My Instagram feed is full of facades – as anyone who follows me will definitely know.
I started posting facades in March 2016. Before that, my pictures weren’t getting many likes. That changed when I posted this picture of Mexico City.
I didn’t even know facades were a thing on Instagram. But that picture got over 1,000 likes (I had around 3,000 followers at the time, so it was a pretty big deal for me).
I studied the picture and tried to work out what people liked. The plants? The colours? The sunlight? Here are my tips on how your facades can get more likes:
In the camera
DETAILS. Look for details that make the building unique. Maybe it has quirky windows, a pretty door, or nice colours. Instagram is about aspiration. Users want to feel part of the thing they’re looking at. So keep everything in focus.
COLOUR PALETTE. Colour matters. I have a huge back-catalogue of facades – most of which I’ll probably never post to Instagram because the colours aren’t quite right. Instagram loves pink and light blue, colours that match, colours which aren’t too bright.
PLANTS. Hunt down the facades that have pot-plants or foliage. My most successful Instagram post features 28 pot-plants! Independent travel magazine @tinyatlasquarterly actually created a #plant_problem hashtag for all the pot-plant lunatics, like me.
PERSPECTIVE. If you want to photograph a tall building, take a step back. Don’t tilt your camera. Instagram likes straight-on shots. You can fix the perspective in post-processing, but too much editing can distort your image.
STRAIGHTENING. I straighten up most of my facades in post-processing. We can’t always get perspective right with the camera. The straightening and perspective tools in VSCO are the best around for editing facades.
VSCO FILTERS. Filters are usually a good idea on Instagram, for facades too. I’m a professional photographer and when I first started using Instagram, I found it a bit disheartening to know people preferred the pictures where I’d used filters. But they help you create a cohesive aesthetic across your gallery. Try to find a couple of filters you like, and stick to them – it helps your photos become more recognisably yours.
INSTAGRAM SQUARE. Remember, if it’s not a square, only your followers will see your post as a full image. Other people will see the cropped square. So make sure the things that make your facade stand out, the important details, all fit into that square. Give people a reason to click.
Have I missed anything out? Do you have tips on photographing and editing facades? I’d love to get a discussion going on the subject!