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Simple Themes to Lessen Instagram Drama

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Updated 8.8.2017

Instagram is one of the most prominent forms of social media. Everyone uses Instagram in some way. But I'm going to voice an unpopular opinion: Instagram isn't really that great. The visual-based platform can get overwhelming and annoying, especially if it's secondary to another project. Plenty of users are successful at getting reach and engagement. They hustle. For me, Instagram requires a level of obsession that I don't have. Also I'm a writer and hate taking pictures of myself sooo... If you're like me and you aren't willing to put the energy into making Instagram your main focus (or even one of them) but know you should at least try, this post is for you.

Thanks to this post on Career Girl Daily, I was moved to think on how I could make Instagram simpler since I kind of hate it so much. CGD had some great tips on how to clean up your profile to gain more followers and promote your brand by choosing a single theme for your photos. Having a theme will help guide the photos you take, giving your profile a potentially cohesive look, and a theme will attract the right audience. Choosing a theme that fits right off can be difficult. These suggestions should help you streamline Instagram without taking up all of your time because they are simple and involve things you're probably already looking out for.

Note: If you don't care what your Instagram looks like/don't have a reason to make it look pretty/don't care what anyone thinks - First of all, I applaud you. Second, keep it up.

Choose a topic (or two) from your daily life

My personal account has been through so many changes (and subsequent purges). Thankfully I've finally settled on a theme of the topics that influence this blog: being a mom, being in a band, and being Mormon. These are easy for me because they are what I am already doing which works out because I'm not forcing myself to create experiences that aren't real. Having only a couple things to post about limits unwanted photos when you look back and makes life a whole lot easier.

Consider what you spend your time doing, what interests you, or what you value. It could be anything: food, politics, education, fashion, reading, movies, family, animals, nature... Then think of different ways to show that in your photos. Food is an easy example. You could take photos of food you make, restaurants you try, special occasions you're celebrating, people you're sharing meals with, cookbooks you're interested in, and on and on. Don't limit yourself but just remember to keep it simple.

Memorialize what inspires you


In a project I worked on for a local painting company took pictures of the area the company worked in and captioned the photos with paint colors. Because the company only worked in a specific area, clients had a source of inspiration from their own backyard. The same goes for photographing your own inspiration. Post photos of things in the world that catch your eye. Nature, people, and quotes from books are a great place to start. You could also take it to the next level by adding a relevant quote. Double inspiration!!

Capture your "Currently..."

I really enjoy "Currently..." blog posts. In fact, this blog almost became only a series of posts about what I was currently doing or feeling. These posts are fascinating because they actually require more thought than we assume. There is purpose in watching a certain movie or wearing certain shoes or finding ourselves in a certain place. Can you imagine putting that into a photo? I don't know if I should swoon or drool from satisfaction... Be careful not to think this is just any random snapshot. Otherwise your photos will become messy and incoherent pretty fast. To counter this make sure your posts are singular and possess real meaning.

Share your work or hobby

My brother is a photographer and videographer. His Instagram consists of his photos captioned with what equipment and settings he used to get that exact composition. Bloggers do this as well, sharing the photos from their posts or behind the scenes of what they're working on. Artists, writers, and even teachers do the same. If there is something about what you do that can be photographed, get out there and do it! Whether it's a morning coffee with coworkers before a big pitch or a cute dog you met while on your evening jog, use your Instagram for you. 

I hope these ideas get the juices flowing and help you dream up a way to represent yourself well. Instagram is about sharing a story, YOUR story, your photos. Good luck and don't try too hard!
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