How to Best Post Your Work to Instagram

If you’ve ever tried to run an account on Instagram dedicated to showcasing work (art, photography, film, etc.), you’ve likely run into several difficulties. Instagram works great for sharing photos of you and your friends at the beach, however, when it comes to sharing posts where the quality, coloring, and framing matters, Instagram will adjust these in ways you may not necessarily like. However, having social media dedicated to your work is important enough when entering the world of networking that it’s something necessary to adapt to. These are my best tips for creating a dynamic Instagram page that showcases your work in the best way possible.

Cropping Your Photos

Instagram cropping can be incredibly frustrating for a photographer, as their “full-size” option crops photos to a 4x5 aspect ratio, whereas many photographers shoot in a 2x3 ratio. When posting on Instagram, you have to make the decision of which is more important: showcasing details and your image quality, or maintaining your original composition.

If you chose the prior, many editing softwares have an option to easily crop your photos to a 4x5 aspect ratio. This will save you disappointment of designing the perfect 2x3 photo that you now have to crop. You can zoom in and out of the photo and adjust the composition all while maintaining dimensions Instagram can support.

If you chose the latter, you’ll have to get a little more creative. I use Canva, a really great graphic design app to help me. Click “Create a design”, “custom dimensions”, and input Instagram’s photo dimensions: 1080 wide x 1350 high. You should then be able to put in any full-size photo onto this template, and as long as you don’t mind leaving some white space around the edges, Instagram won’t crop your photo. Keep in mind this will sacrifice some resolution, but will keep your original composition, which I believe is worth the work.

Color Management

I edit my photos on an iMac, with the giant screen at full brightness. When I end up sending my photos to my phone to be posted, I often find myself disappointed that they don’t look the same as they did on my computer. In these situations, I re-edit my photos slightly to maintain consistency to all the work I put in on my computer.

The two main edits I do are slightly brightening the photo and doing a very slight purple shadows tint. It makes a very subtle difference, but should have to address some of the coloring differences between the phone and the computer. After, if it still doesn’t look quite right, keep adjusting to be perfect. However, be careful of doing too many edits--otherwise your photo could end up looking pretty odd!

Have a Website

After all of this, you still will be limited on what you can do, and your work won’t look quite as good as it would have before you posted. This is where having a good website works wonders. Services like Format are designed specifically for artists’ portfolios, and are going to be your best option for showcasing your work. Running social media is important, but don’t get too stressed if your Instagram isn’t perfect!

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