Establishing a Social Media Presence through Photography

A student’s social life is bound to be documented on some form of social media. Whether it’s a photo of a party they attended over the weekend or a picture of their complicated coffee orders, students share thousands of photos each day.

The most popular form of online photo sharing is Instagram. Instagram rapidly gained popularity and a basis of regular users through it’s ease of use and the ability to allow users to give followers a more personal view of their lives. Instagram is not only for documenting the countless selfies taken in your bedroom or the photos of museum artwork, but also for creating an online portfolio. Instagram reports having over 600 million users as of December 2016 and as more users join, the competition for the best photography gets harsher and harsher.
One of the biggest Instagram trends is the creation of monochromatic feeds with colors or themes that flow seamlessly throughout a user's page. Many users refer to their themes as their aesthetic. The aesthetics that users choose reflect their personalities and also make their profile easy to digest, bringing new followers in and old followers back.
Instagram user @aleksandrazee (left) chose brown and other warm colors to use throughout her page. A popular color choice for photos is white, user @theworkinggirl (right) uses the color white as a common ground between all of her photos.

Companies such as Taco Bell use their aesthetic to spark attention and bring in new customers and followers. Pantone frequently changes their color schemes and feed in order to fit with the “color of the year”, this year users will see plenty of green posts due the the color of the year being Greenery. Learning how to edit and upload photos to a cohesive theme could land you a job as a social media advisor or manager to a top brand or company.
Establishing an aesthetic for your feed involves choosing a cohesive editing style or a color that appears in each of your photos. A study conducted by Curalate reveals that photos with a higher exposure generate 24% more likes than those with a lower exposure, creating a darker photo.
Other statistics include:
  • A high amount of background space generates 29% more likes than photos with less space
  • Images featuring blue as the dominant color generate 24% more likes that red images
  • Images with low saturation generate 18% more likes than photos with higher saturation
Apps such as Planoly create a user-friendly and easy way for users to preview their pages before posting photos as well as scheduling when photos are uploaded. If a user is unsure how their feed will look with the introduction of a new photo, they can upload the picture into Planoly to see if their aesthetic and theme still flows well. Planoly features an “at-a-glance” view at a users photos as well as statistics regarding followers and likes per photo. The app also offers the ability to upload photos, videos, and gifs through the app itself.
Photography is a form of expression and Instagram serving as an online portfolio allows users to appreciate their own photography as well as the art of others. By focusing on the aesthetic aspect of my photos, I’ve grown to love shooting and editing photos and I am more aware of the environment around me because I am always looking for a new photo opportunity.

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