NOTE: This blog post is part 9 of my INSTAGRAM SERIES - content all about helping YOU manage your way around instagram. In the INSTAGRAM SERIES I've touched on topics such as why instagram LIVE may be the new way to SERIOUSLY increase your reach and engagement, why you're losing followers (and what to do about it), and why the instagram hack should be a warning to us all. Just click here to find all the other parts in the series. Now on with today's post...
If you follow my blog and my instagram, you'll know that mid October - mid November 2018 I'm LIVE on instagram every Sunday from 7pm - 7.15pm sharing photography and styling tips as well as answering YOUR instagram related questions. One of the queries that arose during the first LIVE photography tutorial was whether I use filters on my instagram and what my thoughts were about filters in general. Seeing that some of you missed the LIVE, I though it would be helpful to outline all the PROS and CONS again in a blog post :).
The pros of using a filter on instagram
It's a FREE editing tool
I hate talking money, but let's be honest, we can't all afford expensive editing software! Step in the FREE filters you can get on instagram, vsco etc. and your editing woes are sorted. Some filters look so stylish and anything but cheap; there's bound to be one you love!
Filters allow your instagram gallery to feel cohesive and coherent
If you took part in my 12-day instagram photography challenge you'll know how important it is to have a 'together' look on your instagram feed. Consistency wins when it comes to instagram growth and that's where filters come in mega handy. They allow all your images to connect nicely, regardless of whether you took photos at different times of the day or whether you shoot different subjects (food one day, a landscape the next for example). On that note, I have developed a mini bundle of 4 Lightroom presets (kinda like filters, only better) for mobile phone food photographers. You can read more about them here.
Filters can give your instagram feed a branded look
Sometimes I see an image and before reading the caption or checking who it's from I can already guess the name of the creative behind the photo. That's because many bigger bloggers and trendy companies use the consistency of filters to develop their brand and look. Who's to say you can't do the same?
Filters can be super helpful for novice photographers and new instagrammers
If you're new to instagram and new to photography, using filters means that you can get stuck in without spending hours learning how to edit in photoshop or lightroom. There's so much to learn when it comes to photography and instagram already and not having to worry about editing on top of everything else can feel like a major blessing.
The cons of using a filter on instagram
After all of the above, you'd assume I am using filters, right? But the truth is I don't and never have. I have nothing against filters at all but,...
It can be hard to find a filter that feels right for you
As hard as I tried in the beginning, there just wasn't a filter out there that felt like 'me'. Perhaps I didn't look hard enough or perhaps I wasn't quite sure what I was looking for but somehow I never found 'my' filter. And, I'm guessing that this is something some of you may encounter as a stumbling block too.
It can be hard to find a filter that no one else is using
The more beautiful and trendy filters are being used by more and more instagrammers, meaning that your ability to stand out and be unique when relying on filters can be really tricky. On such an overcrowded platform as instagram, it's really important to be a bit different to everyone else. Therefore using filters can put you at a slight disadvantage.
Using filters stops you from developing your editing skills
This was really what made me decide NOT to use filters: I wanted to grow my abilities as a photographer. Therefore understanding how to edit an image to create the feel I wanted was really important to me. Editing is still by far my weakest point, but I know that if I keep working on fully unpicking photoshop I WILL get to where I want to go. And I'm convinced you can too ;).
Filters take away some of your creative control
If it isn't blatantly obvious I'm a tiny bit of a control freak! I want to make every single editing/styling/composition decision myself and would hate to use a filter where I like one element, but not the other. That's just me, speaking from the heart. How about you, what are your thoughts on filters? I'd love to hear about them in the comment section below :).
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