how we do it step by step so that you can try it for yourself.

Planoly has been our go-to for around 2 years and really helps us put sets of images that work well together. Of course we don’t shoot everything all in one go and often images are taken in different seasons, different lighting and this can really make it tricky to create a feed for instagram that draws your audience in.

Here’s some ideas to help you create images that will work together and how we use planoly to put them together.

1- When taking photographs, try to think of which colours most represent the ‘feel’ you want for you and your work. It really helps to stick to a base colour palette or tone, perhaps using the same background for every 6th photo and work along with that colour when you’re shooting other things.

2- Choose 6-8 images that you like to take regularly. It may be a scene in your window, or of a doorway, table, food, a product in the same place, use a pattern of the type of images you like to take and make a note of them. Practice taking these photographs in different ways and keeping them in a folder on your phone.

3- Use an app such as Planoly, or UNUM to help you to arrange your images. Drop a selection of images into the app and see how they look.

4- It may not look right to begin with and the more you practice putting them together, the more it will start to become natural to you. Adding the images you have taken into an app such as these will allow you to move them around until you feel they are right. Practice practice. It’s all about they way your eyes run over the images, if you have a group of light images together and then a set of dark following, maybe try to mix them in a little and see how they look. If you have a range of colours that just don’t sit right together, try moving those to the top of your planoly grid until there’s a time for them to fit in.

5- Try not to forget instagram is a way to build up a community, it’s ok to be individual and not follow the trends! Be yourself and create images that have a flow to them, your flow. Enjoy the process! People want to see you and what you have to say in your own unique way. Using these tools just helps to bring a bit of order to the things you want to share with people.

Here’s a look at how we arrange some of our work into Planoly

This is how our feed looks once we have put it all together in Planoly, but it’s not what it starts out like.

This is how our feed looks once we have put it all together in Planoly, but it’s not what it starts out like.

 
Here is what our feed would look like if we put all the images in and didn’t arrange them. We still do try to shoot things with a similar tone, use the same editing preset and have a pattern to the kind of images we shoot. You may notice that there are similar images next to each other which will need to be moved.

Here is what our feed would look like if we put all the images in and didn’t arrange them. We still do try to shoot things with a similar tone, use the same editing preset and have a pattern to the kind of images we shoot. You may notice that there are similar images next to each other which will need to be moved.

 
Here are some images that we have uploaded recently but have not been rearranged. Overtime we will arrange these as new images will be added and may take more prevalence over ones we have already added.

Here are some images that we have uploaded recently but have not been rearranged. Overtime we will arrange these as new images will be added and may take more prevalence over ones we have already added.

 
This shows the upcoming ARRANGED images. Images that have been posted to instagram have the little insta logo and the ‘U’ stands for images that have been put in place but are UNSCHEDULED.

This shows the upcoming ARRANGED images. Images that have been posted to instagram have the little insta logo and the ‘U’ stands for images that have been put in place but are UNSCHEDULED.

 

Working with a planning grid isn’t about making your work like everyone else’s, it’s more about creating a format that people are used to seeing things in. Our brains are naturally drawn to things that make sense and this way of working really helps in those few seconds while people are scrolling away. You may only have a short space of time for someone to know what it is you do, it’s always worth trying to show them the best version you can!