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I Created a Photography Portfolio for My Instagram Account: Here’s What I Learned

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

I’ll be straightforward here and start by establishing that I’ve usually been a spectator who wished she could accomplish what those aesthetic Instagram accounts do. Most of the accomplishments I’ve had on Instagram have been interacting with friends and having a few likes on my stories. I had a pretty disorganized profile a few years back, where I would share whatever came to mind and post it with half-thought-out captions. This changed at one point and I decided to keep my same account but remodel it so I archived all of my posts instead of deleting them, because they were nice memories. At the end of the day, I still wanted to be true to myself and post things I liked, I just made them look pretty. I felt like my profile had to reflect me while not compromising my safety or oversharing. I decided that if so many content creators can share those aspects of their lives in an aesthetic and uncompromising way, then it’s doable for anyone. Based on this, I went ahead and said “It’s time to fill up my profile with some great pictures and well-thought captions.”

I decided that, to have good things, you need to plan them and have a base for how you’ll start. So, the first step was doing research. I looked through all those accounts I follow and love. I considered the aspects that most resonated with me and why. The things that most caught my attention would be the pictures. Instagram is mainly that, but I focused on the quality of the pictures and what they said. The type of pictures you take makes an impact on the way you want to transmit a story or catch someone’s eye, all the while telling them a bit about yourself. The quality made it more intriguing to stay on their page or look at what they had to show. The bottom line for quality pictures, anyone can take them, you just need to know how to work your device to achieve the goal you want. 

Editing is also a great tool for this. I found some good apps that could help me achieve the desired effect I wanted, mainly any free editing app for PCs or laptops is a great way to start. The one I use is Photodirector 365, which is very beginner friendly. Then, I noticed that what was in the picture was of great interest to people. Some influencers love to just photograph their face, and that’s great and all, but I felt like the platform has more to offer than just sharing pictures of our faces. This took me to the next step of planning the portfolio, which was a theme. Although the whole profile does not need to be tidy and planned out, it was an important first step. I needed to collect a whole batch of pictures and set the tone. In July of 2023, I had the great opportunity of visiting Alaska. For the trip, I saved some money so I could get great pictures of the landscape. What better way to start the portfolio than basing it on all the great nature pics and photos of me and my boyfriend I got the chance to take? 

Since my interests lie in great quality photos, nature, time with my boyfriend, and beautiful landscapes, that’s what I based the first photos of my profile on. Keeping in mind I wanted to achieve something attainable in a few first steps and then decide along the way if I was willing to post other things. It came down to 9 posts about my trip. It worked out since I took way too many pictures. Considering it was my first time using my camera, everything came out pretty decent. I started to recollect what were the things I wanted to highlight about the trip. First I made sure to add pictures of landscapes and nature, which included bears, lakes, and forests, I chose some and started editing them. Multiple pictures in one post are the way to go. It serves as a nice collection of photos while bringing the nice aesthetic people desire in the initial look upon the profile. For the captions, I wanted to be as authentic as I could be. The main idea was to be honest and say that I was sharing some vacation photos. In other instances, I just highlighted how worth it it is to visit Alaska and how everyone should go if they are essentially nature lovers. The posts that got the most interactions were the ones with my boyfriend and me, mostly due to the fact that people honestly look at your profile to see the most of you, but that’s fine. You can see the final product of my profile here.

The bottom line is that your profile is your space and it deserves to bring you comfort. At the end of the day, it is not about the likes or comments, it’s about the joy it brings you to share photographs that are meaningful to you and show the effort you went through to take them.   

Krisia Rodriguez is a writer at Her Campus at UPR chapter. She writes articles about a wide variety of topics including skincare, lifestyle, spirituality, books, and culture. Beyond Her Campus, Krisia works as a bookstore employee at Librería Laberinto, where she attends to customers’ needs, gives out recommendations on various genres and topics of books, manages transactions, prepares packages for the mail, and maintains a good environment for the enjoyment of the customers. She is preparing for an internship at Ediciones Laberinto where she will learn the ropes on the process of editing and dealing properly with written works from authors. She is currently finishing her bachelors degree in Creative Writing at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras where she’ll take off on her book writing journey. In her free time, Krisia enjoys running and practicing kenjutsu, and also likes to do research on the best skincare guidance or fashion trends. She loves writing, listening to movie soundtracks, and reading a good fantasy book. While she’s a real spiritual geek, she’s also a hobby hoarder. Her time is well spent when she does the things she loves, may it be giving good advice to friends, spending time with animals, or making the best 80’s playlists.