Instagram Themes: What are they and how do they affect your social media?
I Interviewed Belmont's own Instagram theme queen, Delilah Rixner, to find out how to create aesthetically pleasing social media masterpieces.
Delilah is the social media marketer at House Of and creator of amazing themes on her personal account. Over the weekend, she gave me some insight on how to create and stick to a killer theme.
Let's start off with the basics.
What is an Instagram theme?
"An instagram theme is where all the colors in the photo coordinate each other, and the content in the photos compliment each other."
Instagram themes give the impression that your life, brand or product is well put together and cohesive. Their visual attractiveness can also help you to gain followers and likes. Keeping a consistent theme is a great skill to learn if you are wanting t0 be a social media marketer, trying to promote your brand or just hoping to have a really cool feed.
Here are some examples of great Instagram themes:
The above accounts are: @delilahrixner, @houseofnashville, @lovechloejane, @bookgirlingmoments, @lumiwau, @urbanoutfitters.
So, yes, Instagram themes look really cool, but why should you put the time and effort into having one?
What is the importance of a theme?
"I think it just looks really clean. When you look at a brand, it’s easy to see if they are put together if they have a theme."
As you can see with the pictures above, having a theme makes you and your brand look clean and consistent.
What or who gave you the idea to start a theme?
"I was looking at my page and realized that all I was posting was pictures of people. With a theme, it makes you look more into what you are posting. To have really cool content to match the filters you are putting on is everything. You have to look at everything so differently. It makes you change your perspective. I change my theme frequently based on seasons. As fun as it is to have a theme, it’s more fun to switch it up."
Having a theme makes you change your perspective of what you see. Instead of just taking pictures with her friends and posting them, Delilah started to look around her and post things that she thought were interesting. Also, don't worry about sticking to one theme for all of your Instagram life. Delilah switches her themes up frequently in correspondence with the seasons.
"You don’t have to stick to one theme. You do have to be consistent with your editing though. Editing quality picturess is more important than your theme."
Here are some examples of Delilah's seasonal themes:
Above: Delilah's Winter White, Fall Brown and Colorful Summer themes.
How do you pick a theme?
"So, I do seasons, but a lot of my friends pick themes based on where they are. My friend went to New York and did a grey and pink theme. You can do it based on where you live."
What are some easy ways to stick to a theme?
"Choose very consistent backgrounds. Clean, white, grey things that can be easily manipulated. The easiest theme I ever did was my brown theme. My white theme was the hardest. Stick with simple pictures."
Instead of trying to take elaborate photos, try to take simple ones. In the themes above there are not a lot of things going on in the pictures, and the themes still look great.
Before you take a photo, what do you look for?
"Lighting and context of pictures. You don’t want super chaotic pictures."
What Do You Take Pictures Of?
"Always put your friends in it. Also, interesting things like colors stand out and buildings and flowers. You want to have something interesting. You don’t want to have everyday things, and if you do have everyday things, you have to look at things for a different perspective."
You want pictures that intrigue people. If you start to look at things with a different perspective, so will the people viewing your photos. Take the ordinary and turn it into an extraordinary picture.
Any Tips On Taking Great Photos?
"Always turn down the exposure. Find the right amount of lighting. Take a deep breath and take the picture on the exhale. Golden hour is the best time. The light hitting different skin-tones during golden hour is amazing. It just makes you look more golden. I also like noon because of the lighting. You can also get really good pictures on cloudy days."
There are tons of ways to take amazing photos on your mobile phone. Lookout for more on this topic in next week's blog post.
What Editing Software Do You Use For Your Photos?
"VSCO free version. My favorite filters are C1 and HB1, and right now my theme is A6. There are steps [to editing your photo]. Pinterest is a great thing. But, I don’t use just the filter, I go in and tweak it. UNUM is other great app. It can show you what things you are going to post and show you how it will look on your page."
Any Tips For Beginners Trying To Start A Theme?
"It’s not going to be good at first, but it will get better. You have to practice it. It sounds so discouraging, but everyone’s theme is different. You have to learn what you personality looks like. With the seasons [theme], the white theme is really easy with the snow and the brown was easy with fall. You build it based on where you are."
Don't take it too seriously though--have fun with it!
"If you’re not having fun with it, then it’s not worth it. Instagram is supposed to be fun, but some people make it too hard. I enjoy editing and posting."
VSCO is the biggest help when having a theme, and there is a free version. Here's how you can choose a theme using VSCO:
"Seven tester pictures for a new theme:"
1. One with flash
2. One without flash
3. One at night
4. One during the day
5. One with people
6. One artsy photo
7. One selfie
Once you have these seven tester photos, load them into your VSCO account. After this, find a "recipe" you want to follow.
A "recipe" is a series of steps you take to edit your photo. You can find some really great recipe ideas on Pinterest.
If you want to see how the photos will look all together in your feed, you can see them pre-post by using the app UNUM.
Creating a theme can be fun and easy using these tips from Delilah Rixner. Don't forget to follow her Instagram account @delilahrixner for some more inspiration. Also, stay turned for next week's article on how to take great Instagram pictures with your phone.