Having now over 18,000 instagram followers has taught me a lot about what works and what doesn't when it comes to this social media channel. And knowng what you're doing can be helpful and even create new opportunities for me.

Instagram is it y'all. Creating an engaged instagram presence is one of the best ways to get people to read your blog. Heck, just having a great instagram can lead to so many opportunities, blogging or not. I've been on the Instagram train for quite a while, but haven't posted some fresh tips.

8 Tips for Styling Your Instagram Photos

For the past year I've worked hard to create a beautiful instagram aesthetic that people want to be involved in. At first, I thought instagram was instant. Take a picture and post it. But now, I realize it's so much more. I've worked really hard to create a place to share my life, while gaining new followers. I've multiplied my followers ten-fold and want to share some of my suggestions.

Here are my tips for styling your instagram photos.

1. Lighting
Make sure you are getting a lot of natural light. This really helps make great, pretty photos. The best time of the day tends to be about 10 am – 12pm. Get near a window and snap away.

2.  Create a theme
Do you notice when you go to some accounts all the images are pleasing, but they all come together to show a beautiful, cohesive theme or aesthetic? Some bloggers pick a color scheme or style their photos a certain way each time. It will keep your followers interested and create a story.

3. Use colors
Using bright colors or pastels are eye-catching. Sometimes people scroll though instagram quickly, you want to make them stop and look! I love photos that have a similar aesthetic throughout.

4. Organize
Take the items you want to photograph and play around with how they are displayed. I take a picture, look at it, rearrange and then do it again. Some times I might take a dozen (or more) pictures until I find one that works.

5. Be authentic
Just like a blog post, people can tell when a photo is forced. So be yourself and share what's going on! Share your story using the caption. Remember, you don't have to just focus on the image.

6. It's okay to crop
Your picture doesn't have to showcase absolutely everything. Leave the viewer guessing.

7. Straighten
Instagram has a great “adjust” feature that allows you to straighten the image and make sure it's not crooked.

8. Don't over filter
I edit, I don't filter. My favorite app for editing photos is Afterlight and A beautiful Mess's new app “A Color Story”. If I really want to use a filter, I'll use VscoCam.

Be on the lookout, next week, I have something totally free for your Instagram and your blog!

These are my top 8 tips for styling my instagram photos. Jump on the hashtag train and se “#photosinbetween” to your next pic, I promise, it's fun. Want to get some ideas on how to take AWESOME pictures? Here are 14 Photo Ideas for Instagram that you can steal.

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