Instilling the Insta Ideal

My friends and followers will ask me, "How does your Insta always look so put together?" Well I'll tell ya what, it didn't get that way by accident! As pathetic as it may sound, I put a lot of work into my feed. Not because I feel the need to impress but because I treat my feed as an online scrapbook of my own life. It's a tool. Ever since cameras became an affordable technology, scrapbooks and albums have taken over our parent's bookshelves and once empty nooks. Instead of the dusty book, I'm choosing to store those memories on my Instagram.

If you want to update your look and start seeing a feed you love to scroll back on, keep reading! I have compiled all of the handy tools and rules I use to have a good flow and look to my feed. Now let's get that Insta of yours poppin'!



Keep your edits the same. Sometimes people find a certain filter they like and just stick with that! I primarily use Instagram's Melbourne filter. Other users I know have adjusted the brightness and clarity to their pictures and it was crisp and clean all the same. In some cases, people have a "warmer" or "cooler" toned feed, some people have a high "fade" theme, it really all depends on the look you like. Just as long as it stays constant, will it really look great together.



This baby is a life saver! Have you ever wanted to click and drag your photos around to see which ones would look best next to each other? Now you can. With Preview you load your already-edited pictures together and drag them around to see the order in which you should post them. I like this because it allows me to switch it up. That way I'm not posting a trillion pictures of my puppy in a row ('cause Lord knows I would) or posting a bunch of food back to back (unless your a food blogger/account, then that makes total sense!) Adds a good variety to the feed.

Rule of Thirds

If you have ever taken any basic photography class you should know all about this handy dandy little grid! Most, if not all, smartphones will have this feature on an optional basis. (I keep mine on at all times.) Instagram also has the grid up during your editing phase prior to posting. When lines in your picture align with the lines on the grid, or when objects in your picture are fully within one of the boxes/columns/rows in the grid it becomes more pleasing to the human eye.


VSCO is a pretty common app used for photo editing. While it is not my favorite editing app, it is a great one for beginners to get started with. There are many filters to be used but some you need to buy in order to unlock and use them. It also has the same effects as Instagram, as far as brightness and other tuning tools like that go.

Odd Numbers

Another photography trick I picked up along the way was the use of odd numbers. Typically used in a trusty flatlay, this rule of thumb means that you have an odd number of objects in the picture. It's one of those naturally-pleasing-to-the-human-eye things again. I would stick with three or five objects personally because then the picture doesn't look like there is too much going on.



Now this is an editing app I LOVE! While it did take a little time to figure out, it was totally worth it. The best thing you can do is download it and just start playing around with the features. One thing you can do with Snapseed that cannot be done with VSCO is that you can focus on smaller details. My favorite feature is the "Selective" tool. This allows you to make certain areas stand out by saturating some spots, making some spots crisper, and working on the brightness (or lack thereof) in specific places. This give a high quality look to your pictures.

Go with the Flow

Your feed will evolve with you. As technology changes, as your scenery fades from summer to fall, your lighting and mood will almost always change. That's okay! Go with the flow of it. It's an interesting marker in the phases we go through in life. Lord knows mine has changed many of times.

The biggest thing to keep in mind about Instagram is that it is NOT ABOUT the NUMBER OF LIKES. McDonald's sells millions of burgers a day but that doesn't mean it's good quality! What should matter most is the memory book you are making, the message you are sending, the connections you are tethering, the awareness you are spreading or the knowledge you are lending. Be proud of it, be original and authentic with it, and the rest will come.

All the best,



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Kelsey Swinburne2 Comments