Do you consistently feel like you have nothing to post? It’s been a few days and you’re feeling the pressure to just get something up because you know you need to consistently show up for your audience. And when it comes to being successful on Instagram it takes both engaging captions that resonate with your audience and a compelling image that causes people to slow their scroll and pause to check it out. No pressure right?
No wonder sometimes it’s easier to post nothing at all. If you need help with captions, I’ve got a free guide called Captions that Convert that you should go download, and today we’re going to tackle the other piece of that puzzle: images. As a photographer, I want to share with you my best tips for creating all the photos you’ll ever need to curate the perfect Instagram grid for your business.
Take a look at the images you’ve already got
If you’re like me you have hundreds (ok, thousands) of photos just sitting on your phone waiting to be shared. Often all they need is a great caption to be Instagram-worthy. I’m super picky when it comes to staying on brand with the images I share, but more important than that? Telling a compelling story, sharing a message my audience needs to hear and trying to inspire them.
Maybe it’s sharing a story from my past with a photo that’s maybe not perfect but helps illustrate my story. Maybe it’s breaking up that highlight reel and showing what real life looks like. Sometimes the perfect image isn’t so perfect and simply aligns with the caption on my heart that day.
Far too often people think they can only post current photos and I want to challenge you to not post in real time. Take your photos, live in the present and post at a later time when you’re inspired to write a compelling caption. Go through your photos with a fresh eye and see if there’s anything in the vault worth sharing and start a folder on your phone of possible images to use for the next time you feel like you have nothing to post.
Schedule a photo shoot and spread out the images
Now, here’s my best strategy: schedule a photo shoot with a photographer and get the absolute most mileage out of it that you possibly can. What do I mean by this? Consider bringing a few outfits and choosing a location with diverse backgrounds to get as many images for your feed as you possibly can. Drew and I do this once a year, not only because it’s important to me to document our lives, but also for material for our businesses for the year.
Communicate with your photographer about your goal for the shoot and get many different angles, close-ups, scene setting, detail shots and even outtakes! I love using images with funny expressions or of Drew grabbing my butt. It’s how we are in real life and those are the images I love to share instead of just that perfect shot.
Also, don’t be afraid to repost images you’ve already posted. Remember, no one is stalking you and so little of what we share online is sometimes actually seen by our audiences. Take your best-performing images and put a new spin on the caption.
Get yourself an Instagram husband or mom or friend
Don’t have the budget for a professional shoot? Don’t let that stop you. Some of the most beautiful feeds I love to follow are not professional photographers and simply do a great job of capturing the moment and telling the story, imperfect and all. There are some really funny videos on Instagram husbands out there and I have to share that Drew is officially an Instagram husband.
I really should record a behind the scenes video of what it looks like for one of our photoshoots. “Hey Drew, I have pants on today – let’s go take a photo!” Don’t want to rope someone into your photo sesh? All good. Get a tripod (or balance that camera on something) set the self-timer and start posing! Oh, the things that have come out of my mouth while trying to get a shot of Drew and me for Instagram. “Now grab my waist and look into my eyes”, or “Babe, don’t look at the camera, look at me!” Hey, it works and I promise it gets less awkward with practice – if anything, you can laugh at how ridiculous you are!
Regram and create community
Some of my proudest moments on Instagram have been when others have shared my work with their audience! Like that time Anthropologie re-grammed this photo or when Aerie shares an image of me on their feed or that time Kaitlyn Bristowe included me among girl boss feeds that inspire her or when people share my quotes because what I created resonated with them! Get the picture?
Part of creating a community on Instagram is in supporting one another and when done correctly, you can do this by re-gramming others content. Want to know my thoughts on the right way to do this? I talked about it right here: The BEST Way to Regram on Instagram.
Consider a stock photo site
Still feeling like you don’t have enough images to post? Not able to create the right images to fit your vibe? Check out Social Squares created by my friend and talented photographer Shay Cochrane. This site is different than other stock photo sites because the images are created with social sharing in mind.
There are hundreds of gorgeous images aimed at helping you create the perfect grid and get the attention of your followers. You don’t need to create all the images yourself and this helps fill the gaps especially if you’re not great at styling lay flat images. For as low as $20/month you can have access to Shay’s images that are consistently updated with fresh content. Click here and use code “JENNASFRIENDS” to get 20% a subscription!