Tag Archives: Instagram

Instagram’s New Look

Instagram revealed their new look a couple of days ago and I wanted to give myself a some days to play around with the new app before I made up my mind about it. Instagram is probably my most favorite app that I use these days and it’s already been a year since we started changing directions in the way we took photos, but we’re loving every little bit of it.

Here’s what I love about the new changes:

  • It’s so much faster! Loading the app, scrolling through my feed, everything feels fast. Though, I did just acquire a new phone so that could be it also.
  • I think the new icon looks nice – I love the purple/orange gradient though I still feel a little bit nostalgic for the old icon and the old school camera. It was an app that really stood out among all my other apps
  • I like when you receive new notifs that the red hearts at the bottom are this pretty magenta/coral color instead of just solid red.
  • This new video that they created about how the new logo came to be!

Here’s what I miss about the old app:

  • Sometimes when I receive a notif that someone has followed me or liked a photo of mine, I get a little pop-up, but because I’m not used to the new icon, I confuse it with Pinterest.
  • Everything is so black and white! The all black text kind of throws me off a little bit.
  • I kind of miss the red hearts

We’re not one of those people that says that we hate it and want it to go back already to the old version. It’s funny to me how there are always those people that say that every time. Some people just can’t handle change…

You can read more about the change here.

 

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Blog Roundup

  • Cheese triggers same part of the brain as hard drugs [Standard]
  • The Dos and Don’ts of Instagramming your proposal [WhoWhatWear]
  • 30 Traditional Wedding Rules You Should Break [Style Me Pretty]

  • An adorable trip between a dad and his daughter [Upworthy]
  • How much should you spend on a wedding gift [WhoWhatWear]
  • 17 Reasons Why People Have a Mid-Life Crisis in Their 20’s [Thought Catalog]

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Top Models Take on Silicon Valley

I sort of stopped in my tracks the other day when I came across this editorial in Silicon Valley featuring Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, and Kendall Jenner alongside a few CEOs in the tech industry. It’s one of those things where you feel like they just don’t go together, but then in a weird way they sort of do. If Eva Chen can pull it off, why can’t Gigi and Kendall? Karlie is probably the closest to tech out of those two (other than the fact that Kendall has a heavily followed Instagram user) because of her connection to Kode with Karlie – an organization that supports young girls coding. It’s actually really adorable. Anyways, we thought we’d share the editorial because here on Yow Yow! we love all things fashion and we have since the blog was born and I now currently work in tech so there’s that connection… you know.

To view the entire spread, click here!

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Eva Chen Hosts a Session on Quora

One of my favorite fashion icons hosted a Session on Quora recently and it was probably the best part of my week. I’ve been following Eva Chen since her days as a beauty editor at Teen Vogue then to her gig as Editor-in-Chief at Lucky Magazine and now she’s completely killin’ it as the Head of Fashion Partnerships at Instagram. I’ve always admired her for her sense of style and the voice that she brings to her writing. I also think it’s pretty cool how she transformed her career in fashion over to tech pretty seamlessly. It’s like she has been in tech all along. Eva is one of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram too not only because of the classic #evachenpose, but because her feed during fashion week is full of details and perfect slow-mos. If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the time to start.

During her Quora session she answered 40 questions! Take a look at how the #evachenpose got started, what Instagram accounts you should follow, and her advice on all things style here.

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Yow Yow’s Yearly Recap

We didn’t intend to be as late on this post as we actually are, but unfortunately, we’ve just been a little bit under the weather. Also, if I’m being honest, I was actually dreading writing this post for the longest time because I knew how these stats would look and I wasn’t particularly excited about them. In 2015, these are the most dismal numbers we’ve ever seen. But instead of throwing ourselves a pity party, we’re going to share the numbers and then we’re going to move forward because I paid for another year on this domain and we’re not going to let it go to waste. I’m still really excited about Yow Yow! I went through each month in 2015 and quickly scanned through all of the posts that I wrote – some that I laughed at and some that I had forgotten I had even written this year. Writing in 2015 was hard and it’s often times difficult to juggle this and a full-time job that I really care about, but if we can do this for six years, we can do a 7th.

Stats from 2014 will be on the left and italicized while stats from 2015 will be right and bold:

1,400,602 total visits to Yow Yow! – – – – – – – – – – – 1,471,487 total visit to Yow Yow!

