Instagram tips: curate your gallery

instagram tips

This is such a simple & obvious tip, I almost feel a little silly mentioning it – but it’s truly one of the most effective things you can do.

If you’re looking to give your account a bit of a boost and create a more cohesive style to your insta-photography, look at your recent gallery as a whole.

Most popular accounts have a theme, whether that’s as strict as all-white images, or something more loose, like a consistent thread of colour or shapes. These instagrammers think about what they post, and when, and it shows the second you click through to their profiles. Here are two awesome examples:





They look professional, and beautiful, and make me immediately want to click ‘follow’.

To plan my gallery out, I use the library in VSCOcam – it displays and scooches the photos along in the same way as IG. (& you’re already using it to edit, right? πŸ˜‰ )
I store my most recent 15 or so photos, in instagram order, so that I’m able to see how a new photo looks as part of the whole, & how it works with those around it. This is a chance to check your tones are harmonizing, your whites are all the same shade & temperature, and work on creating a cohesive style to your photographs.
If you have a recurring theme, like my table shots, this approach stops you from accidentally lining up several similar ones as your gallery shifts along, or getting the dreaded filter regret, and ending up eating your lunch and two kitkats at 10:30am to drown your insta-sorrows.

As you play around you’ll see similarities between some images that highlight one another, and I usually find myself drawn to those colours or shapes when snapping over the next few days. I’m currently working a bit of pink through my gallery, inspired by the Repetto shoes below, & my photo radar is already working with that in mind.

The downside to this is, of course, that you might sometimes not post a photo quite so insta(ntly). It might clash horribly with your planned content, and need to be saved for another day. If that seems too uncomfortably contrived for you, then it probably is! I find it interferes too much with my sharing and spontaneity, so mine is only ever very loosely planned.
As always, it’s about developing your own style, and finding what works for you.

Do you have a theme to your gallery? Have you tried this? I’d love to hear.
(Disclaimer alert: My gallery’s kind of a mess right now, I know. Overlook that, if you can.)

instagram tips

PS: I accidentally wound up receiving Alexa’s book in.. er… German. I’m done looking at the pictures, so does anybody want it? First to comment gets it!

  • your thoughts and tipps are always so precious and helpful! thank you dear..

    • Thanks Susanne! It’s sometimes hard to know if this stuff is helpful to other people or not, so your comment is really genuinely appreciated!

      S x

  • dani

    Love your gallery! And lovely tips. I’d give the book a whirl if no one else has a stake on it – I’m learning Deutsche! -dani

    • Thanks Dani! πŸ™‚ The book is yours – will pop over an email to you a little later this weekend x

      • Dani

        Awh lovely! Thanks Sara, will await the email (: – dani

  • esther

    I know i’m not the first Commune, but i’d jump for joy to win that Bookmarks in german….and btw your writing is so simple and easy to follow, eventuell for Germane. i love it.

    • I’ll keep you on reserve in case it doesn’t work out! Thanks for your kind words – simple is exactly what I am for! πŸ™‚ xx

  • I’ve been meaning to sort out my IG…and this is a great tip! Thanks!

    • Thanks for commenting, Cerys! I’m glad it was helpful – looking forward to seeing what you do! πŸ™‚ x

  • esther

    oh my, sorry my many mistakes in my comment.stupid autocorrect.grrrr.of course i meant i would be more than happy to still win the german version of alex chung’s book although i’m not your first commenter.

    • Hehe don’t worry at all – I understood fine anyway! x

  • ClΓ©o

    Ich bin nicht die Erste, die kommentiert, wΓΌrde das Buch Trotzdem sehr gerne haben πŸ˜‰

  • Wonderful tip! I’ve been paying more attention to the look and feel of my feed lately (and pondering things like “too many kitty photos”?), and I will look at my account before posting a photo to see if it “fits”, but love that VSCO tip! I’ll definitely be doing that from now on.

    • Too many kitty photos?! Impossible! πŸ˜€ So pleased it was helpful! x

  • Olivia

    this is just so helpful & know the double kit-kat feeling SO well!

    • I’m so glad! About being helpful, and not being alone with the kitkat binges… πŸ˜‰

  • San

    Dearest Sara,
    last summer I stopped blogging after more than 3 and a half years. Although I deleated all my posts and the accounts on fb and instagram which had to do with, I recently started a new, “private” πŸ˜‰ one on instagram. Your tips come exactly to the right time! Thanks for that! πŸ™‚
    Wishing you a beautiful, spring fragranced πŸ˜‰ weekend –
    San (3 kids, 2 cats, no hens (but I’d like to have one called “Alberta” πŸ™‚ , NOT KIDDING!!)
    PS: If you’d had a second one of Alexa in german – I’d take it. πŸ˜‰

    • How interesting San! What lead you to stop blogging and posting after all that time? I’m really pleased to be able to help you at the beginning of your fresh new start πŸ™‚ Best of luck!

      • San

        Oh! <3 Well, I guess it was time to focus on other things. Opening a sweet little cafΓ© (next life), launching a onlineshop for birthday stuff (next life), refreshing my english (this life), learning italian (eeh… )… I'm sure, there's much to do for me. πŸ™‚

        • Love all of those things. Adventures abound! πŸ™‚ x

  • Emily

    Great tip!.. I personally am trying to keep a consistent mood, with the tones/colors.. then, I also like to alternate my posts between light/dark backgrounds.. it certainly limits my ‘instant-posting’ and subject matter.. but I think it keeps it looking clean and thought out..

  • Ohh I should have to write that I love to have the book? πŸ™ I’m a native speaker πŸ™‚

  • Yay, I’ve been looking forward to the next post on this! πŸ™‚ Don’t worry, no tip from you will be too simple or obvious. Loving your thoughts and wisdom!

    • Thanks Sarah! I’m so grateful for your lovely feedback πŸ™‚ x

  • I wish I had Vsco, but not enough memory on my phone! I do the same as you as much as possible, by sticking to a colour palette for as many pics as possible. It’s hard though because the fathered style round up usually throws it out, I keep trying to decide what to do about that (we aren’t contrived, we are perfectionists

    • Ahh yes, never enough memory on my phone! My next phone is going to be the biggest capacity available! The Gathered Style roundup is a total conundrum! It’s wonderful and unmissable, but it would totally bother me to regularly disrupt the flow of my feed too. Instagram needs a redesign to accomodate our obsessions! πŸ˜€ x

    • PS YES! not contrived, perfectionists. Love that x

  • Loved this post. I recently uploaded a vertical line of 3 painted houses. I’m still not over it yet.

    • Oh man, tough times! although it sounds kind of cute actually… *passes you a kitkat* x

  • Oh, I’ve found you! And more importantly I now know your name is not Me & πŸ™‚ Lovely to finally *meet* you, Sara. This post is exactly what I need right now, feeling a bit lost in Instagram at the moment. The tip about using VSCO to test if an image matches the rest of your gallery is genius – thank you!

  • Thank you for the great tip! One thing comes to my mind though: what I enjoy about IG is the spontaneity of the pictures, angles and comments. For me this is what makes IG stand out compared to more curated contents (steller, blog, FB etc.) – it adds a different dimension altogether, you know what I mean…? What are your thoughts on this? All best to you in the meantime!

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  • sharon

    Thanks so much for sharing these amazing tips!! I definitely want to implement them, but still have some stage fright. My worst fear is having “boring” photos. I’d love to hear tips on how to get creative images when one does not always have the ability to snap daily due to work, life, etc. When I can, I’m always looking for opportunities, but sometimes I talk myself out of a shot b/c it seems too simple and “it’s nothing exciting”. Would love to hear your thoughts!