These days, It's not just us bloggers but everyone who is after the secret for capturing Instagrammable locations. We all want that perfect feed full of gorgeous travel photos to leave everyone we've ever met green with envy. But how do you do it? How do you curate that feed full of amazing travel photography? How do you edit and how do you get noticed? I've made some huge changes over the last few months and I can see the impact. My likes quadrupled overnight, engagement more than tripled and I've even been featured on some huge Instagram accounts. I'm no expert by a long shot, but hopefully my tips and tricks can help you create the Insta account you've been dreaming of. Whether you're a blogger, or just a gal who wants some fab pics.
Investing in your equipment
I've spent years travelling and capturing Instagrammable locations, from Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, to Australia, Greece and the US. But for years, I never really knew what I was doing with Instagram, I posted pics I liked. I over-filtered them and I was haphazard with my posting. It was more for my own pleasure than for anything else. Which is totally fine! But, I realised that if I wanted to really work on my photography and particularly my Instagram, I would need to invest in it. So over the last few months, that's exactly what I've done.
I invested in a new camera. I now have the Olympus Pen ELP-8 which is amazing and perfectly designed for blogger photos. Now I'm not saying you need a fancy camera to take good pics. You can take amazing ones on a phone too, but for me I needed a top quality camera I could use for curating images for my blogs and articles as well so it was a good purchase. Not only is it small and lightweight. But it's also much cheaper than a DSLR camera while still taking the same quality images.
Invest in yourself
Don't have the money to spend on fancy equipment but keen to learn? There's a lot you can do to invest in your photography skills and all for free! If you're really passionate about improving your photography, the best thing you can do is really give yourself time to learn. That's what I've been doing the last few months, getting to know my camera and all the settings. Experimenting with photo editing programmes and creating my own presets. It takes time to learn all these things, but you don't need to sign up to a photography course to do it. All the information you need is right at your fingertips. Endless Youtube videos, websites dedicated to advice and tips, blogger posts with tips and tricks like this one.
Top tips for capturing Instagrammable locations
Don't travel to Instagrammable locations, turn every location into one
My biggest tip – don't spend your life, and your travels, racing around and capturing Instagrammable locations at the same places where thousands of other people are doing exactly the same. Peggy Porschen's in London for example – as beautiful as the place is – if I see another photo from there, I will scream! Why be a sheep and follow in the footsteps of others when you can blaze a trail by travelling to the places you've always dreamed of and finding a way to capture them and make them Instagrammable?
You could stumble upon the next Peggy Porschen's on the other side of the world and give the bloggers a reason to try something new! Certainly don't plan your travels around your Insta feed, if you do that you'll always experience new places through your lens instead of really feeling a place and capturing the moments. It's all about finding beauty everywhere you go.
Experiment with your camera settings
Spend time getting to know your camera or even your phone settings, there are lots of ways you can use these to create even more exciting images. I really took the time to play around with my camera during our holiday and trying out the different settings, playing with focus and angles. I particularly loved trying out the timer and shutter settings so I could get great photos without even touching the camera. As someone who has traveled solo for a long time, I know how hard it can be to get great shots with you in the frame. I started setting up the camera to take photos on timer and tried out interval shooting which had some amazing results. This is how a lot of the top travel couple Instagrammers get their amazing shots - practice and you could be as good as them!
Find a unique angle
Don't you get bored of taking the same photos? I certainly get bored of seeing the same poses, the same angles and the same boring presentation of a place. If you're bored, there's every chance your feed is boring! So why not jazz it up a bit, forget the feed and focus on taking pictures and finding unique angles and ways of capturing Instagrammable locations. Have fun with it and try shooting in different ways, you may even discover a unique style that becomes instantly recognisable. The more you find ways of making your pics unique, the more you will naturally curate a feed that you feel passionate and excited about.
Plan your Insta feed
Something I never used to do but have started of late, this one can be a bit of a game changer for curating your feed. All the big bloggers and popular feeds with 100,000's of followers, they all plan their feeds and work to create an overall image that is cohesive. If you're serious about working on your Instagram account, you should definitely be thinking about your feed overall as well as the individual images. There are some great apps available where you can shuffle images around to plan which order you feel they will work best. I don't actually use any apps, but spent a lot of time looking over images, planning a colour scheme and working out the best order. Since doing this, I've finally felt like my feed works as a whole and that's something I've had a lot of great feedback on lately.
Create, or buy, presets
Everyone has been asking me about presets lately and I really recommend them. Basically a preset is a filter that has been created to give a specific look for your photos. If you're someone who wants to learn about editing photos over the longer-term but needs a quick fix, this is a great option. These presets are available online or even sold by many bloggers and Instagrammers. I actually purchased some when I was first starting to experiment with editing photos and they worked amazingly. It was a perfect quick fix and it also gave me more of an insight into these presets, creating them and editing photos myself. Read on for my fave editing programme and how it could change your outlook on capturing Instagrammable locations.
I've tried a LOT of editing programmes from Photoshop and VSCO to IG filters and a few others. NOTHING has worked as effectively as Lightroom and I honestly cannot recommend it enough. It's easy to use and create your own presets or quickly edit using the ones you have bought. When I first purchased presets, I was using Lightroom to apply these to my own photos, but doing so made me more aware of how the editing programme worked. I began to play with the settings and experiment a lot on images, over time, I've actually managed to create my own presets based on those I was originally using. I've now found that these work a LOT better for my skin tone and the colouring I want throughout my feed.
It was fast to learn and especially so because I used the presets beforehand. So if like me, you don't have as much time on your hands to learn editing and photography, try this out for a fresh perspective and a new way of editing images just the way you want them. If you want to get Lightroom, it is available in a free mobile version which is available on your phone or iPad, or you can pay for the desktop version.
I read a tweet yesterday from a blogger who had just met with Instagram. She said they had told her that in order to get real growth. Apparently you have to be posting 4-5 times daily, and that posting once a day will just encourage engagement. Pretty insane if you ask me. I'm pretty sure it would be an instant unfollow if I started posting 4-5 times a day and spammed your feed. Most bloggers and Instagrammers seem to post once a day, max twice, which works well. Who honestly has the time to curate the images for more than that?
But posting regularly is key to getting those likes, followers and comments. I find if I don't post for a few days, the algorithm will make my posts less visible to my followers and I have to work to get back to the level of engagement and growth I previously had. I'm currently posting daily and get lots of new followers every day, my likes have quadrupled and my comments have tripled so I'm happy to keep at it. Again, this is what works for me. You may not want to post daily and that's okay too! We should never feel like we have to do any of this. Particularly if you don't have the time for capturing Instagrammable locations, just do what you enjoy.
Feel confident & embrace your poses
Getting used to being in front of the camera can be difficult at first, but the better you are, the more popular your pictures will be. We all love those candid shots and the ones where people look natural and free, not the awkward posing. I find that I really hate posing for pics when capturing Instagrammable locations. So, my way of getting around that is taking candid shots.
I always try to keep moving when I'm having my picture taken. I walk towards the camera, or away from it, I turn, smile, change position. Throughout, I keep having a laugh with the photographer. I have to say that I feel a lot more of my pics felt posey when I was travelling solo because I just wanted to get the shot. With someone else taking the photos, I didn't have the option of getting as many varied shots. Whether you are taking your own pics on self-timer or have a good friend who snaps your shots. The most important thing is to feel confident and to embrace the pose.
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Have you got any good tips for capturing Instagrammable locations? Where is the most Instagrammable place you have been? How do you take your favourite pics?