In just 2015 alone, we had 70,885 visits to Yow Yow!

10,113 Posts 2,878 Comments  – – – – – – – – – – – 11,003 Posts 2,989 comments (cumulative)

Top Post of 2015 – “Meet: Cathy Nguyen” 1,988 views (written back in 2009)

Top Post written in 2015 – “I Like Your Style…Kiernan Shipka” 303 views

Busiest month in terms of views – January 2014 (11,072 views)  – – – – – March 2015 (6,923 views)

Most popular day: Wednesday (probably due to Wedding Wednesdays!)

Most popular hour: 9:00 AM (5% of traffic)

Total WordPress.com followers: 1,476

Total daily subscribers: 2,027

Credits + References

Worked with

  • Sugar Brand Cosmetics

In 2015, we were reached out by a few brands and companies, but due to my work schedule and other time commitments, I was unable to fulfill certain requests and posts. We’ll try again in 2016!

Top Referring Sites in 2015 Were:

  • Facebook.com
  • Pinterest.com
  • Twitter.com
  • Quora.com
  • Bloglovin.com

Most of My Visitors Came From:

  • The United States
  • Canada
  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • France
  • Australia

(same order as last year)

Other:

*In 2015, my friend Mandi got engaged and we gave her “Wedding Wednesdays” as a column to share her journey as she gets closer to walking down the aisle.

*We tied our Instagram account a little bit more closely to Yow Yow! And this was HUGE for us!

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*We had one of our photos used on Moorea Seal’s Instagram account.

*Things that we tried for the first time and wrote about: SoulCycle, Dry Bar, being a +1 at someone else’s wedding (also first holiday wedding on Halloween!), dyeing our hair, and attending our first Golden State Warriors game.

*Concerts we reviewed: Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift.

*We tried two places in LA that we had once blogged about on Yow Yow! previously: Eggslut + Milk Jar Cookies.

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*We showed love to Smilebooth and Canyon Child.

*We got in front of the camera again to do our OOTD fashion posts – the first time since 2013.

 

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Favorites of 2015

Whoops! We’re already two days into the new year so we’re just a little bit behind on this, but we couldn’t move forward with other posts without writing this one first. 2015 was good to us, but we’re even more excited for 2016 and what’s ahead!

Favorite Style Icon: Olivia Culpo

So we have to admit, Olivia wasn’t always on our radar, but in 2015 she kind of came out into her own. After being linked to Nick Jonas for quite a while and splitting from him earlier this year, she started to wear the “single-girl” look flawlessly. We might even go as far as saying that she was the role model for a lot of newly-single girls. She sort of rebounded with Tim Tebow for a bit, but that didn’t make headlines as much and instead she was being recognized for what she was wearing day to day and on the red carpet. Additionally, she’s part of the Revolve Girl Gang with all of our favorite fashionable bloggers!

Runner Up: Kiernan Shipka

Favorite Getaway: Los Angeles

It’s so hard to pick a favorite! This year we went to Austin and Portland for the first time which was so much fun, but honestly spending some quality time with one of your best gal pals and talking wedding stuff with her is hard to top. I loved staying with Gelesia and seeing LA through her eyes. It also doesn’t hurt that we love a lot of the same things and can eat six meals a day together. She also doesn’t mind standing in being my photographer for a weekend – the feeling is mutual though ;)

Runner Up: Austin

Favorite artist of the year: Kehlani

We haven’t stopped listening to Kehlani since we first learned about her this summer. Now, everyone knows that I’m a huge fan of the girl anthems and she’s our poster girl for 2015. Kehlani’s music really hits home to a lot of people which is why she’s actually one of the most successful artists of 2015 said …everyone. I also read this feature on her the other day through The Fader that I would recommend. You can either listen to her music first or read this, whatever the case, you’re going to be sold on her. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blasting her album on the 101 up to San Francisco and singing at the top of my lungs. In case you haven’t realized it yet – she’s a badass so when you sing like her, you feel like one too.

