If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed a shift in my content recently (including a quite substantial drop in engagement – thanks algorithm?). Following my last post, where I talked about embracing and posting what makes you happy online, I did an honest scroll through my feed and thought about what I was portraying to the world, and how that made me feel about myself.
One of my favourite types of photos on Instagram are scenic. They’re images of beautifully curated spaces: whether man-made or wild. They’re thoughtfully captured and interestingly edited. And a lot of them are candid. I have spent the last few years on Instagram planning shoots and capturing content in a way that was very structured. I would stress about the images I wanted, and try to put an emphasis on capturing a certain style. Ultimately, this year taught me that I’m not entirely sure those images are what I want to portray of myself online. Or, if they’re the only side of me that I want to show.
I love seeing into other people’s lives. That’s probably why I love blogging so much. More than styled images, but seeing spaces and places that mean a lot to people: that’s the sort of vibe that I’m really enjoying right now, whether I’m happy with my engagement or not. (In fact, there was a rumour about 6 months ago that iPhone photos get better engagement than digitally imported ones. I guess I’m proof that is definitely not the case, *hahaha*).
This led me down the rabbit hole of trying, for one month only, to capture images candidly as I saw them. It meant that I was reaching for the camera that’s always in my grasp: and that’s through my iPhone. Whether it was a quick snap of my favourite toner on the bare-wood floor of my lounge on a Sunday morning, the bright and airy atrium of a building that I frequent often, or an accompaniment of my favourite items lined up for the perfect beach day.
It’s almost like a cleanse in itself. Taking the real ‘production elements’: grabbing a camera, setting up lights, outfits, importing into a computer and editing it through Lightroom, into a very streamlined process. A process that I’ve been enjoying a lot more than I thought I would.
The iPhone camera is a great way to immerse yourself back ‘to basics’. You can play with exposure, light and editing to find what you love, and build on that. I’ve always had a penchant for natural light and avoiding converging verticals at all cost, which has only exemplified through my iPhone photography.
It also has brought back a love of editing on the VSCO app, with the fantastic range of filters and features on there. In fact, VSCO now has the hue, saturation and luminescence controls, so you can isolate each colour and adjust the hue, saturation and lightness of each. When paired with your favourite filter, it makes the process to achieving a consistent feed all the easier as you can tailor each colour to match the shade you’ve had before. My favourite VSCO filters are M5, A4, A6, SS3 and S2. I also bought the yearly subscription (approximately £18 per annum) so that I can add their filters to my videos, as I love how it makes them look.
On top of that, I’ve mentioned before about how I plan my feed using Planoly. My only issue with that app is that you can only upload 30 images to it per month, so I use UNUM to plan the basics of my feed, and once I’m happy with the layout I upload those images onto Planoly so that I can schedule and draft each post from the desktop website (UNUM has also just launched a web portal too, which I’m going to be testing over the following weeks and may move over to if it’s as easy as Planoly!).
Some of my absolute favourite accounts on Instagram are mobile-photos only (or majority), and I’ve always admired the depth and quality these creators have been able to achieve using solely their phones. These include John Stoffer, Alyssa Lenore, Jason Grant and Jo Yee.
I’d love to know where you sit with using iPhone photos throughout your feed on Instagram. Do you find it easier, or do you prefer using a DSLR or point and shoot to achieve a certain look?
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