Pushing yourself creatively and striving to produce creative posts, is definitely one way to stand out on Instagram.
As there are already a sea of beautiful images, it means it’s no longer enough to just post a pretty picture, and expect the likes to come flying in, while you sit back and sip your tea. if you want to stand out, you have to be creative. You have to have, the wow factor.
Focusing on my content and my creative edits, has helped me stand out, and what comes hand in hand with this? Good engagement and good growth. At the end of August 2017 I was super proud to be sitting on 10k followers, fast forward 5 months and I’m currently sitting on 83k followers. So exercising my creativity certainly helped my growth.
There are some days, no doubt, when you are just brimming with creativity, so much so, that your ideas are overflowing from your notebook pages (if you’re not using a notebook for brainstorming you should be, but I’ll get to that shortly).
However for every toe-tapping inspirational day, there are those days when you’re flat, you have absolutely nothing. Zero! We all have those days. Especially at this time of year, we don’t have much light or as many gorgeous blooms to brighten our feed, so sometimes our creativity needs a little boost (or a good kick up the butt!).
I’ve found that those flat days become few and far between, when I exercise my creativity. Think of your creativity as a muscle, the more you work it the bigger and stronger it will become.
So here are a few of my tried and tested methods for letting my creativity flow.
Scribble here, doodle there. I got this tip from @sarah_louise_ferg. As soon as I have an idea, however small or vague or ridiculous, I document it (heaven forbid I forget an idea!). Jot it in your notes section in your phone, or better still, sketch it, along with some notes about the concept. I might not come back to my doodle/note for a day, week, sometimes two weeks, but at some point, I will come back to it. I then see how I can make it work. Whether like me, you have a snazzy collection of notebooks (which I highly recommend) or you prefer to keep things digital, start documenting your ideas, they’re like gold dust!
Bed is for brainstorming. I love this part of the creative process the most, as this is where my ideas are transformed. They grow from vague concepts to well thought out ideas, with props, composition, the camera angle and often my outfit (and Sienna’s) planned out. It is at this stage I can really visualise what the image will look like and iron out any issues. The good thing about technique is you can do it anywhere. Once I roughly know what I want to create, I then constantly run it through my mind, thinking of ways to make it better. So it constantly evolves, in the car, in the bath, the queue in Tesco’s.
Creating creates creativity, which is a simple notion, but very true. Try to set aside time each week, preferably each day. During this time expect terrible fails, even catastrophes. Fear not, it’s all part of the process. You’ll learn so much form your mistakes. The process of creating is sometimes more important than the finished piece, as you’re constantly learning and improving your skills and talent. Practice new camera angles, new concepts, faff wit flowers and creative edits. You can read my previous post on good apps for creating magic here. So give your creativity muscle a good work out, regularly!
Learn from your fails – As mentioned above you’ll have epic fails, that’s normal. So don’t be disheartened, when your amazing awe inspiring post, turns out a little differently to what you had planned. Don’t threat, just try again. Its how we learn and grow. One of my most liked Instagram posts, The Princess and thr Pea inspired post, was not my first attempt. The first time I tried to create it, it was a total fail. It looked utterly terrible (ugh). So I studied my photo to see, what was letting it down and more importantly how I could correct it. I tried again a few days later, with a different outfit, different composition and the addition of the books. Hey presto, it worked.
5. Explore Pinterest, not Instagram.
If you’re not browsing through Pinterest on a regular basis for inspiration, then you’re missing out. There’s boundless inspiration. When I first started Instagram I used to find so much inspiration on the explore page, however, these days you’re more likely to find me scrolling away on Pinterest. Top tip – when browsing on Pinterest have aclear focus on what you’re looking for, or you’ll be there all day. So if you want to find some floral inspiration, use key phrases such as, floral art or floral portrait. Then once you find a photo you love, scroll down to find the ‘more like this’ section. In that section you’ll find lots of similar photos. Keep using this tool until you narrow your search right down, leaving you with a collection of photos you love.
6. Recreate it –
Your feed can hold so much inspiration that you’ve probably forgotten all about. Scroll through your grid looking for older posts that you loved, or some of your most popular photos or photos that you think you can now put a new create twist on I assure you, scrolling through your feed you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the inspiration you have hiding away.
7. Experiment with creative edits–
Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Be brave and try new things. I’ve found whenever I post something different, they are my most popular posts. Clearly our followers like to be surprised. They also like to see us push ourselves and in turn reward us with those likes! So once you havr a photo you like try some creative editing.
8. Go prop hunting –
I love my props (if you hadn’t already noticed), they help tell a story. I feel without my props my photos are lacking. But to keep things fresh I frequently change my props, often with the seasons. I now like to use everyday items for props. Where should you collect your props from? I hear you ask, everywhere and anywhere. Charity shops, your cupboards, your mum’s cupboards, the park, the DIY store, my point is anything can be a prop, so start collecting. if it catches your eye, it’s probably going to catch your followers eye too (however please ask permission from your mum to pinch her brick-a-brack and pay the lady at the till).
9. Follow inspirational accounts –
On Instagram you inevitably soak up inspiration from those accounts that you follow and interact with regularly, so make sure you’re following some amazing accounts, so you’re drip fed inspiration and given a creative boost each time you scroll through your home page. When I first started, I followed mainly lifestyle/mom bloggers, and I still do, but I also started to search further afield. So I have a variety in the type of accounts I follow. A good mix of creative accounts here’s some to get you started @allthatisshe, @kutkovakika, @emilyfredasharp, @herinternest and @the_life_of_aviax. These are some of my favourites. You should also follow, bookish accounts like @bookishbronte, floral accounts, slow photography, lifestyle, travel, Japanese accounts, the list is endless. Following the best of the best means you’re encouraged to really push yourself.
10. Know when to give up – If you’ve tried to force a photo for hours, but the camera angles aren’t working, or the composition isn’t quite there, the light is terrible… just call it quits. Its good to stop altogether and go back to it with fresh eyes the next day.
Now it’s your turn, go exercise that creativity muscle today!
Danielle (and Sienna) x