Hack #5: Up your Instagram game
If I was arranging a deli platter, it wouldn't be enough to simply make sure that each selection of cured meat, aged cheese and fruit paste was delicious - I'd want them to complement each other. And it'd be weird to have all the ham on one platter, all the cheese on another and a third with just water crackers.
Sharing photographs on Instagram is the same: it works best not just when each individual image is strong, but when they're arranged together to create an attractive feed overall. Where pickles might go with meat, quince paste with hard cheese and carrot sticks with hummus, some of my favourite Insta-feeds (see @cimkedi, @_ante_, @asenseofhuber, @cocu_liu and @jarradseng) similarly combine colour and tone sequences that match and complement one another.
Related story: 5 hacks for travel photography that pops: Part 4
While posting images to @camcopephoto from this series of travel photography hacks (shot on the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II), I've alternated dark images with ones that are predominately midtones. This approach works particularly well for black and white feeds, but look out for colour contrast too (too many like colours in a row can unbalance a feed). Or you might like to keep only to a particular palette to maintain consistency. If your photos are not uniform in brightness, then you'll need to preview which edges of the image work with those around it.
Related story: 5 hacks for travel photography that pops: Part 3
Of course, there are always exceptions to the curated variety rule. What if my diners were divided into exclusive fanatics of ham, cheese and quince paste respectively? A very specific uniformity of content is exactly what each would want. Plenty of Insta accounts occupy visual niches just like this - my favourite example is @oakandink, who colour matches all posts, gradually shifting through the Pantone swatch book.
If you're posting on the go you can hook up the Olympus straight to your phone over Wi-Fi, though I still recommend pre-scheduling with Latergram. That way you can gauge how your images sequence before posting. Spreading pictures out over several squares can be a fun way to break up different segments of content too, and it invites followers to check in on your profile (I use the app Giant Square to smooth out the process).
So, how would you like your platter?
Cam Cope was awarded Travel Photographer of the Year 2014 by the Australian Society of Travel Writers, and teaches short courses in Contemporary Travel Photography at RMIT University in Melbourne.