Instagram doesn’t need an introduction. It has become as much a part of our daily lives as a hot cup of coffee. For many photographers, it’s the daily dose of inspiration that they can’t live without. But if you’ve simply been skimming through your Instagram feed, you’re not using it to its fullest potential. Joe Allam shares five tips to help you get more out of your Instagram feed—and to become a better photographer:
1. Scout Locations
When you’re on Instagram, you can search stories about a location, either by directly searching for keywords or by using the hashtags, to find out more about the place you’re planning to shoot in advance. The idea is to gain as much knowledge about the place as possible.
You can get an idea of the best vantage points. But your research shouldn’t necessarily end there. As Allam demonstrates, you can find out about the weather at the location or decide between two or more locations based on things like which one is the better sunset location, and so on.
2. Follow Locally
When you follow someone, try to choose accounts that are in the same city that you’re planning to visit. Or, if you want to be inspired by images from your own city, try to follow Instagramers who shoot in your city.
Yes, you are limiting your source feed, but at the same time you are also throwing open the door to images that are from your own neighborhood and could potentially inspire you to shoot something better.
3. Improve Your Feed
Going with the theme, the feeds you choose to follow have an important bearing. Allam admits that he has unfollowed many of his friends. He uses Instagram as a source of inspiration—not to keep tabs on what his friends are eating or what their dogs are doing. This may be controversial, but it keeps his feed from clogging up.
You could argue that a second Instagram account for your personal feed is a better option. But that demands additional time, and no one is rich in time. You could also make a few adjustments to your notification settings to get more out of your feed.
4. Embrace Stories
Instagram stories are a great way to take all of these tips a step forward. Sure, an image speaks a thousand words. But a few seconds of video speaks even more! Many times you can get a preview of the before and after moments of an image—or get a sneak peek into the location—through videos.
5. Organize with Collections
If you like a particular image, you can always add it to your collections. Collections aren’t new. But Allam suggests you create collections based on the emotion that a particular image invokes. So, you can create several different collections based on emotions and browse them when you need your creative energy to be soaked in that particular emotion.
Are you using these Instagram features? Do you have other tips to help photographers make the most of the app?
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