Three months ago I went on a trip to Bali with 20 photos and 400 followers on my Instagram account. I had never been big on Instagram but I was so amazed by the beauty of the beaches and wildlife there that I decided to start posting pictures seriously so I could share cool travel destinations with my friends. Now, two overseas trips later, my account has reached nearly 12,000 followers. Getting the perfect beach vacation picture can be tricky, but if you can do it well, it has the potential to boost your followers quickly.
It’s taken me a while to figure out what people respond well to and what they don’t, so here are my top tips for getting that hot holiday pic and fast-tracking the growth of your followers.
Tip #1: Bangin’ Backdrop
Picking the right location for your picture is essential. The trick is choosing a location that shows off something interesting but unique about the place so that people can see you are traveling, and get an idea of what part of the world you are in.
Blue or sunset-colored skies, turquoise ocean, white sand and green vegetation will always add aesthetic value to your account and entice your followers. Use filters to make these natural tones pop, emphasizing the best aspects of the setting.
Tip #2: Color Coordination
Color is a great attention grabber. Whether it’s matching your outfit with the color of a certain element or using color to create contrast in the picture, bright hues are sure to turn heads.
There are a few ways to make the colors seem richer and pop in your pic. Using the filter settings will help, but it’s the Edit Settings, located next to the filter settings, that changes the look of your image the most. Play around with brightness, warmth, saturation and color to get a look that suits your profile and stands out from the other photos on your followers’ feeds.
Tip #3: Different Details
Showing off different content will keep your followers interested and intrigued about what’s coming next. The same beach pics with the same poses lose their wow factor very quickly, no matter how great the location is. Aim to show off different micro-environments and activities. Multiple photos can be taken in one location, the trick is to focus on different parts of the beach and use different camera zooms and angles. Posting a beach pic that is a zoomed in image of you in the water will look very different to a picture of you on the sand with lush vegetation behind you.
Try and show off different activities on land and sea, too. This can be anything from paddle boarding and eating or drinking, to walking down the beach or sunbathing—keeping your followers waiting to see what you do next.
Tip #4: Finessed Framing
Framing is key. It’s an obvious one, but there are small tricks that can take your photo from good to great. Capturing more of the sky than the ground is one of them. This trick depends on the photo but generally with landscapes and things further away, getting more sky makes the picture more appealing.
Ensure any dominant features in the site that are straight (vertically or horizontally), are square or parallel to the edge of the picture. The human eye automatically picks up on wonky elements and, for most, it’s irritating. This can be changed in the Adjust feature under Edit on Instagram.
When taking the photo, evaluate whether the key feature of the image looks better centered or off to one side. If you are not sure, try and find similar photos on other Instagram accounts to see how they framed their pictures.
Tip #5: Picture Perfect Pose & Precedents
Getting the pose right for a photo is something I struggle with, and it’s something I’m still working on. It’s important to think about how zoomed in the shot is. Standing generally works better for medium or far away shots, while sitting is better for more zoomed in ones. Looking natural and happy is something followers are attracted to. I have found that photos where my pose is more forced tend to get fewer likes.
Get to know your angles too. I have certain angles, mostly relating to my face, that don’t look good, so I try and avoid these to cut down the number of photos I take.
Picking the perfect pose can be hard—look at other Instagrammers you like for inspiration. Saving photos that wow you allows you to create an ideas library that you can refer to when you need shoot ideas. Analyze why these pictures draw your eye in, as knowing this allows you to recreate the same effect in your own.
Claudia Boyo x