This article originally appeared in The Courier.
It’s hard to believe that once upon a time the preened and perfected images of mouth-watering brunches and mesmerizing shoes were reserved exclusively for the glossy pages of monthly mags. These days one swipe of a thumb can gain you access to a world of millions of photos, edited and hashtagged to perfection. The astronomical rise of ‘instablogging’ has opened up an entire new art form in the shape of chic flatlays and #ootds, with many forging entire careers from their lucrative 640px by 640px squares.
“Its fast paced, visual nature has led to a natural relationship with the fashion industry, with brands cashing in on every consumer’s click, swipe and double tap”
For those fashion blogger trailblazers of the noughties, the key to a successful blog was the written content; regular lengthy blog posts teamed with blogger pal collabs was the simple, if somewhat arduous, recipe for success. However, in more recent years, it has been the maintenance of social media such as twitter and Instagram that has secured blog longevity. The pull of Instagram is that it allows the blogger to rapidly communicate a theme or identity in a user friendly way. Its fast paced, visual nature has led to a natural relationship with the fashion industry, with brands cashing in on every consumer’s click, swipe and double tap. However, those with the real selling power are the Instagram blogger elites, many of whom work with brands, subtly promoting their products in an aesthetically pleasing way. Brand deals can be big business, and evidence of this is the range of agency’s that have been set up in recent years such as Snapfluence and InstaBrand which work exclusively with savvy social media users and companies. In fact, depending on the number of followers it is possible to be earning a six-figure salary from instablogging alone.
So, how do you upgrade your blurry Digi Monday pics to money spinning snaps? One major aspect is deciding a ‘theme’ for your Instagram and sticking to it like glue. Many successful bloggers follow very rigid colour schemes that allow their photos to be instantly recognizable when scrolling through a feed of endless avocados and manicures. The blogging pair Ricci Pamintuan and Cassie Masangkay (otherwise knows as ‘ToThe9s’) have racked up nearly 50k followers on their Instagram which features sleek, heavily monochromic fashion snaps. They recently posted a video on their equally popular YouTube channel giving viewers an insight into how they edit their photos. Unsurprisingly, they gave the standard ‘Sierra’ and ‘slumber’ filters a miss, opting instead for higher quality DSLR photos teamed with a multitude of editing apps from VSCO to Afterlight and ‘wordswag’ (yes its actually an app).
If spending hours altering light and contrast isn’t your idea of fun however, don’t fear. Ultimately Instagram is just another way of expressing who you are- so if Netflix binging and cheesy chips are more your kind of style than Nobu sushi and yoga sessions then let that shine- as that ancient proverb once said ‘if in doubt, black and white it out’.