6 easy ways to curate your Instagram feed

In a lot of ways I consider myself as a basic, social media image-obsessed millennial. I've been closely watching how my overall Instagram feed looks like since 2014, carefully choosing images that are crisp, coordinated, and well-captioned.

Curating my feed serves as my only creative pursuit
or, at least, the only one I am capable of. Now I don't take the best photos for sure. But the thing is, my Instagram account is a personal visual diary that has no intention of gaining the approval of anyone else but of my own brand and vision of aesthetic. But that doesn't mean I don't get giddy over other people's compliments and enthusiastic inquiries on how I manage to do so.

It doesn't take much effort to end up with a well-curated feed. Here are 6 steps I follow to keep my Instagram the way it is:

1. Decide on the tone

Let's start with a no-brainer: Do you want your colors on a warmer or cooler spectrum? A warmer tone, of course, is heavier on the yellow tint (think of sunny adventures), while the cooler tones emphasize the different shades of blue. My mood tends to swing between the two, but generally I rely on cooler tones more as it lends a crisper and more natural look on the photos I choose to post.

It's got a pretty subtle effect, but a consistent tone translates well visually.



   COOL-TONED   


   WARM-TONED   



2. Focus on similar colors

There isn't one subject that covers what I post on Instagram. I feature flat lays of various objects, a ton of (amateur) street photography from my travels, scans of scrappy collages, self portraits, and even movie stills. But what makes it less cluttered in a social media lurker's eyes is the way the colors harmonize.

I've told this to my friends before: The easiest way to keep your feed curated is to let the colors of the last post to guide your next one. The trick here is to incorporate a lot of neutrals in your photos (white, black, grey and blue), and put together images with similar textures (my favorite is concrete), and you can get away with anything.


The prominent background colors really don't matter. Whether it's a tinge or splash of a certain color, as long as the same ones are found on the photographs, I assure you your feed will still look effortlessly cohesive.


   HELD TOGETHER BY YELLOW HUES   




   FEATURING PASTEL SHADES IN PINK AND BLUE   





   PLAYING WITH IMAGES IN DOMINANT SHADES OF MAHOGANY AND GREEN,   
   WITH A DASH OF RED   



   IMAGES IN BEIGE DEFINED BY SHADES OF RED AND GREEN   




3. Mind the blank space

It's important to seek balance in curating a feed. Flat lays often look cluttered, and the frame is usually full with this kind of image. Always find a way to balance that out by posting the next photo with a lot of negative area, meaning there's a lot of space working around the subject you're trying to feature.


   LESS SHOWS MORE   


   BALANCE CLUTTER WITH SPACE   



4. Don't sweat the editing

Most of the time, the place already dictates the color palette you are to work with. This is a natural transition that I let my feed take on especially when I travel. I find that most cities and destinations are painted in its own unique color scheme, effortlessly making your feed look more put together and coordinated.

I don't play with a lot of photo editing apps. Most of the time I just tweak the warmth of the image, as well as its lighting. To make sure colors are in similar shades, I head to Lightroom to adjust the hues and pretty much eyeball the mix of tints.

You can plan your posts ahead with the use of Planoly, but I actually find it more convenient to do your final edits using the Instagram app itself and save your photos as drafts. This will give you an idea on how the images will line up on a grid without an extra app eating your phone's storage.

5. Take note of orientation

Whenever I prop food against a certain background, it's bound to end up as the middle or left photo on my grid. That's because it rests more naturally on those parts of the feed as the photo's elements tend to weigh heavier on certain sides. How you crop your subject should always guide you on how you arrange your photos.

Follow the photograph's sense of motion, and choose (and coordinate accordingly) whether you want the line's flow to be inward or outward. The direction faced by the subject will ultimately help you decide where it will fall on a specific row.


   OUTWARD FLOW   





   INWARD FLOW   


6. Put importance on a photo's lasting memory

It's pretty easy to curate a feed with beautiful pictures. But often we take a lot of images that don't mean a thing. It neither adds value to documenting experiences nor informing people about you and your opinions (yes, shallow as it may seem but stating if a certain cup of coffee is worth ordering is considered valid opinion). 


Just make sure your feed isn't just home to so-called filler posts that have no purpose other than looking good on your gridcelebrate your milestones, daily highlights, and share your quirky creations and different perspective!


Learned a thing or two? Follow me on Instagram!

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