As mentioned in a previous post, I plan to host my portfolio on a specially designed website. However, while a website is undoubtedly a great way to showcase your works, it simply doesn’t generate the same exposure as a social media account.
There are a wide variety of social networks available today, some are well known, while others are limited to a smaller niche. As far as photography goes, Instagram is undeniably the largest social network. With over 500 million active users, it’s behind only Facebook and Youtube (DeMers, 2017). Almost every photographer can be found on Instagram. It’s an almost necessary step to getting your content out there for people to discover.
But this post isn’t going to discuss the merits of the platform or weigh out its pros and cons – that is a topic for another time. Rather the focus here will be about my attempt at creating an appealing Instagram portfolio.
1. Choosing a subject
The first step was to choose a subject or area that will be main focus of my feed. A helpful way to do this is by looking through old photos and finding a common theme. In my case I ended up choosing people and travel. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’re limited to just these two areas, but they will take up the majority of the photos I post.
2. Choosing a style
This part is with a doubt the hardest problem I faced. Some photographers have a particular style (which I take a look at here), this gives their photos a consistent look and feel. I however, like to experiment with different styles and haven’t yet chosen one particular form that is consistent throughout all my photos. So to work around this problem I’ve designed my feed to incorporate different styles, but still maintain an aesthetically pleasing visual. This leads to the third point.
3. Designing the feed
On your feed, Instagram displays photos in 3s. So the approach I’ve taken is to upload 3 photos with the same style or feel in a row. This helps give the feed a pleasing look, but still lets me change the style every 3 or 6 or 9 posts.
As the screenshot shows, the first 12 images (with the exception of one) retain a black and white aesthetic. The last 3 images are where I’ve switched styles and gone for a very vibrant pink and blue vibe. The idea now is to add 3 or 6 more images that keep the pink and blue, and afterwards switch to another style.
As the photos pile on, keeping track of your Instagram feed can get quite complicated. And so, listed here are a few apps that I’ve used to help keep my feed in check.
Unum is a visual planner. This means you can upload your photos to the app and see what your Instagram feed will look like. This is helpful in keeping your aesthetic and style consistent and clean.
Command is a statistics and analysis app for Instagram. It gives you insights such as the best time to post, which filter is more popular and how you could generally improve your feed.
DeMers, J. (2017, March). Why Instagram is the top social platform for engagement (and how to use it). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2017/03/28/why-instagram-is-the-top-social-platform-for-engagement-and-how-to-use-it/#750784b236bd