Pin like mad
Constantly thinking up ideas for (magical, engaging) images for your social media can be a problem. I find Pinterest hugely helpful with this. I’ve gotten into the habit of pinning images that inspire me to a few different boards every day, it only takes about 60 seconds. Browsing through them when I’m stuck for a shot, will almost always get me unstuck. Even if it is just the inspiration to find a different angle or try a new backdrop. I could share dozens of examples. This autumnal leaf picture pinned by Elizabeth at Fine Litte Day gave me the idea for how to picture the leaf carpet outside our house.
But also be your own inspiration
I often forget to look back through my own feed for old, new ideas. But it’s such an easy win. Scroll through to remind yourself of what has worked in the past, and think about ways to recreate it. Instagram likes a repeat.
Embrace the seasons
If you want an image to be a hit, look no further than out of the window. I generally get great engagement on posts that reflect the seasons and seasonal shifts. It must be because it’s instantly relatable, as it’s exactly what is happening in the viewer’s backyard too (unless you are in a different hemisphere, but then it’s a great talking point).
Watch the skies
Different times of year have different challenges for photographers, in the winter it’s short dark days, in the summer bleaching bright sunlight. I look ahead at the weather forecast to see which days of the week are going to be best for photos. That way I can batch them up and avoid wasting time battling the elements.
Keep it local
I do not regularly jet off to exotic destinations. I don’t live in an idyllic country cottage or surrounded by the charming doorsteps of Notting Hill. Instead, I live 40 miles west of London in much-less-picturesque Reading. But I like a challenge so I’ve started to try and seek out more pretty corners in my hometown. I guarantee they are there for you too. Take yourself off on photo walks and follow Instagram accounts that celebrate your area, that’s is how I found this green letterbox.
Capture small moments
I used to plan plan plan my photos but in order to save time, I’m now trying to keep my eye open for tiny photo-moments when I’m out and about. Actually, I’m finding some of these casual images are the ones I like the most. Perhaps they reflect my life and what I like more honestly? My advice is to always have your phone ready and don’t feel embarrassed to climb on a chair in the middle of a coffee shop.
Find your filter
If you can find a filter (or two) that you really like in a good editing app (always VSCO for me), it will really help to bring your visual brand together. Applying a similar filter to each of your images helps them sit comfortably together and be instantly ‘you’. Taking this approach has allowed me to photograph a greater range of subjects because I know how I’m going to edit each shot to make sure that it fits with my feed.
Don’t be scared of editing
Editing apps are our friend. Great editing helps us turn less than spectacular images into brilliant stories. Experiment, apply filters and effects quite heavily. It’s amazing what you can achieve if you are bold enough.
Walk away when it’s not working
And finally, because all of this is in the interest of not wasting time; if it’s not working take a break. I’ve learned that if a picture is taking too long to create, it’s probably never going to come together. Try something less boring instead, or come back to it later with fresh eyes.
Please share any of your tips and shortcuts in the comments box below, and thank you so much for reading.
I’ve written some more tips and tricks for taking better photos on your phone, click here to read.