We’ve all seen those Instagram accounts whose profiles look amazing when you look at it as a whole, right? All one tone, color, subject or some combination of the three. Completely cohesive. They do it because it works.
As photographers, I think this is a bit more difficult than some of the brand-influencer types of accounts out there. We don’t necessarily want all of our images to be one color tone that may be considered the trendy color of the moment. There are other ways we can create an Instagram account that shows off our work and keeps a cohesive look to it.
Why are you on Instagram?
The first thing to figure out is what you are using Instagram for. Is it strictly social for you, a way for friends and family to see your images? Do you use it to help promote your business in some way? Maybe you lead workshops, photo tours or you sell your images as fine art.
Knowing the reason you are there will help you determine how you want your stream to look, what hashtags you’ll be using and what types of images you’ll post.
Choose a cohesive subject
What is your niche? Do you photograph a specific subject matter? Whatever it is, focus on posting images of that and only that on your Instagram profile. For example, if you’re a wildlife photographer keep your stream limited to just those images.
Consider opening up a second account if you have more than one specialty. Create a profile for portraits and another for landscapes or travel. This way you won’t have the two intermixed with each other as viewers scroll through.
Create a cohesive series
You may find it quite difficult to create an overall aesthetic with the variety of subjects and genres you photograph. If that’s the case, pull from similar subjects and create a series of images to post in groups.
I have found this to be a good way to pull images from the archives as well. Your series can be anything that looks good as a grid of 9 or 12 (about the number of squares a person sees when viewing Instagram on their mobile phone).
Easy to create
I’ve found that creating my grids ahead of time helps me visualize what looks best together. It also makes it easy to determine what order to post the images in. Befunky.com is a site where you can create collages (and other things) easily. Once created you can download them and use them for reference.
Once I know my layout for a series I use Later.com to schedule my posts. This saves me time in the long run and posts to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter simultaneously.
Why does cohesiveness matter?
Your Instagram feed is the first thing someone sees when they click on a new profile. Making a good impression is important. You want the person viewing your profile to know exactly what they can expect to see from you in your feed. If they like what they see and know what your profile is about, they’re more likely to click on that follow button.
One word. Branding. If you are using Instagram as a business tool, you want to present your brand in a cohesive way. This includes more than just a logo or name. It’s your social media posts, what and how you present yourself and your work.
Photography is visual and we want to put our best visual foot forward when presenting ourselves online. Whether it’s social media or our websites, consistency matters.