*Updated from my top 5 questions post*
One of the things I love about Instagram is the community of amazing people that I connect with every day. I’ve met the most amazing people and learned so much from so many talented people. I love when people leave me comments asking me questions or when they reach out on stories. I thought I would put together a quick top 5 faqs that I get on Instagram.
1. What type of camera do I shoot with?
This is the number one question that people always ask me. As of late, I’ve been taking a lot of photos with my iPhone X. The camera is amazing. The other camera I use is my Sony a6000. It’s my favourite little accessory. It’s small and powerful. The autofocus is one of the fastest which is key for taking photos of my kids who refuse to stay still. I also love that it has wifi so I can quickly send photos to my phone and post online real-time. I shoot a lot with my 50mm 1.2 lens, too. It creates the blurry background that you’ll see in a lot of my stories and on my website.
2. How do I edit my photos?
When it comes to editing my photos I have my go-to favourite apps. The first is VSCO. I use VSCO to brighten, align, add some contrast and apply one of my favourite filters M6. It adds a little hint of light without washing it out.
The second is Snapseed. There are five features that I love about this app. The brush tool is one of my favs. It allows me to alter a certain part of the photo. For example, my dining room floors have an orange hue to them. With the brush tool, I can lower the saturation of the floor by painting away the colour with my finger.
Next is the Selective tool. I use this to select certain parts of a photo that may be too dark or too saturated and I can quickly edit them without touching the rest of the photo.
Perspective is another tool that I love. If I’ve taken a photo and notice I don’t have straight lines I can use this tool to fix it. It allows you to alter the angles and lines in your photo to create more of a symmetrical look.
Expand is another tool that I use a lot. If I need to add surface area to a photo I can simply use this tool to do it.
Last but not least is the Healing tool. If you have a little blemish or a lego on the floor that you need to get rid of you can simply make it disappear with this tool. It’s amazing.
The third app is Facetune. I use this to whiten certain areas of a photo with the teeth whitener tool. Yup, the teeth whitener tool. Select it and brush a yellow area to whiten it. Genius. Check out my highlights for a video using this app!
The fourth app I use is Retouch. Similar to the healing tool in Snapseed I am able to quickly erase things from photos or do things like smooth out wrinkles in sheets for bed shots. There is also a video in my highlights using this app!
I also use photoshop to add in animations or to add a little creative flair to my photos. I’m always looking for neat apps that would create the same effect but I haven’t found any so far!
3. How do I animate my photos?
I love using apps to edit photos. It’s quick and easy! To add little animations to my photos such as snow and sparkle I use a few different apps.
The first is Lumyer. It’s a simple app to use and comes with over fifty different animations for your photos. I use this app for snow, moving clouds, a shark in the water (yup!, scroll my feed and you’ll see it) and hot coffee. There are so many fun animations!
To achieve the appearance of sparkle, such as sparkling ornaments on a Christmas tree, or sparkly jewelry I use kirakira+.
4. How do I get my feed to look cohesive?
I get asked this question a lot! First I try to ensure that I shoot my photos with a colour scheme in mind. I stay away from bright colours in my photos, that includes what my boys are wearing, too. If I know I am going to be shooting them I tend to put them in more monochrome and blue shades.
Second in consistent editing. Above, I mentioned that I edit my photos using VSCO. I love this app for editing. It offers a lot of filters that help with the consistent look of your photos. I use M6 for all of my photos. I don’t love the appearance of photos that have a strong filter on them so I tend to tone down the strength of it just enough to achieve my desired look. This really helps my photos compliment each other.
Third is a visual planner for my feed. Before I post on instagram I drop my photo into Plann, which is my favourite planner, to ensure that my photo works with my other photos. I try to make sure that I don’t have similar subjects below or beside each other and that the look of each photo stays consistent.
5. Where do I get my inspiration?
I love Pinterest for ideas. I’ll come up with a concept and I’ll do a quick search in Pinterest to see if it’s been done before and how I can add my own twist on it. I also love getting inspiration from other Instagrammers. If I find inspiration from other ‘grammers I’ll put a quick note in the caption tagging the person. It’s important to give people credit but also I love directing people to check out other accounts. I honestly believe in community over competition.
6. How do I shoot my top-down photos.
One of my recent series is of my youngest son on my bed with my favourite letterboard. To achieve this shot I make sure my feet are under the covers on the bed so I’m not stretching out the comforter and I literally lean over top of my son with my cell phone and snap away. I always make sure I am facing the window as well so that he’s always flooded with as much light as possible.
7. How do I get my boys to pose for photos?
There’s a strategy when it comes to shooting the boys. It has to be quick and it has to be worth their time. I do all of the setting up before I even tell them that I am going to take their photo. This way, I maximize the five minutes that they are in front of the camera. I also use incentives. Nothing works better than a Smartie or a gummy. Let’s face it, we have to do whatever it takes to get the perfect shot. It’s also fun to play games like, ‘Freeze frame’ or have them search for items in a book if I have them posing with one. The more fun you make the shoot the more likely they will participate.
8. Do I prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the camera?
Definitely behind the camera! I’m trying my best to be present in more photos and stories. I love thinking that my boys will one day look back through my feed, read my captions and I want them to see me there, too.
9. How do I have white furniture with boys?
It’s called IKEA slipcovers for the win. There’s no way I would be able to have light furniture if I wasn’t able to simply remove it and wash it. Let’s just say we do a lot of slipcover laundry.
10. How did I grow my account?
I’m working on a separate blog post for this but for the most part, it’s engaging with your followers and new friends, writing meaningful captions, effectively using hashtags and posting content you are passionate about and others can relate to. You have to love doing it. The last thing you want is for Instagram to feel like work. I get excited when I see the perfect shot and know that my followers will relate and love it, too.
Those are my top 10 questions that I get asked on Instagram! Do you have a question that I didn’t answer? Leave me a comment, I would love to answer it!
Sincerely Nikki, xo