With almost 99 million followers, National Geographic’s Instagram account produces the best photos – partly due to the best of the best photographer-contributors they have, and partly because each of their photos come with stories.

Now, while you may not yet have the artistic abilities of NatGeo’s professional photographers or even the unique vintage perspective of Richard Koci Hernandez, you can still make your Instagram account a place to tell your story through photos you captured. Here is a guide to Instagram story-telling:

Capture the best moments in your life

If you’re telling your story, it means you’re telling your life. By extension, it means authenticity should reflect on each photo. Capture the fun times now, and worry about the retouching later. Take photos of your latest ski trip in Salt Lake City for which you even went to a store that sells brand new Obermeyer ski jackets, your Tuesday morning coffee that took so long to brew, your dog doing random stuff, or your getup for an ordinary workday.

And remember, it isn’t only the place or the situation that matters. More importantly, it’s how you represent your life in the photos and make them feel authentic. You’d know genuineness when you see one.

Pick a theme for your feed

If you’re serious about making sure your feed is aesthetically appealing, you should consider creating separate accounts for your selfies and for your artistic outlet. And your platform should have a theme: will you post about your art, fashion, food, travels, or street photos?

This feed should then revolve around one theme to make it cohesive and orderly to look at. This way, people know you’re telling a lot of things in one bigger picture. When you’ve chosen your theme, you’d know exactly what kind of photos you will be sharing and how you’ll be sharing them.

Dramatize with consistent filter

Instagram desktop version

When you’re telling a story, you don’t want to be all over the place. Otherwise, you might sound uncertain or confusing. Be organized by being consistent. Choose only one filter that will add drama to all your photos. Instagram has built-in filters and photo-enhancing settings. But you can look beyond this. There are other options to retouch your images. One of the best tools to use is Adobe Lightroom, in which you can do the following:

  • Edit your raw photos.
  • Straighten tilted images.
  • Correct lens errors.
  • Adjust tone curves.
  • Experiment with colors.

Lightroom also has an option that allows you to duplicate the effects you added to a photo. This means you can render the same effects to your other photos.

Take your time when capturing photos

Art doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, no one professional photographer takes the best photo in one shot or without waiting for the perfect time. Photo capturing is equal amount creativity, perspective, and patience.

For the best photos for your feed, make sure you’re familiar with the gadget you’re using – whether a digital camera, a smartphone camera, or even a vintage one. Beyond the technicalities, however, it’s important to think about how you want to tell a story. If, for example, you’re aiming for street photography, will you be capturing the urban landscape or pedestrians? Then, find the best spot, and wait for the right time to click your shutter.

You might find personal satisfaction in seeing your well-curated feed. You worked hard for it and took the time to make sure everything is how you want it to be. And, while at first, it was a hobby or some sort of a personal album, you might soon realize that you’re telling your story through memories you make and take.

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