By now you probably know that I use a photographer to shoot 95% of my photos. You also probably know that one of my best friends is my photographer.
Instagram Tips – Thoughts on Aesthetic Thoughts
Today I wanted to introduce, Allie, my photographer. You typically see Allie, my friend, mentioned in my posts. But many of you already know that Allie is my photographer, and an EXCELLENT one at that! We’ve been shooting together for about 2 years, and the photos she captures have really helped my blog grow. She’s only gotten better and better since we started shooting.
One day, Brandi reached out to me and recommended I do a post with Allie to talk about how she works with me to help keep my aesthetic consistent. It was such a great idea, so we started working on a little Q&A! I wrote this first post a few weeks ago, and wanted to give Allie some time to write her responses. It’s been such a help that Allie has been able to adapt to my indecisiveness when it comes to my aesthetic and theme!
How did you get into photography?
I have always been drawn to photographs and photography but never took any action on my interest until I was in the design phase of my own personal blog. I knew I wanted better and professional-looking photos for myself so I went in over my head and splurged on a very nice camera without any knowledge as to what I was doing. Upon receiving this camera, I had to teach myself photography rather quickly because there was no simple automatic setting for me to choose from. I watched countless YouTube tutorials to try to cram in as much photography knowledge as possible and even enlisted the help of a photographer friend of mine in Michigan to help me fine tune my skills. From then on, I never stopped practicing whenever I had a free moment! When I moved to NYC, I then began taking photos for other bloggers and really mastered blogging photography. Since then, my photography business and photography in general has grown naturally from there!
What are your initial thoughts on an Instagram theme/aesthetic? Do you think they’re important?
This is a great question and think it’s one that’s incredibly relevant right now, especially with all of the Instagram algorithm changes you can’t just put out a cute photo anymore and think that’s enough. Recently, I have been seeing bloggers poll their followers on their Instagram stories asking if aesthetic is important to them. More often than not, the majority of their followers say it doesn’t matter to them. But I would strongly disagree with that for a few reasons:
Most importantly, where I see aesthetics come into play is when a new or potential follower visits an Instagram page. They are looking at an Instagrammers feed for a few seconds at most to determine whether or not they want to follow them…almost like an interview. An Instagrammer who has a consistent aesthetic across their feed is going to appeal to a potential follower more than someone who just uploads any photo, with any filter, whenever they feel like it, without any organization which can result in a chaotic feed. And then once you get someone to follow you, aesthetics play an integral role in recognizing a blogger’s or Instagrammer’s photo immediately when it pops up in their main feed: even when that person isn’t in the photo themselves. This can directly translate to an increase in brand awareness and then a stronger and more loyal following overall.
But aesthetics can range on a spectrum and some can be more subtle than others. A subtle aesthetic could just be consistent tones across images (i.e. using the same filter and photographing primarily outdoors/with daylight) and then there are those who take aesthetics to an extreme by only wearing certain colors or exclusively standing in front of certain backgrounds to create a true monochromatic feed. Any blogger really has to see what works best (or what is feasible) for them! Using an aesthetic to your advantage can really help grow and sustain not only your Instagram but your entire business.
What program do you use to edit Dana’s photos?
All of Dana’s photos are edited in Lightroom. (Editor’s Note: I found that I liked the filter A4 on VSCO, so I just told Allie and she matched the filter in Lightroom edits!)
What steps do you take to make sure you’re keeping up with the client’s aesthetic?
With new clients, I take note of their instagram feed before our first session to get a general feel of what they may look for in photos. Once we are in the session, I will talk with them about their editing preferences and make mentions of how I will be editing them as we are taking and previewing the photos. And then at the conclusion, I simply ask what their preferences are! Sometimes clients give me inspiration photos/another blogger whose edits they want to emulate or specific editing preferences (i.e. desaturated, warmer, cooler, pinker, etc) but most of my clients love my standard edit as I try to keep them fairly similar to real-live coloring! And of course, there are clients like Dana who decide to shift their aesthetic into a completely different direction and that’s okay – just let any photographer you’re working with know ahead of time! It is never rude or offensive to a photographer if the client asks for things to be edited with a certain aesthetic in mind.
What’s your ideal edit for a photo?
Is it cheesy if I say when the client is happy? Because truly at the end of the day, an ideal edit for my client is an ideal edit for me!