– What’s going on everybody, Peter McKinnon here, and today we’re talking about how you can start crushing your Instagram game, just crush it! (upbeat rock music) So, Instagram, it’s more than just an app, well no, it’s just an app, however, 2017 Instagram is technically like your online portfolio these days, as far as photography goes. And in some cases, video as well. Making sure that your Instagram account is good and updated and on point, very important, imperative. So these are some tips that I’m gonna give you guys, some, a little bit of an outline, a guide if you will, on how you can start crushing that Instagram game tenfold from the time you stop watching this video, onward. So the funny thing is, back in the day, for someone to see your portfolio you’d bring them an actual book, like a binder of your shots printed out and they’d flip through them. Nobody really does that anymore, now you’re judged based on your online presence, as an artist, as a photographer, as a cinematographer, filmmaker.
People are gonna go to your account, Oh, so-and-so’s a good photographer? Yeah, check out his stuff. They’re gonna go to whatever social media presence that they enjoy the most, Instagram being one of the most popular, they’re gonna look you up, and they’re gonna look at those first nine photos, and they’re gonna make a snap judgment, whether they think you’re a good photographer or a bad photographer, and it’s all in how we present those first nine photos, and all the tips that I’m gonna talk about today to help you crush that game, to make sure that you are getting the most out of your social media and the most out of presenting yourself online. And I wanna take a quick minute to thank today’s sponsor for this episode, Squarespace. If you need a website, a blog, a store, an online presence, these are the guys to go to.
Been using them for years, it’s an all in one platform where everything’s taken care of for you, there’s nothing to patch, install, upgrade ever. Gone are the days, they have tons of award-winning designer templates to choose from, award-winning customer service that’s 24/7, so you’re never left hanging. They make domains easy and if you wanna make the jump, head over to Squarespace.com/mckinnon. Enter code McKinnon at checkout, save yourself 10% off your first purchase. Boom, you are welcome. Okay so the first thing you’re gonna wanna do is find your theme. Are you a food photographer, a landscape photographer, urban, street? You gotta decide what it is that you want to excel, what you wanna stand out as on Instagram as a photographer. Because if you notice, a lot of the big accounts, and we’ll look at a few right now, a lot of the big accounts are very committed to what it is that they are known for, what they stand out for. Scottcbakken, a friend of mine from Calgary, he is known for his mountain landscapes.
He lives out in Alberta, landscape photography, mountains, lakes, that kind of stuff, that’s what he’s known for, that’s what he’s stuck to. My friend dennistheprescott from BC, another Canadian, incredible photographer, great chef, just came out with a new book, the guy’s a beast. His grid, his account is food based, and he sticks to those strengths. Then you have different people that are urban photographers, they’re only taking shots of urban things. Subways and cities and architecture and lights and cars and stuff that you would find in urban settings, they stick to that. If I’m a landscape photographer and people follow me because they love my landscape photography, and I’m giving them tons and tons and tons of photos and content on landscapes, and then suddenly I throw in a coffee mug. People aren’t gonna like that photo as much because they’re gonna say what the hell is this? Like I’m here for the landscape photos, I don’t wanna see a Chemex filled with coffee, and you’re not gonna get the engagement or the likes on that photo that you would if it was just a landscape thing. Now the problem with this is you kind of tie yourself into one specific area of photography, which can be really frustrating, really challenging because you might say I love taking pictures of coffee but now because I’m a landscape Instagram grid, what I can’t post these photos? No, you can post whatever you want, but there’s a certain way to deliver that content so you can maximize it and get the most out of it, instead of just making it look random and completely out of place. So mixing themes if you will, throws off the balance, it sends a conflicting message as to who you are as a photographer and what it is that you specialize in. Now one of the first things you wanna establish when people land on our account or profiles is what kind of a photographer we are, and they can get a sense immediately of our aesthetic, our design style, just based off those nine photos. Doesn’t mean that theme has to stay that way forever, you can cycle through themes. Maybe you start with landscapes and then you slowly cycle into urban, and then from urban you’re slowly cycling into coffee shots which then bleeds into food shots. So you can kind of make it a creative