Runner Up: Leon Bridges

Favorite Guilty Pleasure: The Affair

I know – I can hardly believe that I didn’t select Vanderpump Rules again for the 3rd year in a row. When I was negotiating with Comcast earlier this year, they threw in Showtime for me and I spent that time getting all caught up on this addicting television series. I only had it for 90 days so when the show returns for its next season, I’ll have to ask for this back. I absolutely love love love the show though and it’s crazy because the characters aren’t at all likable. In fact, Noah Solloway is kind of like the worst human being ever and so is his daughter Whitney – jesus. Regardless, we’re hooked and we can’t help it. When I first heard about the show, I thought it was all romance and drama, but now it’s turning into a murder mystery and we don’t hate it.

Runner Up: Super Girl

Favorite item purchased this year: Oak + Fort Scarf C15

I’m never letting this piece go. The first time I saw this scarf featured on Oak + Fort’s Instagram, I knew I had to have it. Yeah so that’s another thing this year, we developed a really unhealthy habit of seeing things on Instagram and then buying it right after. Real talk though, this oversized scarf though sometimes bigger than my entire body is the comfiest coziest piece I’ve ever owned! I love wearing it with my dresses or using it as a blanket when I go out somewhere. You really can’t go wrong. The other day I was strolling through Nordstrom and two people working the floor had complimented me on it… one right after the other in the same department. Even everyone else knows how strong of a piece this is.

Runner Up: The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale purchases

Favorite albums (in no particular order):

  1. Kehlani – You Should Be Here
  2. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
  3. The Flavr Blue – Love Notes
  4. Justin Bieber – Purpose
  5. Little Mix – Get Weird
  6. Beat Connection – Product 3
  7. The Internet – Ego Death
  8. Alina Baraz – Urban Flora EP
  9. Miguel – Wildheart
  10. Madeon – Adventure

(We are very happy to see two Seattle groups on here! Well, I mean I made this list so I chose them, but they had a great year!)

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Favorite online past time: Instagram

Oh goodness, isn’t it obvious? We love Instagram this year more than ever! If you’re not following me yet, come and join us! You’ll likely see more daily updates there when we can’t always get to the blog itself.

Runner Up: What other apps do we need to be using?

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My Favorite Posts of 2015

As we were writing our top posts of 2015 the other day, I realized that a lot of them hadn’t been written by me! They were, in fact, written by Mandi and she’s so deserving to have many of those posts receive that many views this year because she had worked hard on them. In addition to that, she was honest and vulnerable and I know through speaking with her she spent a lot of time putting her thoughts together and getting second opinions from Eric and I. After writing that post though I was a little embarrassed that my own writing hadn’t been the majority, but I realized that even though many of the posts didn’t receive as much viewership, they were still very enjoyable to write and I didn’t want them to go unnoticed. So here are our top 12 posts (one for almost every month!) and the reasons why they meant something to me.

almost superbowl

  • Super Bowl 49 – We’re Comin’ For You – Never have I ever written a post with so much emotion! I still remember this day like it was yesterday. That Packers game was nuts and I remember being heartbroken watching the majority of that game and wanting to throw in the towel and drive all the way home to South Bay before the game was even over! It’s not bandwagoning, it’s just heartbreak and disappointment. Luckily though, we had reconvened at Mandi’s to finish it out and it was worth the wait because that’s where this photo comes in.

  • “After Us” – Watching this Wong Fu Productions video this year was super relevant to me and it was a great reminder to pick myself up again after a split. Additionally though, I became much more aware of the videos that Wong Fu put out and found myself watching video after video after video. I’ve never been the most “Asian Asian,” but I have to admit that I do find comfort in watching these videos that feature predominantly Asian characters and their life experiences similar to mine. It’s kind of an interesting way for me to identify a little bit more with my roots when it’s not my usual.
  • I’m 25. – I feel very blessed this year to have had the best birthday celebration that I’ve ever had. Thank you so much to everyone that helped ring in my 25th birthday and for making it so great. It really has been a year of fun, experiences, and lessons (some good some bad, but still worth it!)

