It’s crazy to think that an average of 95 million posts are uploaded onto Instagram every single day. Even in our own networks, we are bombarded with numerous photos on a daily basis that we often succumb to an aimless scroll—seeing but not really retaining. Every once in awhile, we pause to see something that really catches our eye. Whether it’s vibrant food or a scenic location, something about that image stops us in our tracks. Here are some tips on how to stop your followers’ endless scrolling:
1. Don’t Be In The Shadows:
Lighting might be one of the first aspects to stop someone in their tracks. Brighter images will draw attention more often than darker ones. Play with brightness settings to increase light in specific areas or in the entire image.
In this first Preston Hollow Village post for example (above + left), the bright lighting defines slight detail, such as the sugar crystals on the ginger. Especially when highlighting details in food or texture, brighter lighting allows for clarity and proper emphasis on specific aspects of the shot.
2. Make It Pop:
Color is key. Bright, vivid images are a great way to catch one’s eye and draw attention to a post. No matter the subject in the frame, try to include colorful objects or even add some filters / effects to boost the color. With that said, make sure your use of color sticks to your theme or brand tone. If you’re running an account for a company or brand, make sure you don’t stray too far from their tone and color scheme. It’s very easy to get carried away with bright colors that you completely forget who you’re posting for.
In these examples (above), the look and feel of the accounts are very defined by their use of color. There is clearly a theme and tone established for each account and their posts feed directly into that same schema.
3. Focus, Focus, Focus:
When highlighting a subject, play with foreground and background. Most commonly done with food, put your subject in focus and blur out the background. This technique blatantly directs the viewer to see the most compelling part of your image.
Purposeful focus adds texture and depth to your image in unexpected ways. A general approach to any of these images would position the subject on a table with nothing too exciting about it. By focusing the camera on the subject, the photographer captured the detail of the object while also allowing for greater context on the outer part of the frame. Whether the background is bland or has more action going on, focusing helps to organize what’s important in the frame and, when done well, can look quite striking.
4. Don’t Bore Me:
Depending on what you are posting, variety may be a good attention-grabbing tool. Adding an assortment of objects and textures to an image can tell a greater story than expected. People are quick to look past singular images.
By adding multiple objects into the frame, the viewer is invited to spend more time looking at the post and absorb every part. The bloggers (above) nailed the placement and variation of objects by telling a story with strategic arrangement of themed items. Ranging from shoes to candy, our eyes get fed with new and different images around the frame, sparking our curiosity about what all these objects have in common.
5. Position With A Design Eye:
Instagram allows anyone to instantly become a photographer. When taking and editing images, consider the positioning of your subject relative to the things around it and your perspective to capture the image. If you’re taking pictures of food, approach it from unconventional angles or perspectives that make even the most bland piece of toast look enticing.
If you’re taking pictures of nature, walk around and take a number of different pictures at different angles and distances to compose completely different images. Experimenting with angles and positions to bring a creative edge to your image. Two images of the same object can look completely different with different angles and positioning. These examples prove how the most mundane of objects or activities can breathe new life with just an alternative perspective.
6. Have Fun:
No one said Instagram had to be serious. Have fun with what you share. Use every post as an opportunity to experiment with any of the above tips and bring new life to your account. Don’t be afraid to get weird or quirky. It’s the odd things that make people stop and stare.