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Hello everyone! Come behind the feed of Stephanie @_vim.and.vigor_ . She is the definition of an intentional Instagram account. How does she do it?

She will tell you everything:

  • How she takes her photos from above her head
  • How she styles her flatlays intentionally
  • How she takes photos to keeps her Instagram feed look cohesive
  • Her favorite filters in Preview App & how she plans her feed step-by-step.

She will also tell you what she thinks about “growing” an Instagram account. Her tips might surprise you.

She shares everything with us! Grab a cup of tea or coffee. Get comfy.

Ready? Let’s go.

If you are new: Welcome! Behind the Feed is a blog post series featuring amazing Preview app users. We are a community of over 300,000 Instagram lovers. We’re here to share our story and tips. Enjoy!

Hello Stephanie! Can you please introduce yourself to everyone?

Hi all! I’m Stephanie, creator behind @_vim.and.vigor_ and author of Vim&Vigor, a lifestyle blog where I share thoughts on books, life, music, health and anything else that is inspiring me at the moment.

If you could describe your feed using one song, what would it be? (I know how much you love music, so it seems fitting to ask you this question)

Oh boy, you are putting me on the spot with this one. You know how much I love music! I’m going to have to go with one of my favorites by the Pixies, “Where Is My Mind”.

With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
But there’ nothing in it
And you’ll ask yourself

Where is my mind?

3 things that inspire you

  1. My relationships
  2. Other creatives and their craft
  3. The never-ending wonder of life

What is the intention behind your feed?

My Instagram account and my blog are definitely tools I use to express myself and although my enjoyment from the process of it is quite personal, I very much love engaging with and inspiring others. Everything that I share are things that I either strive for, struggled with, find useful or are touched by in some way. My hope is that somehow that all translates and is helpful or at least enjoyable for someone else too.

How many photos do you take before you find “the one”?

Haha good question. Some days I’m feeling the magic and all I need is one or two, and other not so magical days I feel like a crazy person continually adjusting things and obsessing over minor flaws.

One trick that has saved me some time, is first taking a basic test shot with my phone to see how the background and rough layout will look in my feed before I go through the process of taking “the one”.

Who takes your outfit photos and photos of you from above?

I’d say 95% of them are taken by yours truly. I invested in a cheap tripod ($25 Amazon Basics) and my lovely camera and phone do the rest.

My camera has WIFI capability so I can connect my phone to it to use as a remote and to also set up timer shots when I need both hands.

For over head shots where you can see my legs or a hand as a prop, I just stretch the camera with my other arm way above my head and hope for the best.

Your photos are so creative! They always tell a story. What are 3 things you always pay attention to when you take photos?

  1. Natural lighting
  2. Props that are either aesthetically pleasing or that help tell the story
  3. Balance and colors of the current photo and how it will fit with the rest of my feed

“Behind the photo”: Can you give context to this post? What made it come to life? What’s the story behind it?

The story behind this one I’d say is a little more subtle or personal. Everything is themed around the book “The Rules Do Not Apply” and a quote I shared from it.

“I wanted what we all want: everything. We want a mate who feels like family and a lover who is exotic, surprising. We want to be youthful adventurers and middle-aged mothers. We want intimacy and autonomy, safety and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. But we can’t have it all.”

So, I grabbed a few of my favorite things that in a way represent the duality of my personality. Sometimes I am a true homebody and just love cozying up on the couch in old blue jeans and my favorite book, but other times that wanderlust in me kicks in and I yearn for adventure and thrills. What’s great is that although that’s what I was going for, people see and interpret things from their own perspective and what’s going on in their own lives. And whatever that is, I hope the photo and caption inspires them or at least gets them thinking.

How do you edit and plan your feed?

  1. Decide on an idea I want to create or share
  2. Look at my existing feed and consider what type of photo would fit best (Busy, minimal, spacing, colors, etc.)
  3. Based off that, decide on what props
  4. Add the appropriate filter based off lighting and colors. I typically use DD2, DD5 and D6 in the white filter packs.
  5. Crop and add a white border (I like the way it spaces out my photos and find it a bit more forgiving in planning)
  6. Voila!

How far ahead do you schedule your feed?

I admittedly am terrible at scheduling my feed in advance. I sometimes try and have about three photos to work with in advance just to help with layout and planning my theme but a lot of the time I end up not even using those photos. I’m weird about using photos in the moment. It’s almost as if I let the photo sit for too long, the inspiration is gone and I feel like the moment is lost. What I will do to plan ahead though is to make a list of ideas or quotes that I’ve recently liked and want to create or theme to a photo later on.

What are 3 tips you would give someone who wishes to grow their Instagram account organically?

My first tip would be to stop trying to grow your Instagram account. Haha I find that when you try too hard, its less authentic and it shows. Sure, there are tricks that people use to gain a bunch of followers at once but you can tell when they have. They have thousands of followers and very little authentic engagement.

My suggestion is to be patient, be yourself, take quality photos, tag brands, use geotags, make friends, use unique hashtags and have fun. Organic growth takes time, just enjoy it and the rest will take care of itself.

How is Preview app helping you and what would you say to someone who isn’t using it yet?

Luckily, I’ve been using Preview app since I first started this account due to a friend’s recommendation and I’m so thankful for that. It’s helped me tremendously.

When people ask me about my feed its one of the first things I recommend. Not only has the app helped me from a purely functional standpoint, in editing photos and planning my feed, but also following along with Preview app’s Instagram and blog posts are priceless. You all have the best information for all things Instagram: editing and theme tips, advice on growing your following, marketing tips for businesses, navigating new IG features and even the latest on IG glitches and hacks.

And my ABSOLUTE favorite thing about the app that I can’t stress enough is the community. There are so many amazing and creative people from all over the world that I have had the privilege of “meeting” and engaging with in the Preview app space. They inspire me daily.

Favorite filter(s)?

I love both white filters packs and typically use DD2, DD5 or D6 depending on lighting and colors. They do a great job of making whites whiter and help make items in the photo pop. I also still use even if there isn’t a lot of white in the photo. I like the way the colors turn out and also want to maintain consistency with my feed.

Thank you Stephanie!

Do you have any other questions for Stephanie? Feel free to leave them in the comments she will be around to answer them.

Where to find Stephanie:

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