challenge for yourself, which is something that is a great exercise as an artist to further develop your skills and give you something personally to work on that isn’t an assignment, that’s paid but you can work on in the background. But it’s a fun challenge to kind of cycle through themes, but as long as you’re remaining consistent in the content you’re delivering, people will latch on to that. Okay now let’s talk about the grid. The grid is one of, if not the most important aspects of Instagram that is highly overlooked by most people. Some of you might know what I’m talking about. The grid is essentially all your photos, what they look like together as one cohesive kind of portfolio as someone scrolls through your account. So if you have a photos in there that are all mix matched and landscapes and coffee, some are with your phone, some are with your camera, some are video clips, the thumbnails are just whatever, and it’s all mix matched, it doesn’t give off a good cohesive flow. It doesn’t tell me anything about the style of photographer you are, your personal style aesthetic, there’s nothing for me to really get excited about that makes me wanna send that to someone else or continue scrolling, because like I said you gotta earn those scrolls. If people are scrolling through your account, it means that you’ve put enough work into that grid that you’re keeping people there, they want to keep looking, they want to keep enjoying the work that you’ve put into that Instagram account. And now this might seem futile and it might sound silly to a lot of people, but this is 2017, this is your digital portfolio, this is how it works these days. Companies, people, potential business and clients, friends, other photographers, they wanna see what kind of work you do, the first place they’re gonna go is probably Instagram. So when you’re matching your theme, you’re matching your content, you’re matching your colors, and you’re keeping up a consistent rate of posts with all of those things checked, you’re instantly gonna take your account from here, way up to here, without really even doing anything extra but just thinking about how you’re posting those photos instead of just posting them. Now this kind of bleeds into the content plan, which is the pairing and placement of photos on the grid. So if you wanna up this game and make it into something where prospective business clients and advertisers and friends and photographers and fans come to your account and are genuinely inspired and in awe of the work that you’ve put into this, you need to make a content plan. You need to figure out, okay this week, I’ve got seven photos to post, I’m going to post them in this order because this is the most pleasing order that makes sense to display and get the most out of these images. I’ve got four of buildings, I’m not gonna post all those in a row because people are gonna get tired of seeing building after building after building. But I’ve also got one of the sky, then I’ve got this great one inside a coffee shop, and I’ve got this amazing portrait of someone in an alley. Maybe you start with the building, then you go to the coffee shop, then you go to the sky, then you go to the portrait of someone in a building, and then you post the next actual cityscape, so that it’s not all just bunched up into one cluster. You wanna take time to pair and place all those shots, like a curator would pair and place different paintings with different pieces of art in a museum. If they have 10 really incredible artists, they’re not gonna throw them all on one wall and be like there you go, they’re gonna make an installment, they’re gonna make an art piece, an experience for you to go to and walk throughout this place to experience everyone’s art. It takes skill, it takes time, it takes dedication. The same thing goes for your Instagram account, and it does sound silly like, oh you’re curating your own Instagram account? Hell yes, absolutely I am. It’s a digital representation of me, of who I am as an artist in today’s day and age. If you want to take this seriously and leverage the power of social media and Instagram, these are steps that you need to be taking. Now funny thing with Instagram is they’re constantly rolling out new updates, and it’s important to leverage those updates and take advantage of them because they’re made and they’re designed and coded for very specific reasons because they’re popular. Let’s take Instagram Stories for example. An incredible way to further connect and engage with your audience. What can we do as photographers, as filmmakers, to make our Instagram Stories better? Well you guessed it, instead of just filming them on our phone, you can actually film them on your camera, whatever it is that you’re using, and edit them in Premiere and then send them back to your phone and upload them to Instagram. Sounds like a lot of work, I know, you’re like really, you’re gonna do that for like a 60 second Instagram story that’s gonna be gone in 24 hours? That’s what makes the difference though. That’s going the extra mile, that’s making you stand out. That’s what