This time we’re going behind the feed of Claire @clairejenee. She is a photography addict. She has infused her personal style into her Instagram theme. She’s here to share all her tips with you. If you’re struggling taking beautiful photos for your feed or you need help finding your Instagram style, keep reading. She’s going to share all her tips with you.
As usual, get your favorite drink and get comfortable. Let’s start the interview!
If you are new: Welcome! Behind the Feed is an interview 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 Claire! Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I picked up photography when I was 17 as a hobby. I am fortunate enough to be able to turn that hobby into a source of additional income part time for myself. I do freelance photography and website designing while I’m finishing college. I love focusing on the branding aspect of my own work and making a cohesive brand for my clients through their website.
If you could describe your feed using one word, what would it be?
This is hard, maybe earthy?
That’s at least the vibe I’m trying to give off.
3 things that inspire you:
- My friends. I have such awesome creative friends who push me outside my comfort zone.
- Greens. It can be plants, trees, nature, avocados, I love it all.
- White. I know this sounds weird but I love the clean slate of anything white. Like when the sky is overcast or a fresh pair of white sheets. It’s the perfect backdrop to any image I want to create.
Do you take your Instagram photos with your iPhone or your DSLR?
I actually take and edit most of my photos on my iPhone for my Instagram feed! It’s more convenient I think. I wrote a whole blog post about how I edit my photos on my iPhone and what editing apps I use on my blog. You can read it here.
What’s your favorite time of the day to shoot?
I love a good golden hour, like right before the sunset. I also just love an overcast day. I love the mood it gives photos and how it gives a nice clean light to your subject.
What are 3 tips you would give someone to instantly improve their photography skills?
- Find what you love to photograph. It’s so easy with how social media is today to feel like you have to take photos of stuff other people love. Just try to figure out what you love to take photos of and keep doing that. Whether it’s plants, puppies, home décor, etc. your passion will show through your work.
- Always be willing to grow. Take classes, ask other photographers for tips, go to meet ups, and practice, practice, practice
- Embrace the equipment you already have. I think a lot of the time photographers get obsessed with having the nicest and newest gear. Yes, a lot of the time the gear does help, but I took some of my favorite photos with my Nikon D3100 and the kit lens when I was just starting out.
A lot of people struggle knowing what to take photos of for their feed. How do you know what to post on your feed? When does a photo “makes” it on your feed?
Honestly, I still struggle with this. I try to post a variety of things that I enjoy because I try to focus on more of a lifestyle theme for my Instagram. Try to keep it light and relatable, post pictures of your favorite latte, your new kitten, your outfit that day, or some jewelry you’ve been obsessed with. I think when people can relate to what you are posting it makes them like it more.
How do you keep your Instagram theme look so cohesive?
- Pick a color scheme. Right now mine is mostly neutral colors with hints of green. The easiest way to pick a color scheme that I tell my clients is to take pictures for a week of their daily lives, then go back and look for a color scheme that is already there. That way it’s easy and not as forced. You can keep it flexible by sticking to neutrals and then adding in one or two accent colors.
- Spacing. This is I think the hardest to explain to people. You don’t need a strict pattern for posts but you want to make your feed balanced. So have equal parts light and dark for your feed. You also want a balance of negative space as well. You don’t want your feed to look too busy or too empty. I always tell people to just try one square of photos (3x3) at a time. This is why the Preview app is so helpful because you can plan out your posts and see what it looks like as a whole.
- Pick a filter. And stick to it. Using the same filter on all your photos is a fool proof way to make your feed look more cohesive. And if you want to put in a little extra effort to make it all look cohesive is to try and auto correct all your photos before applying the filter. The preprogramed meter will help your filter look the same on all your photos no matter what settings you take your photos in (there are some exceptions to this however like low light photos).
Your photos are beautiful and raw. I assume it took a lot of practice to find your style. What is the biggest lesson that you have learned about taking photos – something that has drastically improved your photos and style?
Finding my style took a long time– like over 3 years long. It doesn’t come overnight and it’s something you have to continue to work at and change. You have to figure out what works for you and what you like to take photos of.
The biggest lesson I learned with Instagram is your value is not measured by the amount of likes you get or how many followers you have. Just post what you love.
How far in advance do you schedule your feed?
Right now my schedule is crazy and I haven’t been posting a lot right now. I think we all go through those times in our lives. Usually what I do is I will spend an afternoon and do some content styled shots. If I have products I have to take photos of or get a few photos done for a blog post I try to set aside an afternoon in my room where I can knock out 3-5 posts. Then the other posts like photos of myself or places I go I try to just mix in with those posts and they’re not as planned.
How is Preview app helping you and what would you say to someone who isn’t using it yet?
I tell all my friends and followers that want a more cohesive looking feed to use this app. I use to post and then delete and then post the same photo again so many times because it wasn’t quite right. This app changes the game.
I love how the app has Analytics now! This is awesome for personal accounts that are trying to get some insight on their followers.
Anything else you’d like to add?
At the end of the day, it’s just Instagram.