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My 2018 instagram journey

Instagram is a ball-ache sometimes.

You don’t want to have a theme, but everybody has a theme. You want to be able to post whatever you want, but people respond better when you have an actual theme. It’s, unfortunately, what gets you followers.

I’ve noticed a lot of people abandoning their ‘theme’ after they reach a certain number of followers – they’ve got their loyal follower base and can just do whatever they want. That is the DREAM, honestly.

It’s taken me a while to get into a good groove with my instagram – it’s been through a lot of transformation throughout 2018 and i’m about to start the whole process over whilst finding my instagram feet in 2019. The way i see it is instagram is a creative platform for expression – however you choose to express your creativity is up to you.

Some people choose to express it through photoshopping their images (i actually love looking at content like this), through their poses or captions, and some choose their editing. Not everyone likes the same style of editing and that’s totally fine. You do what you want.

THE “PARIS” THEME


I kicked off January with a trip to Paris, and my instagram consisted mainly of photos from Paris until i well and truly ran out. I loved this theme because it made me happy to look at all the places we’d been at the start of the month. It was quite a stressful trip (all of them are when you’re traveling with me) but Paris is a beautiful city, and i love looking at all the memories.

I still really like this theme and will probably do something similar with most trips i go on. I try to exclusively post photos from wherever i am, with similar colour schemes. This one is very clearly beige. Until you get to Disneyland and then it’s ALL PINK.

THE “I DON’T CARE” THEME


Upon coming back from Paris, i had a bit of a crisis and decided i was just gonna give up entirely on trying to have a nice instagram. I was gonna post whatever the hell i wanted, more impromptu iphone shots and not worrying about having any properly taken camera shots.

I enjoyed being as carefree as this but, to be honest, i didn’t feel good when i looked at my own instagram. We all know comparison is the thief of joy and we can’t compare ourselves to others on instagram because not everyone is the same, but i wanted mine to look pretty.

It was a time of crisis, to be honest. I think i was pretty grumpy during this because i wasn’t doing what i really wanted to do. I didn’t feel like i had the time or help necessary to create the stuff i wanted to. It’s crazy how much of an effect Instagram can have on our mood.

THE “WARM” THEME


This is my least favourite of all the themes i’ve ever done. I don’t know what came over me when i decided to start editing like this but everything is so orange and, quite frankly, disgusting. (Sorry if you do edit like this, it’s just not my thing and my actual photos weren’t that great)

I think i saw someone else on instagram doing a warmer toned theme and decided i wanted to try it. Clearly, that went well. I didn’t really know how to edit properly with Lightroom or anything so i’m pretty sure i just upped the temperature and left it like that.

At the end of the year, i also did another warm-toned theme but this time, it was so much better. I’ll talk more on that when we go through the rest of this wild journey.

THE “OVERLY EDITED” THEME


This is the editing style that causes a lot of debate on twitter. Some people like it, some people don’t. I, personally, loved this style of editing and had the most fun doing it. Maybe it was ‘too’ edited, but i enjoyed it and that’s all that matters.

The amount of people commenting on this editing really annoyed me. It’s my instagram page, they’re my photos. I don’t edit in a way that other people like or other people want, i edit how i want. If you don’t like it, don’t message me to tell me that because i don’t care. And not in a rude way, but what does my editing have to do with you? Fuck all, that’s what.

THE “MUTED PASTELS” THEME


This one didn’t last very long but i absolutely loved it. I would use lightroom to lighten all the shadows and dim the highlights; also edit all the strong colours so they were more pastel. It was beautiful and the perfect theme for summer, i think, so it might make a return later on this year.

People also didn’t like this editing theme and i actually did get a message from someone telling me they didn’t like it. It sucked because i express my creativity through editing. Kinda unfair to expect every instagram account to edit the same way! Let people do their own thing.

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Anyway, i gave up on this because it didn’t work for a lot of photos and it started to just really annoy me. Quite often, i would want to post a photo and couldn’t because it didn’t fit my editing style.

I also like how this is the stage where you can see that i’m gradually getting better at editing!

THE “DARK AND MOODY” THEMES


And now we come to the end of 2018! Towards the end, i adopted a whole new style for the autumn/winter months and it genuinely boosted my followers by about 3000. It was honestly crazy.

It started off with just regular dark and moody, which i did with the VSCO A6 filter. I also had a bunch of new content because Louise and i were shooting multiple outfits every weekend. It was probably the best time for my instagram – i was in my creative element and could finally bring the shots i dreamed of to life.

When winter came around, i moved onto a slightly warmer style whilst still maintaining the dark and moody theme. Instead of fiddling around with the temperature, i used the A4 filter on VSCO until we get to the Christmas posts.

My Christmas feed was my favourite thing i’ve ever done. I’m obsessed with it. And we got almost all the shots i used on one shoot day, which is pretty impressive. They lasted me the whole month! For the Christmas shots, i did fiddle with the temperature on lightroom but adjusted the shadows and orange tones accordingly, to keep the warmth but not lose any of the details or my natural skin colour.

This is the style that has been most popular with everyone – i gained a whole load of new followers and my engagement was through the roof. I was contacted by a lot of clothing brands asking for instagram posts, and it was pretty surreal.

I have no idea where my instagram is gonna go in 2019. I’m trying to find my groove for spring/summer, but it’s pretty hard! I’m going for a ‘trial and error’ kind of thing – just editing how i want and deciding whether i like it for the month or not.

How did you grow your instagram in 2018?

View Comments (4)
  • I love this! I’ve only recently really started editing my pics properly and trying out themes so it’s interesting to see what other people are doing. I love your pastel theme so much but also your dark moody theme is awesome. I’m trying out a more colourful theme atm and I’m really enjoying it

    http://www.theemeralddove.co.uk

    • I love your instagram! I find it really inspiring how you take all your own photos with a tripod, as i’m not brave enough to do that yet. I’d love more “behind the scenes” on your stories! Ps your flatlays rule teach me how to do that plz

    • Thank you so much!! Instagram is so trial and error, I’m now finding that the theme everyone loved last year isn’t so hot this year, so far anyway 😂 back to the drawing board!

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