The last few weeks I’ve been in a bit of an Instagram melt down. Spending frantic weekends and evenings scattering petals across notebooks and letting cups of tea go cold as I strive to create images that will break the engagement deadlock that seems to have developed between us and the algorithm.
Every café lunch or walk along a river became a potentially ‘grammable situation as I found various contortions in order to get #handsinframe or the angle where the light hit just so. It is worth noting that although I was taking photos all over the place, 99% of them never reached my grid, never even reached the editing stage. I was so fearful that I would miss a golden opportunity that I was taking all the pewter opportunities as well, and consequently living only in squares and through my iPhone screen.
I was reaching peak Instagram-bore, and something had to give.
Last month Instagrammer extraordinaire Hannah Argyle wrote on her blog about Instagram clichés. There is so much negativity around what people perceive to be the clichés of Instagram (particularly as we come out of peony season..) that it was nice to read a sympathetic take on them. The gist of it was that clichés are clichés because they make good pictures, and as long as you’re orginial with your take on them, then the more the better.
But I’d take this even further. These clichés, or visual tropes, are in fact signposts to your target audience that you are exactly what they’re looking for. Because there isn’t just one set of clichés or tropes – every Instagram aesthetic and community has their own. Continue Reading
We all get that blank page fear – whether you’re sitting down to a planning session, writing a blog post or getting the camera out, we all know how it feels to demand creativity from ourselves and get nothing in response. As much as we try to manage it, creativity cannot be tamed; it comes and goes as it chooses.
This is why people have invented creative prompts, so that when you’re staring blankly down the lens or at your keyboard there is something to prompt your brain to start thinking creatively. Creativity loves limitations, so when you have a framework within which to think, rather than unbridled freedom, it can be easier to come up with ideas. Continue Reading