I’m trying to get across, it’s going the extra mile, it’s maintaining that grid, it’s choosing the colors because that separates you from being just another account on Instagram to holy, this guy’s account is amazing, you guys need to go check him out. And if you’re trying to leverage social media, you’re trying to make a splash, you’re trying to break in, these are the things you need to be doing. So how do we make a better Instagram story? How do we make something that we would typically shoot and make it 10 times better? This is how we would do it. Let’s say we’re gonna make coffee, surprise. I could just go make coffee and film myself one handed and be like, oh hey what’s up guys, we’re just pouring coffee here, have a good Monday. That’s fine, people like that, there’s something to be said about raw, organic, behind the scenes kind of content, but we can still deliver that content in a more visually aesthetic pleasing way. Once you are in Premiere, go over to File, New, Sequence. Once that’s open, hit Settings, we’re gonna change that vertical to 1600 by 900, boom, right there, 1600 by 900, and our editing mode is going to be custom at 24 frames, 23.976 frames per second, and make sure maximum render quality is output and okay. Boom, now you can see we’ve got a vertical timeline. So once we dump all of our clips into here, we can edit them in this vertical timeline and then export that for Instagram Stories. Okay once we have all of our clips, you just start editing. Edit the same way you’d edit anything else. So let’s see, putting this down, boom, there’s one. When you drop your footage onto the timeline, it’s gonna wanna change the sequence settings to match the clips that we just imported. However, we want to keep that sequence setting with the vertical format, so what we’re gonna have to do is manually adjust the size and the scale of our footage to match that of the vertical story. So you will lose some information, so it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re shooting, maybe shoot everything a little bit wider so that you know when you go to scale, you’re gonna lose left and right depending on what it is that you shot. So keep that in mind. So for example, this is our first shot, this coffee, boom, coming in, but you can see completely we got space in the top and on the bottom, we don’t want that, so we come in here to effect controls, and we’ll just scale that up until it meets, and then we can decide using the position where it is perfectly fitting in the center, so right there, boom. So that’s our first clip, zoom in a little bit more, boom, that goes down. Now the key when you’re doing quick cutting, especially for Instagram Stories, is to keep everything as short as you can. Your brain will still process it, but we don’t need to have 10 seconds of me putting down a Chemex. It can just be a quick second, your brain will register that. Next clip, I put the cup down. So let’s go to the frame where I actually set the cup down, in point, done, out, drag that to our timeline. Click on that clip, effect controls, make sure this is at 148, and then we scale that over so we can see the cup being inputted, now let’s take a look. Pretty good, do that for the rest of the Instagram story, and you get something that looks like this. (upbeat rhythmic music) Now let’s go ahead and hit File, Export, Media. Let’s just name our sequence Coffee Story, and we’ll save that to the desktop. Let’s go down to YouTube 1080p, we’re gonna hit Match Source which locks in that codec, use maximum render quality, and export. And there we go, that is almost done. Okay once that’s exported, you come over to your desktop, and right click, hit Share if you’re on a Mac, AirDrop, make sure your phone is in reach. You’re gonna open up your phone, it’s gonna show there, you’re gonna hit Peter McKinnon. That video is now on my phone and I have lost zero quality and it is ready to upload to Instagram Stories, and if you guys wanna see it, head over to my Instagram and check it out, give it some love. Not many people are willing to put in the work, but you are, that’s why you’re watching this video. If you didn’t care at all, you wouldn’t have even clicked this, you’d be like I don’t care about crushing my Instagram game because that’s not a priority to me. But it’s a priority to you, that’s why you’re watching me right now. It’s hard work, but hard work pays off. Now a lot of these tips weren’t necessarily photo based, I’m teaching you more about the platform and how to leverage the skills of photography that you already have to make them work better for Instagram. So that’s it from me today guys, I hope you liked this video, if you did, hit that thumbs up button, it helps me. Subscribe if you aren’t already and give me a follow on Instagram, my account is right there. I’d love to see what you guys are coming up with and creating, because at the end of the day, we’re just a big community all trying to improve our own skills so, I love that we’re doing it together, and I’m excited for the future, and I will see you guys in the next video. (upbeat rhythmic music)