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A Beginner’s Guide to Getting the Instagram Feed of Your Dreams

Have you ever been scrolling through Instagram and thought, “How did they get their feed to look like that!?” Well, I definitely have. After years of researching and figuring out what works for me, I have come up with some simple tips and apps that are sure to get you that cohesive, aesthetic feed you’ve always wanted.


First you need to figure out what vibe you want your photos to give off. This could be anything from warm or cool tones, to bright or dark photos. I am constantly changing up the look of my photos depending on the season. Below are two screenshots from my own feed. You can see how for fall (the first picture) I chose warmer and darker photos, and for summer (the second picture) I chose brighter, more saturated photos.

Once you know the look you are going for, it’s time to take the pictures. Having a wide variety of images is key. You want to have a good mix of selfies, flatlays, scenery and whatever other kinds of shots you like! Making sure that there is good lighting in all of your photos is another important part of keeping your feed looking sharp and cohesive.

Now let’s move on to some of my favorite apps for editing. I typically use a mix of VSCO and the Lightroom app for all of my photos. VSCO is very user friendly, and gives you the ability to download lots of different presets. If you are a beginner to photo editing I highly suggest checking out VSCO before moving on to Lightroom.

To make sure your feed flows, use the same or similar looking filters as well as similar tones whether it be warm or cool tones. For example, right now I like my photos to be a little more on the pink side as well as the orange/yellow side. VSCO is great because if you find a filter and adjust it how you like, you can copy and paste the adjustments you’ve made onto other photos for easy editing.

Lightroom is an amazing app for controlling the colors in your photos and getting an extremely precise feed. I’m still learning the ropes of Lightroom, but it is great if you want to make your own presets from scratch. The best way to learn Lightroom, I think, is just to play around with it and see what you like and what you don’t like on your photos. Once you come up with the look you want, you can save that preset and apply it to other photos in the future.

After you have your edited photos, it’s time to figure out how to lay them out on your feed. I have found that you don’t have to be too precise with this, just make sure that you don’t put too many of the same types of photos near each other. For example, three selfies in a row won’t be as visually appealing as three different types of photos.

A great app that I use to plan out my feed is called Preview. You can move around images and see what looks good next to each other. You can also delete photos to see how a photo would look if it was removed from your feed.

YouTube is an amazing resource for learning how to edit like a pro and create a cohesive feed as well. So many bloggers and professionals share how they edit their own photos, so if you like someone’s editing style, make sure to look them up to see how you can achieve a similar feed to theirs.

It might be tricky to get the hang of at first, but with some practice and a little bit of research, getting the feed of your dreams can be not only extremely simple, but fun too!


Images 1 & 2 are author’s own

Gif Sourced from Giphy.com

Sarah Carr

Virginia Tech '20

Sarah is a current senior majoring in multimedia journalism and minoring in sociology. 
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