Plan a light and airy Instagram feed (part 2)
Are you ready for a few more light and airy hacks for your Instagram feed? I absolutely loved hearing from you all on Instagram about what you most wanted to learn about creating a light and airy feed and today I’m sharing part two of how to do just that!
Did you miss last week’s post? You’ll want to read that one first: How to Plan Your Light and Airy Instagram Feed: Part One
Step 6. Should you mix iphone and professional images?
This is such a great question and I think it’s different for everyone! The most important part of this decision is choosing something that feels sustainable in the long run for you.
iPhone and Professional Images
How do you match personal iPhone photos and professional photos without it looking non-cohesive?
So… funny story! I went from only sharing my professional work to only sharing iPhone photos (okay, this was an experiment gone totally wrong — I admit it! Haha!) to sharing a mix of both. And now? I prefer to only share photos that were taken with my DSLR.
Now, if I have an iPhone photo, I’ll throw it in PS Express (an amazing app that let’s you manually edit your photo), and do a quick edit before I add it to my feed. Because I love those film-greens and use the L&A presets to make sure my photos are consistent and have that looks-like-film quality, I prefer to only share iPhone photos that are mostly white.
But as a general rule, I only share photos that were taken with my DSLR to keep things consistent. Before I made a career switch, my target client was a bride in search of a photographer. And more specifically, a bride who was having a garden wedding.
If you knuckled down and really decided to have a day where you shot all of your images for the month and you could do 10 second edits on those images with the Light & Airy Preset Suite? It might be worth it and the most efficient (and inspiring — let’s not forget about inspiration) to just pull out your DSLR and stick to professional images for your feed.
But maybe part of your strategy is creating content that feels like it could have been created by your audience. This is so valuable for brands marketing to moms because that’s how a mom typically photographs her life with her kiddos. So sharing a ton of professional DSLR images feels quite foreign to her.
Light and Airy Recipe
10 second edit with the Light & Airy Preset Suite
1. Schedule an anniversary session with one of your favorite clients
2. Bring your hubby with ya and do a little walking around and hand-holding before the shoot
3. Shoot, cull and apply the L&A Portra Modern preset
4. More hand-holding
The best thing for my business? Keeping it all professional and sticking to my DSLR. Now that I’m serving creative entrepreneurs? The best way for me to inspire them is by creating well-styled and well-lit images that inspire their own businesses to move forward. So the answer for me is definitely the DSLR route.
Step 7. How to Keep Personal and Work Consistent
Let’s mix in some personal photos next to all of those photos of your creative work. In fact, I’d suggest going 50/50 or even keeping the majority of your images personal.
Do you ever struggle with clients who don’t value your work or who don’t trust you? There are so many things that factor into this, but one of the easiest way to fix this is to share more photos from your personal life… as long as you’re intentional.
Work and Life Balance
How do I balance work and life on my insta feed while making all the pictures look consistent?
I love that you want to add personal photos to your feed because it changes the experience your audience has with you. You go from being a business to a brand. And people connect with brands because people buy from people.
Aside from shooting most — if not all — photos on your DSLR (unless you went through step 6 and decided iPhone photos would resonate best with your target audience), I would get really specific about what kind of personal photos you want to share.
Share personal photos that your target client will resonate with. Because the truth is that you can’t share all of your life on Instagram, so you’re already filtering through what you want to share and what you don’t want to share.
So just get a bit more specific! If you travel, you should only share your travel photos if that’s something your target audience would connect with. Do you love to cook, but your target audience wouldn’t resonate with that at all? Then definitely leave that out of your feed.
A decision like this can feel so tedious and unimportant, but if you’ll get specific about what types of personal photos you want to share, your brand message will flow from one life photo to the next work photo.
As far as shooting goes, keep your colors consistent and always pay attention to your light. You do that naturally with your professional work and if you make sure to do that with your personal work, too, then you’ll be able to pull your images into Lightroom, edit with the Light & Airy Preset Suite, and keep everything completely consistent!
Step 8. Let your brand board inspire your feed
Way back in the day when I was still rocking that calligraphy logo — which still makes me a little nostalgic — I created a brand board for my business. In the early days, it was so easy to get stuck with which fonts to use and what colors to use when I was designing something for my business.
