No matter where you fall on the social-savvy scale, if you want to up (or jump-start) your social media game, then Song is a name to memorize, stat — in a few short years, the L.A. native has gone from design firm receptionist to heavyweight blogger with an Instagram following of close to 4 mil (as of this post), who, earlier this year, was named one of Forbes’s 30 Under 30. In Capture Your Style, out by Abrams Image, she shares her insider intel to becoming an Instagram influencer — from curating your grid to composing the perfect food or fashion shots. Here, a teaser of Song’s tips — just in time for New York Fashion Week.
“Your goal is to have the 12 squares that comprise your grid tell a compelling, cohesive story,” writes Song, noting that you can curate that grid a number of ways: by subject matter, filter type, color scheme or crop size.
Get a mission statement. Yes, even for your Instagram. Explains Song: ”Every time you’re about to post a photo to your account, ask yourself whether or not it fits your mission statement. Think of it as a kind of business plan that keeps you mindful of the story you’re telling.”
“Let your outfit determine whether you’re in action or not,” she continues. Wearing fringe or accordion pleats? Try jumping or dancing in the shot.
Working with complementary colors goes beyond what you wear. Song recommends pairing your looks with the background — e.g. posing in front of a simple backdrop when you’re in a colorful print dress and vice versa.
Some hashtagging 101: Use no more than five hashtags and, for fashion shots, hashtag the brands not the items.
The best lighting for selfies? A bright, natural light — or if that’s lacking, invest in LED lightbulbs with a “warm” white light. If you’re looking to recreate sunrise- or sunset-like lighting, go for bulbs that are three thousand kelvins or less.
Stay clear of selfies taken from an angle that’s underneath your face. As Song puts it, “It’ll give you a double chin faster than a pack of Oreos.” Instead, “hold your phone slightly above your sight line (by ten to fifteen degrees) and turn your head forty-five degrees to one side to capture your face’s profile and the angles of your bone structure.”
For landscape shots, place the horizon line slightly above or slightly below the center of the image.
When it comes to food porn, “embrace imperfections” — like runny frosting on a cake or helf-melted gelato.