  • Wedding Rules You Can Throw Out – Quite a few people in my life have come to me this year asking me for advice and opinions on wedding ideas and wedding planning in general. Now, I’ve never been close to marriage, but I am really flattered that people value my thoughts on this. It’s not for everyone though. There are definitely people that disagree with my views against tradition, but I felt really good about writing this post and laying it all out on the table.
  • Find Foxy Films – When my brother’s friend Phil started his own film production company and started sharing short stories, I was intrigued. These are the types of stories I LOVE sharing on Yow Yow! – so raw, real, and personal. Phil is embarking on his own battle right now with Stage 3 Nodular Hogdkin’s Lymphoma, but that isn’t standing in his way. It’s inspiring to see him continue pursuing his dreams even while he’s still receiving treatment.

  • Natalie Tran – Asians in Media Talk – This is one of the first times that I ever struggle and discuss the issues that I’ve faced with my identity and being an Asian American. This was a particularly difficult post for me to write because I like to think it’s 2015 and this stuff doesn’t have to exist, but it is real and there are times when I get uncomfortable having to answer questions about my “Asian-ness” to other people and face the prejudice from others about those that I choose to date as well. I’m very optimistic about this and how things will look in the future and I think these things just take time.

  • Wedding Mondays – It’s so hard to choose a favorite! I didn’t think that I would be able to, but honestly this one made the most sense to share. I actually knew Justin in college so watching this video made this all the more memorable for me. I’m sure that next year when my own friends get married, they will find themselves on this list too.

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  • The Best Time to Visit Seattle – We took quite a few trips this year in 2015, but we never have a bad time when we return home to Seattle. During this trip, I got to see some of my favorite people and eat all of the things that I crave when I’m in the Bay Area.
  • The Instagram Project – It sometimes seems a little crazy how much time I may spend thinking about the perfect picture to post, but Instagram is a great daily outlet when I can’t get to writing a post on Yow Yow! everyday. While it does take some added time, I’ve actually enjoyed the pictures that have come out of this project even more and am looking forward to continuing on with it into 2016.

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  • Last Weekend’s Halloween Wedding – I just noticed – today – that the title of the post said “Weeding” instead of “Wedding.” How did no one catch this?! Oy… so embarrassed. Anyways, this was the first time that I could ever go through and talk about every detail of a wedding – what I liked and disliked – cause I didn’t know the couple! We won’t have this opportunity for a long time! Also it was my first themed wedding ever – v. steam punk and it was quite the experience.

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It was so hard to narrow this post down to just 12 favorites and this took me the whole evening to go through a whole year of posts. I know I’ve written repeatedly this year that I didn’t get to write as much as I would have liked to and at the volume I’m used to like in the past, but I’m very proud of what I’ve put out. There are things that I’ve written on Yow Yow! in 2015 that I could’ve never had the experience or knowledge to write about back in 2009. I think this is the reason why I sometimes feel the need to keep pushing. There’s so much more for us to discuss on Yow Yow! and it’s important that we see it through. Thank you for reading. :)

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Blog Roundup

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  • The top 10 Instagrammed restaurants in America [Cool Material]

  • Polly Pocket sets that every 90’s kid loved [BuzzfeedI owned 75% of all of the sets that were shown in these photos.

  • The 10 biggest trends in 2015 [High Snobiety]
  • The 41 most Instagrammed It Items of 2015 [Refinery29]
  • The 6 Shoes Every Grown Man Should Own [Cool Material]
  • Dropbox was given a Michelin Star [Medium]
  • Things that Pitchfork was disappointed about in 2015 [Pitchfork]

Also, just want to note that there will be many more round-up posts as we get closer to the end of the year! I just need to wrap everything up with work first before my focus shifts to Yow Yow! Don’t worry, we’ll do our usuals that we love to do every year and look forward to.

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Blog Roundup

– Big Boi and Phantogram collaborated on a new album together and we can’t wait for it to be released. [Time]

– Ciders are making it onto the drinking scene [Valet Mag]

– 14 drinks you’re not allowed to order after you turn 30 [Cool Material] AMF should’ve made this list.

– The most Instagrammed location in every state [Cool Material]

– Former Facebook employee is building a very high-tech hotel in Palm Springs [CNN]

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How to Keep Up With Yow Yow!

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As I mentioned last week and as you may have noticed, the posts are dwindling with every day that goes by! I won’t be able to post every day to Yow Yow! during my busy season, but one place where you can catch me posting is on Instagram. It’s so much easier to snap a photo then to research and construct a post to write. Please follow and keep up with my daily life here!

