Ask any influencer what the key to a successful Instagram is and they’ll likely say originality. Don’t get us wrong, we love a #followmeto or palm tree post as much as the next person, but the best accounts cultivate a consistent and original style. We’ve compiled six of the most cliché Instagram posts and what you can try instead.
Sunsets can get a bit “samey” but changing up the composition and time you take the shot can help your photo stand out. The minute just after the sun has set, when the sky is still bathed in orange light, makes for a really dramatic shot.
2 PALM TREES AGAINST BLUE SKIES
Have you even gone on vacation if you don’t have a palm tree shot to show for it? Instead of shooting against a blue sky like everyone else, try shooting from a unique angle. And so you don’t throw your back out, use a camera with a tilting screen so you can compose and preview the shot without having to crouch down.
3 THE TYPICAL TOURIST POSE
We know how tempting it is to add a finger point on top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or make a phony call in a London phonebooth.You’re excited and you want everyone to know all of the iconic places that you’re seeing for the first time. We get it. But save those shots for yourself. Your Instagram followers want an original. Instead, try a more candid or artistic pose and look for authentic moments that are a little off the beaten track. Originality means likes.
4 LATTE ART
Use your coffee as an insight into the culture of your destination. Rather than shoot it solo, surround your coffee with local dishes and create a flat lay to show the style of the café. Remember to shoot by a window if you’re sitting inside to get good natural light. If you’re outside in direct sunlight, try to avoid capturing hard shadows across your flat lay.
5 THE MIRROR SELFIE
Everyone loves a mirror selfie but there’s a better way to use reflections. When shooting reflections in water, compose the shot using the Rule of Thirds. You want the horizon line to be straight, but over the top or bottom third of the image (depending on how much reflection you want to showcase) rather than cutting through the center of it. Second, shoot with a narrow aperture (F16 or narrower) to get a deeper depth of field with all of the image in focus.
6 FOLLOW ME TO
There’s a reason Murad Osmann’s #followmeto posts went viral. They show the vacation spots we all dream about in an original way. Instead of mimicking, find your own signature style to show off your destination. Use authentic, natural props from your environment (Reiko used a beach swing on her trip to Malaysia) and keep the style and composition consistent to craft a unique Instagram identity.