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Organizing your Instagram feed – how and why?

Left: @atteninja, Middle: @macro.viewpoint, Right: @josepilgaard

Your Instagram feed is the first and the main thing everyone see when visiting your profile – and the way it looks – make huge impact on how good you look in the eyes of others and often determine if you will earn a new follower or not. You obviously want your feed to look good, not unorganized and totally random. But how to organize your feed? There are multiple ways of doing that.

I have noticed that there are three types of Instagram feeds:

Chaotic monotonous feed

A fragment of user’s @charne.lo colorful feed

In such feeds the photos aren’t organized by color, type or anything else. The feed is monotonous with one connection – the editing signature or style of the author. If done skillfully, monotonous feeds look really good, if all the photos are good quality and can keep the attention of the viewer. Though, if the feed does not change over time, it can get boring when scrolling such feed for a longer time, because the photos from distance could look quite alike.

Totally chaotic feed

A fragment of my personal account’s feed in 2018. Total chaos (:

When the feed is totally chaotic – every photo speaks by itself, and they do not have any organization or connection. An example of such feed – there is a photo of a moon, a macro of a lilac flower, a photo of a duck, and a photo of a fireworks next to each other – and they each have different colors in them. Such random feeds don’t make any connection between the photos. If you have such feed, and have many photos of each kind to post – it is suggested to create different account for each kind of photography (just like I have with my macro photography and drone photography accounts). Such feeds look unprofessional and unplanned and is a bad example.
Of course, if your goal is to simply share your everyday snaps and you’re not worrying about what others think of your feed, then there isn’t anything wrong with such feeds.

Organized feed

Feeds can be organized either by color or by the objects in the photos. Such feeds can look really good when done correctly.

There are multiple ways to organize your feed:

  • Flowing smoothly from one style to another (between colors or types of photos). An example for this is my feed. I transition my feed through all the colors in the rainbow.
A fragment from my feed – transition from yellow to orange and red color
  • Organizing by rows. Posting three photos in each row (theme) is a good example where your feed will look neatly organized by rows. An often-seen example of this are portrait photos – some photographers post three photos from each photoshoot, therefore organizing their feed with this. The only issue with such organizing is that while the row hasn’t been finished, the feed will look messy, because each theme will be in two rows, not one.
A fragment of @leaveonlyleaves feed
  • Organizing by columns. You can do this by posting every first, second and third photo from different themes and repeat it. That will create columns of three kind of photos. You can also post two photos, and one quote or other non-photography post, which will stand out.
  • Organizing by diagonals. You can also post your photos by diagonals when, for example, every second photo is light, while other are dark (or choose any two colors or styles to alter).
  • Other organization ways include a combination of the previous three. You can arrange your photos in an interesting way (example below), or you can add borders to your photos to make them appear more interesting in your feed (border example: @atteninja feed).
A fragment of @momentstoframe feed

Is there an incorrect way of creating an organized feed?

you may ask.

Yes, there is. A feed can be organized, but still won’t look good if the photos you post are too similar to each other and too boring. You need to create a feed that others would be able to scroll through without quickly losing interest in your photos just because they look so similar or there’s the same object in them. Often this mistake happens when posting in rows of three photos – you need to have three photos of the same theme, so you post two very similar photos in there.

Tips for making your organized feed look good

  • Try not to post too many similar photos next to each other. Choose the best one of the photos that are similar, or combine them in a single post (users can scroll through all the photos in a post) if you want to post all of them. If you really wish to post separately multiple photos that are similar – scatter them in your feed. Have some posts in between them so that they don’t appear next to each other.
  • Post what you would want to see in other people’s galleries. If you shot a photo and you think it’s okay – try to imagine yourself as a viewer of your own feed. Would you follow a user with such feed? If the answer is no, then you have to rethink the photo.
  • Plan your feed. There are so many applications that allow you to plan your posts ahead. The ones I have used and can suggest are: Later (for mobile and web) and Garny (only for mobile). Later allows you to upload your photos to their database and add tags to them, which helps you find them later for scheduling. Since I organize my feed by color, I add color tags to my uploaded photos. Garny does not upload the photos – they stay in your local storage. Both Later and Garny allow you to schedule photos for a specific day and time, and the apps notify you when it’s time to post. Both apps also allow you to rearrange your scheduled photos to get the best order and look for your feed.
Later application as a website – post scheduling view
Later post drag-and-drop rearranging view for my feed

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