Nailing That Gram Grid

 

Whitney Matthews

 
@julesville

@julesville

We’ve all been there– lying in bed, scrolling through the endless pit that of the Instagram Explore Page. After a montage of dog videos (unless that’s just me), a photo catches your eye. You click through to the profile to dig a little deeper. Suddenly you’re looking at a feed that looks, well, gorgeous. The colors are consistent and the photos are original, eye-catching, and well-balanced. And two questions pop into your head: 1. Although lovely to look at, does a grid like that even matter? And 2. How can I do this?

First thing’s first, is a cohesive Instagram grid important? We think yes! (But things may be changing. More on that later). It’s what will convince those people who randomly end up on your profile to stay. Truth be told, most of the people who already follow you rarely see your grid. But if your goal is to grow your following, then your grid is the first step in doing so. First impressions matter, y’all!

But the good news is, you don’t need to be a professional photographer or designer to make this happen for yourself. With a little extra patience and practice, you too can figure out how to nail that ‘gram grid with these 5 easy steps.

  1. Start With Vibe

Before you start taking and posting photos, it’s important to decide what kind of feel you want your feed to have. What kinds of photos do you gravitate towards most? Are they bright and well-exposed or dark and moody? Do they feature the outdoors, food, architecture, people, dogs? Whatever that is for you, pick a few of those things to focus on. That will give your grid extra depth and consistency. And it will challenge you as you’re out there taking photos.

@prettybirdpaper

@prettybirdpaper

@kylemeck

@kylemeck

@gregbalkin

@gregbalkin

2. Simple Backgrounds

An easy way to achieve a cohesive look is to use simple backgrounds. Think: wood tabletop, a white wall, some green leaves. Anything that’s all one color and has a little texture will go a long way. And it will help the real subject of your photo stand out.

[Image: @vibrantandpure]

 
@vibrantandpure

@vibrantandpure

 

3. Color Coordinate

Now, I’m not saying that every photo needs to consist of the exact same colors. If that’s your thing - go for it. But at the very least, decide if your photos will be warmer and more orange, or colder and bluer. Then, go one step deeper. When you’re deciding which photo to post (more on that later), match the colors that stand out. If you recently posted a photo of someone wearing pink, think about posting another photo that features a subtle tint of pink, like a sunset. Or the ocean and snowy mountain tops. While very different landscapes, the blues of the ocean and of the snow will compliment each other. A quick pro tip: this is much easier to do when your photos are bright or have a lot of white in them.

 
@julesville

@julesville

@adamkingman

@adamkingman

 

4. You Gotta Flow

This is where you may want to employ an app or two to help you out. My personal favorite is UNUM. This app synch with your Instagram account and lets you upload photos so you can test what photos look good together before actually posting them. A good rule of thumb when arranging photos is every-other. If you posted a close-up shot last, think about posting a simple, landscape photo next. Same thing with your colors. If your most recent post has a pop of color, think about posting something else before you post another photo with that same color pop. This will help your feed feel evenly balanced.

 
@dawncharles

@dawncharles

 

5. Be Consistent

If you’re able to keep your photo composition and overall color vibes similar throughout your entire feed, you’ll be nailing that ‘gram grid in no time!

Now that you've learned to master your grid, in true social media form, trends and tastes are always evolving. A recent article in The Atlantic suggests that younger millennials may be starting to reject the concept of a perfectly tailored grid, instead favoring more realness, authenticity, and lo-fi imagery. The important thing, no matter the trends, is to create a profile "big picture" that feels unique you.