Size doesn't matter
You love decorating, you love interior design, you’re proud of your home and you’d like to show it off. You can! You need to ensure, however, that you have something to show off first, or how we call it, an ‘Instaworthy’ setting. If there is one thing I learnt since launching my own instagram account, it is not about the size of your home, or the riches poured into it. It’s about styling, creativity and gorgeous pictures. People like to relate to what they see, be inspired by something they perhaps can do themselves, no matter what budget.
In this blog I give you some simple tips on how to style your interior for maximum effect on Instagram and truly Instaworthy content.
Styling For Instagram Photos
A picture captures only so much. Ensure there is lots to see! Try and fit as much as possible in the frame. You will be amazed with what you can do with items already in your home. My first Instagram mentor Andrea told me: ‘Get all your good stuff together and squeeze it on a photo, no empty corners.’ And she was right. In real life it will look way too cluttered, or impractical.
Of course, I generally do not have a plant on my toilet seat, or my coffee table filled with 20 lit candle holders, or 15 cushions all stacked up on one lounge seat, but for a picture it looks fab. This means that yes, you first clean up the space, then you drag all your favourite items into that space, style it to the max, before cleaning everything up again. Taking a good picture takes time. Hours sometimes. Make sure you take a few photos from different angles of every setting you’re happy with, to have a little stash for later posts.
More is more! Capture as much as possible in an instagram interior photo.
Consider the Quality of Your Photos
Not everyone is a photographer. I am not. I take my pictures with my phone. I have consciously chosen not to invest in fancy cameras, equipment and other software and to make do with what I have available. And that it perfectly adequate for your instagram feed. Having said that, pictures are everything. You can have the world’s most gorgeous home, if you cannot capture the beauty, it won’t get you anywhere on the gram. The same goes the other way around, a great shot can make any simple corner look like a masterpiece.
A great shot can make any simple corner look like a masterpiece.
I am sharing my experience as an influencer and marketeer, not as a professional photographer. My pictures are made on my phone, and from the 30+ I shoot from each scene, only 2 or 3 make the cut. Be ruthless. If you’re not completely satisfied with a picture, don’t post it. It will harm your engagement rate.
Maximise the Space Instagram gives you
I recommend you place mostly portrait size pictures, or square (if that’s the only one available) on your picture feed. That way you ensure the largest amount of real estate on someone’s news feed. Do not place horizontal pictures; they’re much harder to see on one’s phone and tend not to be liked as much.
The best interior pictures on Instagram are capturing something beautiful (of course), are sharp (doh), have consistent (day) light, are an overview of an entire space, taken at belly button height with straight angles. Sounds easy but can be very tricky. Take a first shot of a space and analyse critically. What is missing? Is a little shuffle required? Am I capturing the beauty I can see with the naked eye? Are my angles straight? Colours representative? Is white white and black black?
When you take photo's of a certain setting, shoot them in size 5:4 for an Instagram post (on an iPhone this means 4:3 and then crop to size) or 16:9 for an Instagram reel cover or stories. This is important. Always ensure you create content for still images and cover shots. While you have everything set up, you can create moving footage as well for your Instagram reels and stories.
Avoid Close Ups unless you Use them in a Carrousel or Stories
I love a good close-up picture. Instagram doesn’t. Not for interior accounts anyway. Do you have something beautiful to share, that’s too hard to see in an overview picture? Place it in a carrousel and tell your audience to swipe to it. That way you catch 2 birds with one stone: extra engagement on your post and you get to show not 1 but 2 (or more) gorgeous pictures. Stories work well too. Read here how.
A Quick Word on Editing Photos for Instagram
I edit all of my pictures (as well as my video content). Not to the extent that I cannot recognise my home anymore, but to enhance beauty. I use the native editing app on my phone for overall picture adjustments. However, I could not do without the app Snapseed to edit specific areas of a photo. To me it is important to highlight certain areas or products and to ensure consistency between similar photos on my feed.
You will not always have similar light when you are taking photographs. Unless that is your point (for example you wish to show the beautiful shadow the sun makes) you will want to aim for a similar look and feel between pictures.
Another app I use on a daily basis is SKRWT to adjust perspective and straighten lines. It takes a little practice but once you get the hang of this app you will love it too. It allows you to change the perspective of photos, tilt them where needed, adjust corners, and correct for slight imbalances. Obviously, there are many more photo editing apps or software you can use.
The SKRWT app helps you straighten your picture and adjust aspect ratios. 4PNTS (in the SKRWT app) helps you adjust corners to create straight lines.
When in Doubt, Accessorise
It doesn’t matter if you occasionally use the same props in different settings. Chances are no one will notice. An extra rug or cushion always adds warmth, a plant adds life, a cup of tea a personal touch.
Take quality pictures: consider composition, angles and message for Instaworthy content.
Styling For Instagram Reels
Can you apply the same styling principles for Instaworthy photos to Instagram Reels? Yes and no.
In short, you get away with more in reels. People don't have the same opportunity to scrutinise your photo in detail, simply because it is moving content. Details matter even less when you create a stop motion video, or a time-lapse.
In fact, you may want to tone it down a little in Instagram reels, not to overstimulate the viewer. As far as I'm concerned, the more is more rule does NOT apply to reels. You want to give the viewer the opportunity to take in what they see. Often a short video taking the viewer from one side of the room to the other is enough. Resist the temptation to cram too much into a reel, my advice is to place reels that are shorter than 10 seconds. This way you maximise the chance that people watch it more than once.
What you don't want to compromise on however is your video content quality. This is as important for Instagram reels as it is for Instagram photos. Take steady high quality footage, keep the camera straight and avoid strange angles. Consider the lighting. When I take a photo, much more so than with reels, I take into consideration composition, lines and styling from a certain angle. This is a little less important for reels.
Edit your video's for consistency. Don't forget to shoot a separate cover image (see above) to ensure you have a beautiful shot to share on your overview feed (in the same look and feel as the rest of your images). I use InShot to edit my videos.
The beauty of reels, as opposed to photos, is that a close up often does work well. Therefore it's a great alternative if you wish to promote a product and show it in a setting in your home, as well as the details, all in the one post.
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