‘Capture you style’ by Aimee Song is one of my favorite books, as it gives a lot of great tips when it comes to Instagram and photography. If you know me a little, you will know how much I love spending time on Instagram and photography to create a nice feed for my account, so this book is right up my alley. The book talks about a few different aspects considering Instagram, namely the basics, photography tips, telling a story through Instagram, growing your audience and making money from Instagram. And since think a lot of the tips given in the book are really useful, I’m going to share a few of my favorites with you.
1. How to create the ultimate grid
There are a few ways to create a beautiful and coherent grid on your account. For example, you can focus on subject matter, by filter type, by color scheme or by crop size. Another important point to thing about is a mission statement. What is it that you want to achieve with your Instagram account? Why do you have an Instagram account? Think about the message you want to give to your followers, and make sure that this message is underlined in all the images you post. Always ask yourself if the photos you want to post are in line with your mission. Also, it’s important to post a variety of different kinds of images to keep your feed interesting. Think about fashion, food, outfits etc. And lastly, consider how photos will look together in a grid. Your grid should be coherent and contain a flow between images. This is what makes is appealing to others.
2. How to compose your Instagram photos
‘Capture your style’ points out the ‘golden rule’, meaning that a slightly off-center subject is more desirable than having it in the middle of a frame. Besides that, there’s also the rule of thirds. This rule is about placing your subject’s points of interest at intersections of the grid (use your phone’s photo-taking grid) or along its lines. This makes the photo more pleasing to the eye. And last but not least, learn from the masters. You can gain a lot of knowledge about photography by looking at other people’s work. You can do this for example by reading photography books, or by going to exhibitions to get inspired. This is a good way to learn about techniques.
3. How to perfect your outfit shots
First and foremost, Aimee writes in her book to think about combining your shooting locations with the outfit you’re wearing. The example she gives in the book is: imagine your styling an editorial photoshoot for your favorite magazine. In order to do this, it’s important to go location scouting. Find places that will look good with your outfits, so when you want to shoot, you know where to go. It all comes down to this: you can put the outfit before the location or the location before the outfit. Just make sure they look good together.
4. How to grow your audience
Content is king and is what ultimately is going to get you noticed, but there are a few strategies that can help you with growing your audience. The first thing you can do is using hashtags. Hashtags are one of the best ways for people to find your photos. Make sure to not use crazy popular hashtags, but go with the lesser-used ones so your photo doesn’t get lost in all the other photos. This also gives you a better chance at rising to the top of the searches. Geotags (that add a geographical location to your post) also make your photos more discoverable. Another good way to get more noticed on Instagram is by tagging and ‘@ mentions’. This can be used as a marketing strategy so other accounts can find your photos and will want to repost them. It’s also really important to be interactive on Instagram. Make an effort to respond to comment, and comment on other people’s posts. This wil get your name out there, and in turn makes your account more findable.
5. How to use Instagram to help you in your business or career
Instagram is no joke when business is involved. Studies have shown that people turn to Instagram for help deciding what to buy. So Instagram can be a very useful tool to build your business or to make a bit of money. In order to do this, it’s important to devise a strategy. Think about what your main goals are and adapt your posts to these goals. For bloggers, affiliate programs can be very helpful. These programs are used when a blogger/instagrammer posts a link to a product and then gets a percentage of every sale they help to drive. For example, LIKEtoKNOW.it makes Instagram outfits shoppable. Another way Instagram can be used, is by working with brands. As a blogger, you can approach brands and pitch a collaboration. When doing this, always keep in mind: What can you offer the brand? And, am I only doing it to score a freebie? Because if you do, the partnership is probably not meant for you. But things can also work the other way around, when brands approach you. This is when you get paid to post on behalf of a brand. When this happens, always think about: Do I like the product and are my followers going to like the product? And the last tip is to know what you charge for your services. Don’t be afraid to be a #boss and politely but confidently ask for what you want.
If this post made you want to read the whole book, I will leave a link for you here so it’s super easy to find.
I hope you enjoyed this post and can make use of some of the things that I’ve learned from this book. I think it’s an amazing book when you’re interested in Instagram, so I’d definitely recommend it. I also think it’s a really helpful book for bloggers as it gives some very useful tips!