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Viral Instagram Photos Re-Made

I found this video by Cosmo editor Amy Odell to be pretty cheeky. In it, she recreates some of the most viral Instagrams herself and explains how much work it really can be from tying laces for an hour and posing in a way in which her breasts inch towards her navel. What does that even mean? I’m now on this path to watching lots of Instagram how-to videos. This is going to be on a long night.

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My New Favorite Instagram Account

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After being a week behind on blogging, I was introduced to a new Instagram account yesterday that I am completely enamored with. As most of you know, Instagram is something that I have been spending a little bit more time with in the last few months so when things like this happen, I get a little giddy. This Instagram with the handle “Socalitybarbie” is totally killing it. From the poses, to the captions, to the scenery, this Barbie emulates all of our favorite Instagram stars and pokes a little fun at it while doing so.

The account was created by an anonymous wedding photographed based out of the Pacific Northwest.

As the ingenious photographer told Wired, “Either your Instagram photos look just like her’s or you know at least one person who does.”

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Yep, I can’t even hide that this has been my life lately.

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One More Thought About That Instagram Thing…

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After I wrote that post about what I’ve been doing to step up my “Instagram game” this past weekend, I realized that I left out something very important. It didn’t make sense for me to edit the original post and write the update at the bottom. Instead I wanted to wait a couple of days to think a little bit more about what I was going to say and then write another post. I’m not about to tell you anything that you haven’t heard before.

Another important lesson that I learned from taking “good Instagram photos” is that we project how we want to be seen by others. I didn’t want to believe it at first, but the longer I went on with this the more I found this to be true. When I returned home to Seattle this past June, I caught up with a few friends that I don’t regularly keep in touch with and they all couldn’t stop telling me the same thing.

“You look like you’re doing well and you seem really happy at least from your Instagram!”

Well, little do you know, right? My year of being 25 was just as hard as my 23rd year. Just because your Instagram looks perfect and you’ve set the right constrast and highlights, you yourself, are not perfect. I won’t deny that on those harder days, even those validating “likes” could temporarily make me feel better – make me feel like my experiences were a little more exciting or that I was a little bit closer to home. We may not all admit it, but these feelings resonate within a lot of us, people you know and even those power Instagram users. There was a story earlier this year that ESPN wrote about college athlete Madison Holleran who very much projected a happy life through her Instagram while struggling with a lot more beneath the surface of her photos. Of course, I want my feed to project happiness, but if we’re being honest here – my photos don’t always reflect how I’m feeling inside and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with just admitting that.

*We rarely showecase on our social media if we’re feeling sad or unhappy, but I found this rare one that I took back in 2013
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The Instagram Project

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If you’ve been following my Instagram page for the last four months, then you may have noticed a signifcant change in the way that I’ve been posting my photos as opposed to when I first started my account. My co-worker Emily is someone that I find pretty knowledgeable in Instagram given that she runs an account for her cats that does reasonably well. When I picked her brain awhile back about how I could gain followers for my account so that I could build upon Yow Yow, she gave me a very simple answer: Hashtags.

But wait, doesn’t that look kind of spammy?

Not if you put all of the hashtags in the comment section instead of the caption.” 

Caturday

Interesting. So I followed her advice. We happened to be together on “Caturday” at Dolores Park and after editing my photo and posting it, she helped me line up a variety of hashtags. (#cutecats #Saturday #DoloresPark #SF #adorable #cute #cats #catz etc.) Shortly after, the likes poured in. We ended at 54 and I was hooked. I convinced myself that I could do this experiment for another week, but naturally that ended up being four months. I was really put off by the hashtags at first so after I had received the desired number of likes that I was hoping for, I would go back and delete my hashtags comment. However, I learned that if I kept it there without deleting that users would continue to like my photos even weeks after.

