I’ve always been a very colourful person, both figuratively and literally. I was that drama kid in high school who wore the brightest colours, skinniest jeans, and most florescent shoes (and I slayed all of them!). It’s weird to look back at your younger self and realize how similar you still are. While I may not be an explosion of mix-matching colour, I still love bright & positive hues that bring happy feelings to people.
When I was younger, the only way I could express my colourful style was at school (thank god we didn’t have boring uniforms!). Nowadays, we have platforms like Instagram, where your feed can be a canvas for positive vibes. You don’t need to have piles of money or fancy equipment, either; most of us have smartphones that capture sharp photos, perfect for sharing on social media platforms.
I’ve been experimenting with colour over the last year, and I’ve finally found a balance that works for me! So in this blog post, I’m going to discuss some different ways you can integrate more colour into your feed – and why you should!
Disclaimer: I’m not a professional photographer by any means! Just a kid who likes telling stories with his pictures, and learning along the way. 🙂
Tip #1: Start colour hunting in your city!
Colour hunting has really changed how I look at any given city I’m visiting, or even my own! I love walking down artistic districts, such as Queen / Ossington area in Toronto. There are so many fun colour walls in the city that are super easy to make Instagram-worthy. It’s a great way to start integrating colour into your feed because the walls do all the work! The tough part is actually getting outside & finding colours that work for you.
When I started looking for colour walls last year, I tried finding bright prime colours from the LGBT pride flag! Check out some of my first colour wall shots from last year.
All the above pictures were shot on my iPhone 7 Plus. However, I would have gotten comparable quality from any other android device! Style over technology ANY DAY!
The best part about colour walls is that any day can be a colourful day! It’s actually better to shoot these kinds of shots on a cloudier day, because the light won’t be harsh against your face, or cast shadows in an unflattering way.
Especially during the Fall & Spring months, when weather can be unpredictable, colour walls are a great way to start showing some hues on your feed. Not only that, but your shot will stand out amongst the darker & greyer shots that often fill Instagram’s live feed during the colder months of the year.
Pro tip: Not all colour walls are equal. Check out the wall’s quality & cleanliness; it might look colourful from afar, but if there are excess stains or wear&tear, it could make your feed look messy.
Tip #2: Tell a story with your shot!
Listen, I’ve mastered the “laughing in front of something aesthetic” shot. I’ve done it a thousand times, but I’m bored at this point. Lately, I’ve been noticing a trend on Instagram, where creators tell a story with their shot. In this way, you may not be adding physical colour to your feed, but you’re bringing a sense of vibrance and fun to Instagram!
So, how does one “tell a story” with a picture? Start by taking in your surroundings, and figure out what kind of mood it puts you in. Are you jumping off a boat, with the least bit of care or stress in the world? CHANNEL THAT! (see below hehe). On the other hand, are you amazed by how grand a building is? Maybe try snapping a shot from below, where you’re looking up at the giant structure. Even if its brief, people will create a story in their minds about what’s happening around your shot.
Tip #3: Follow other colourful creators!
Whenever you need inspiration, it’s always best to look how other creators approach their content. Below are a couple of my favourite colourful creators!
A question you might ask is, “how do I get inspiration without copying someone else’s images?” The best way to find inspiration with integrity is to develop your own style first. Some colourful creators put a focus on style & fashion, others look to interior design. Establish the kind of content you want to produce FIRST, then find the most colourful way of displaying it. For myself, I love telling colourful stories through travel and lifestyle. While I love brightbazaar‘s feed, I wouldn’t suddenly start a plethora of colourful design pictures, because it wouldn’t feel authentic to myself! In the same way, I love how colourful colormecourtney‘s page is, but her colours are a bit too saturated for my own feed. In this way, I feel inspired by these two without feeling the urge to copy.
Tip #4: Use the right photo editor!
In my experience, photo editors like Adobe Lightroom are very important when creating a colourful feed. There are plenty of apps available to Apple & Android phones that work great, but Adobe Lightroom lets you edit your image’s individual colours / hues.
If I simply put this image into a regular image editor on my iPhone, my only option would be to increase its vibrance or saturation. As a white guy with reddish/orangeish undertones on my skin, that would make me look like an Oompa Loompa! As well, a lot of daylight shots will feature yellow undertones from the sun, which aren’t everyone’s ‘cuppa tea. Photo editors like Adobe Lightroom, where you can edit each hue individually, corrects these problems!
Tip #5: Preview your feed before posting!
When you’re creating a colourful feed, it’s important to plan your layout before posting. Certain colours just don’t sit well beside each other (literally), so having a clear picture of your feed before posting is suuuuuper helpful. Personally, I use the UNUM app because it’s free (woooo!) and let’s you modify your feed relatively well. For a free app, it does all the prep work I need!
// michael rizzi
Michael Rizzi is a 23-year-old YouTuber & blogger from Toronto, Canada. Follow his blog to stay up-to-date on fresh content!