How To Get An Expertly Art-Directed Instagram

Once upon a time, if you were a writer, a banker, a chef or anything other than, well, an art director, you wouldn’t need to be skilled at art direction in order to do your job. Today, however, it is undeniable that Instagram is an important part of your “resume”, both professionally and personally. As one of the first sources people rely on to get an immediate sense of who you are, it’s a worthwhile cause to ensure your social media persona is top-notch. Since creating a beautiful, cohesive photo story out of day-to-day life doesn’t come naturally to everyone, we pulled six accounts that knock it out of the park with accompanying tips on how to follow their lead.

Pick A Palette

According to statistics, images that are predominately blue get 24% more likes than those that are predominately red. And while it’s easy to pick a blue/green palette for your images if you’re constantly shooting in exotic, ocean-adjacent locales (nudge, nudge @tuulavintage), you should choose a palette that pleases you, first and foremost, and try to exclusively shoot subjects and locations that adhere to it.

Photo: @tuulavintage

Get In The Mood

Is your feed cheerful, eerie, calm or stark? This question takes into account several different factors such as color palette, subject matter, composition, etc. While this may seem strange, try to think of your Instagram as though it were a feature film. What emotion are you trying to elicit from your audience? Then, shoot and edit each image with this emotion in mind.

Photo: @couldihavethat

Keep Your Editing Consistent

If you use filters, pick one and stick to it throughout. Also try to be consistent in terms of image saturation, texture and brightness.

Photo: @laurenconrad

Vary Your Content

Posting six selfies in a row might not seem like a big deal—after all, everyone loves a selfie—but it makes for a much less interesting storyline than one inclusive of a greater variety of subjects. Try alternating your outfit posts with landscapes, food imagery and the like to give deeper insight into your lifestyle.

Photo: @jxxsy

Consider Your Composition

Although photos with a lot of background space generally do better (in terms of likes) than those without, you should vary your stream. Placing photos with a lot of negative space next to ones that are a bit busier will make your storyline visually interesting. Aim to keep similar shapes or compositions from being posted back-to-back.

Photo: @alwaysjudging

Plan Ahead

Let’s get real: People with aesthetically beautiful Instagram accounts put a lot of time into making them look that way. Stealing this blogger shortcut will help: Take a ton of photos each time you shoot—same location, same subject, varied compositions—and then parse them out onto your feed over time. This will help keep a consistent vibe while ensuring you get a lot of bang for your buck each time you make the effort to take photos.

Photo: @happilygrey