My simple guide to shooting 30+ days of content for Instagram in less than 2 hours.
Creating content for Instagram doesn’t have to be a daunting task. I’m sharing my tips for creating 30+ days worth of photos in less than 2 hours.
Good photos can be dependent on so many things; the weather and lighting, time, availability of product, inspiration, and motivation.
While my Instagram feed is no where near perfect, I feel like I have finally achieved a colorful, fun, and cohesive feed that reflects my brand and maker style.
KitzKnitz is my “side hustle”. I work a full-time job and care for two needy fur-babies when I’m not doing all things yarn related. I don’t have the time to wake up and hope the sun shines at the perfect angle into my tiny apartment each morning for a brand new Instagram post. Which is why I love batching my photos.
Batching your photos means taking all of your photos in one session.
Batching photos is going to change your life. Well…maybe not. But it will free up a ton of your time and take away that posting anxiety. It creates consistency with lighting, colors, and style. Plus, your feed will look cohesive and you won’t have to scramble each day to post a photo.
Products you’ll need:
- 15 hats (or the main product you sell) in varying styles and colors
- Additional accessories/products (ear warmers, cowls, scarves, mittens, home decor pieces, etc.)
- Notions/tools (knitting needles, stitch markers, scissors, crochet hooks, etc.)
- Skeins/hanks/balls of yarn
Keep your backdrop consistent.
Most of the photos I use on my feed are flat-lays, as is the case with many makers. By sticking to the same backdrop your feed will automatically look more cohesive.
- faux fur rug
- coffee table
- wood floors
- foam boards
Keep in mind your backdrop can also be a reflection of your brand. Do you want to evoke a warm & cozy vibe, a fun & cheery vibe, or a bright & airy vibe?
Whatever backdrop you pick, make sure the items you photograph pop against the background. You don’t want anything too busy or too similar in color. When patterns clash on my backdrop I like to lay a white faux fur rug down to break up the colors.
When & where should I shoot?
A time & day where you have plenty of free time (2 hours max), natural lighting, and possibly an extra set of hands to help you get some additional shots.
Shooting with natural light is best, a few feet away from a big window. Pull the blinds all the way up!
If the lighting in your home is never quite bright enough you can always head outside, just make sure you’re shooting with indirect lighting.
Check your weather app in the weeks leading up to you needing to take new photos. This will help you better plan which day to pick.
What kind of camera should I use?
For the longest time I took all of my Instagram photos with my iPhone. The cameras on smartphones these days are more than sufficient.
I have been using my Nikon D3300 for a while now. I purchased a portrait lens and shoot in “Guide” using the “take bright photos” setting. I adjust the exposure depending on how much light I have that day. I also adjust the white balance so I can capture the most accurate coloring of my items. Nine times out of ten auto does the trick.
You do not need to run out and purchase an expensive camera to take nice Instagram photos! Use what you have – the magic is in the editing 😉
Let’s take some photos!
I bring everything I’ll be photographing into the space with me and clear away anything I don’t need. Once my camera settings are adjusted I shoot in this order:
- Individual toque/beanie flatlays
- Sets of 2 toque/beanie flatlays
- Sets of 3 toque/beanie flatlays
- Rows of beanies/”Rainbow” hat flatlays
- Hat stacks
- Ear warmers/headbands flatlays
- Yarn skeins/hanks
- Additional products
Taking individual photos of each beanie will give you plenty of photos. Pairing sets of multiple beanies will provide so many more additional photos to use. Playing around with color combos keeps it fun and interesting.
There are 3 different poses I like to use for hat stacks. This is where an extra set of hands can help you out. I find it to difficult to get a focused picture with self-timer.
Play around with your “filler” photos – additional items that are not your brand’s main focus. Get creative and always take more than you think you will need. Find inspiration from other makers, but don’t feel the need to get caught up in complicated flatlays – simplicity is key.
My tip for extra photos from 1 hank/skein of yarn is to photograph the front, back, and unraveled hank. For even more shots get some close ups!
Shooting with my Nikon means fewer edits. I edit my photos in the VSCO app like so:
- Contrast (up)
- Exposure (up or down)
- White Balance (to cancel out any lighting that is too warm or too cold)
- Skin Tone (this can also help to balance out red tones)
That’s it. I delete any photos that are beyond saving through editing. It is especially important with product photography that the items show their actual colors so as not to confuse or deceive customers. Edit to enhance!
Planning your feed:
This is an extra step that will save you time each day. If you look at the screenshot of my feed at the top of this post you’ll notice I post in this pattern: beanie, filler photo, beanie, filler photo…
I plan this all out using the Preview.app. It’s the best Instagram planning app I’ve tried. No limit on the amount of photos you can upload and easy to navigate.
I don’t export my photos from the app or pre-write my captions – I post on days I feel like it and write whatever pops into my head that day.
I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. I’d love to hear your top tips in the comments below!