That was just one of the things that I learned from this project, but I actually learned a lot more and have some pretty interesting stats to include in this post as well. Let’s start with the stats:

In my four months of doing this I had:

  • 8 regular photographers (people that have taken at least two photos for me. Most of them were my co-workers)
  • 17 photos of my food
  • 38 photos of my outfit
  • been to 3 different cities
  • staged 15 of my photos (had to rearrange things on a table/the way they would be taken)
  • spilled Jamba Juice on my bed. (This actually happened today so I’m still clearly a n00b)

Takeaways:

  • I still haven’t figured out how to gain a significant amount of followers like I had hoped. I gained more than 48, but if I count all of the followers that have been added since this project and stayed “following” that’s the number I have.
  • I was never going to really take off as an “Instagram” star. Unfortunately when Instagram came out, I think I was still using an old school Blackberry so all other bloggers had a huge advantage over me.
  • If I wanted to continue a following, I needed to post everyday at least once a day. I felt a weird sense of pressure from this and as a result felt like I didn’t have enough clothes to rotate into my shots (had to buy more!) and had to continuously look for inspiration.
  • Doing this project made me a better photographer. When I look back on all of the photos I took prior to doing this, I realized I was just taking photos “in the moment” and of my friends and random things that no one really cared about. Those photos just don’t get likes.
  • I still despise the #nofilter hashtag and refuse to use it ever.
  • I started asking myself the question, “Why would people care about this photo?” Why do people care about a group photo or a single shot of my friend from across the table? They don’t. But random strangers care about it if you hashtag it correctly and they’re the ones who will like your photo.
  • It’s very hard to like your first shot. Sometimes, I would come out of a session with 30 photos that I had to continuously delete in a row in order to get to the $$$ shot. There’s lot of photos in between that just don’t “look right” because a strand of hair is in my face or my eyes are blinking or my mouth is open.
  • I still have yet to post a “selfie!” and I probably won’t just because I don’t think I can get it right and they make me feel uncomfortable.
  • Even though I had a set of hashtags that I always used and knew would do well, I still had some doubts that I was missing out on other hashtags that could do better that I wasn’t using.

Tips:

  • If you’re going to capitalize on the fashion thing and the OOTD, then you’ve got to do it in moderation. I learned this lesson the hard way. I once had 3 outfits posts in a row. It didn’t hurt my likes very much, but when looking at the “whole” page of my Instagram, it looked off and didn’t display a “lifestyle” which is what people would rather see. Imagine a whole feed of outfits. No one really wants that.
  • I’ve heard that taking photos in the “Square” function of your camera gives you the best shots. I’ve tried it a few times now, but since I have so many photos with more of the white space around it, sometimes it looks out of place. What I like about the square though is that it kind of centers everything and makes it a lot easier for cropping. I’ll use this feature more when I’m trying to capture more of my outfit.
  • I definitely prefer having photos with more of the whitespace in the background. When looking at all of my photos as a whole, I just like that they give my Instagram page more of a uniform look, but I’ve read that it also provides people with more “visual relief” when scrolling through their feed. Because of this, it garners more likes.
  • Find a buddy! My friend Alex was also trying to step up his Instagram game around the same time as me so we would go on shoots together, give each other advice and basically lean on each other. When no one else understood what I was doing, it was great to have him around.
  • When possible, always include a location for where you’re at. That gives you a couple more hashtags to use.
  • If you’re trying to break into the fashion market, tag the brands you’re wearing. During the Nordstrom anniversary sale, I Instagrammed a Rebecca Minkoff bag that I fell in love with that I couldn’t afford and Nordstrom sent me a $50 gift card! Uniqlo has commented several times on my photos that they’d like to re-use my photo (they haven’t yet) but I have hope someday that they could so I keep trying.
  • High volume Instagram days don’t mean that you’re going to get likes. ie) Father’s Day. Because everyone is doing it and you’re not special. Your dads are – you just aren’t. On Instagram.
  • Just because your meal tastes delicious doesn’t mean it looks good.
  • Be courteous on Instagram. If someone random likes your photo, try and go to their page and give them a couple likes as well. If they leave a comment on your page, do the same.

This is still my favorite photo from this time period.

This is still the most liked photo at 73 likes and the first photo in the series of “outfit” posts.

Tools that I use: 

  • VSCO Cam for editing
  • Squaregram for the whitespace background
  • Twitter for sharing – most of the time I won’t share to Facebook though

Related articles:

So we’ve done 4 months of this. What now? Well, to be honest, Instagram has been way more fun since I started wanting to take better photos that I don’t really want to go back to what I was doing before. We’re going to continue on with the photos, the outfits, and the hashtags, and we’re looking forward to more learning and what happens next!

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