Well, that little brand board served me well and helped me to create the first experience for my wedding clients that really reflected the heart of my brand. All because of a little brand board.
When I first started working with @CremeBrands last year, it didn’t even cross my mind that a brand board might be coming my way. I’m pretty sure I used that brand board multiple times a week and now I have a new brand board to fit the launch of my new site and career pivot!
I use this brand board when I’m designing something in Photoshop, InDesign or when I do anything that needs visual direction. And that includes laying out my Instagram feed!
If I start to feel stuck and need a bit of inspiration when I’m working on a project, I just open my brandboard and get to work. Do you have a brand board? If not, here’s a post I wrote all those years ago on creating a brand board...
Step 9. Lay It Out the Light & Airy Way
Ready for a secret hack? Just alternate your photos between a photo with mostly white and a photo with more detail!
Here’s what I’m talking about…
This process makes it so easy to make sure that my Instagram feed doesn’t turn to a pile of color. It keeps the edges of the photos clearly defined which gives each image a chance to stand out. You could break up your “normal” photos with a flat lay on a white background, a photo of you on a white wall, or a detail that you shot that has so much bokeh goodness that the background seems to turn into cream.
And then be a rule breaker! Alternate between a mostly white photo, a photo with more going on, and back to a mostly-white photo and then switch it up to keep it interesting. Shoot that flat lay on a board that matches one of your brand colors or take a photo in front of a wall that’s painted one of your brand colors.
Step 10. Don’t Forget to Add Color
If you’re into hand-lettering, consider putting your handwriting on a colored background or using a color overlay in Photoshop to change your handwriting to one of your brand colors.
If you have a photo with a pop of red, try adding another photo with a pop of red 5-7 images later. I did that with the photos below. You’ve got the flat lay of the keyboard with pops of red and then you have two of my hand-lettered graphics not too far after.
I did the same thing with the darling photo of the little one in the leaves and the scenic wedding photo — both taken by L&A fam!
Step 11. Keep Your Content Relevant Even When Planning in Advance
I shared on Instagram that I had planned all of the content for the Light & Airy instagram through the end of May and Courtney asked...
Tell me about scheduling content that far in advance...
When you lay out your photos that far in advance, how do you keep it relevant? Do you just use captions to do that? Like you obviously wouldn't want to post Christmas images in April... So do you just use old images from last spring?
This is such a great question and something you definitely want to keep in mind while planning out your feed! For the @lightandairypresets instagram, I love using content from the L&A fam. We have a hashtag — #lightandairypresets — which makes it easy for us to share the work happening with the Light & Airy Preset Suite!
But because our fam isn’t posting photos for Valentine’s Day just yet, I couldn’t pull user-generated Valentine’s content for February. Instead, we will celebrate Valentine’s day with a flat lay and a caption wishing our L&A fam a Happy Valentine’s day!
Generally, I really wouldn’t recommend laying out a feed months and months in advance. It can come in handy if you aren’t sharing a ton of personal photos, but otherwise I’d stick to planning 1-2 weeks in advance.
Step 12. Step Into Freedom On Instagram
Please, please use everything I’ve mentioned for your creative freedom. But don’t use anything I’ve written to create rules and standards and new measurements of perfection for yourself. You don’t need that and you’re worth so much more than that.
Instagram is a fun tool, but it’s just a tool. Just another tool in your toolbox.
And if you’re a momma (and anyone else who might need to hear this), I want you to settle into this truth: you don’t have to plan anything. When you’re running a business, you need to focus on income producing activities. While I booked some weddings here and there from Instagram, I don’t consider it an income producing activity (unless you’re a blogger and you’re paid to post each image).
You and me both! Pin this image so you can come back to this post anytime.
Name your board "Blogging Tips" so we can find your faves!
Focus your time and energy where you’ll actually be able to increase the bottom line. That may look like raising your income so you can do piano lessons for your little ones or it might look like spending more money on hiring a team so you can spend more time with your family.
Whatever it looks like for you, your business should be set up to serve you and your family. Don’t give into any pressure to keep up on Instagram. You don’t have to do Instagram to do business.
But if you’re ready to have fun on Instagram and just share your heart behind why you do what you do — no pressure included — then use all of this to inspire and encourage you!
So, tell me! How do you feel about Instagram? How do you use it in your business?