I love Instagram… even with all the changes going on I still love to witness the world through beautiful squares & it’s by far my favourite social media platform. So when I heard that Sara Tasker from Me & Orla was coming to Cambridge to give an Instagram workshop organised by Shutter Hub I jumped at the chance to hear some IG pearls of wisdom & thought I shared some my top 5 lessons from the day…
1. Learn from your mistakes – Sara doesn’t delete any of her photos because…
“if you can see what’s wrong with a picture you can see what’s right”
Having spent sometime talking through some of her earlier Instagram images that didn’t quite work it became crystal clear what you could change in order to make them more successful. I am a keen deleter of pics that don’t work – because who wants to see their own crappy work – but I can totally now see the benefit of using those images to improve my shots going forward.
2. Negative space creates calm – when talking about balance & the tension created in images between objects, colour, mood etc Sara discussed the use of negative space to…
“give people somewhere to rest & make them look harder”
Having spent time working on flat lay images in the studio recently I know I have a tendency to try to fill the square. Sometimes I like a busy square or a close up of a bloom but I can definitely see the benefit of leaving room for people to see what you really want them to see & love this shot I took on the day in the fabulous Novi, Cambridge.
3. Self portraits for the win – 1 of our tasks was to have a go at taking a picture of ourselves. Not duck faced selfies but narrative shots which help to put you in your story on Instagram. I completely failed at this on the day but have been inspired my Sara to keep practising with the super useful tips she gave us – such as only include a part of yourself – & try to get some shots I don’t mind sharing on my feed. Watch this space!
4. Hands in shot – something which I’ve definitely been trying to do for a while now after reading this great post from Fran from Fall For DIY & getting my remote – it seriously has changed my flat lay world, not to be dramatic or anything – & again we had a go on the day.
I do love seeing images on Instagram of peoples hands actually doing what they are describing as it really makes you feel part of their process & something I will continue to work on. Must ensure nails are painted though…
5. Post production is not cheating – it can sometimes feel that changing the exposure or adding a filter in apps like VSCO or A Color Story is cheating, that it’s not your original image. But it is your composition, your choice of subject matter & a little touch up is all for the better & exactly the same as professional photographers editing their shots.
It was a great workshop, well paced & informative with a practical element to allow us to put our new knowledge into practice straight away. Being a teacher by trade I’m not always the best student & get frustrated when I don’t get something right straight away but Sara was kind & supportive & made me feel like it was all possible. If you want to know more about Sara & her Instagram story check out Karen Harvey’s fab interview with her here & if you want to see if I’ve managed to up my Instagram since come & say hi!