I started using Instagram back in 2012 just before I started attending uni. Back then, I remember it was still a new platform where people would just spontaneously post what they were doing and use the Instagram filters to edit. I knew nothing about hashtags, and honestly never even thought I’d be an influencer on the platform! I do miss the spontaneity though, as now we are so used to seeing perfectly edited photos, meticulously planned out feeds and carefully written captions, that posting in the moment just doesn’t happen anymore.
But as this platform has grown, I’ve also grown with it and my feed has changed so much over the years. It has given me such a great opportunity to express my creativity and reach an amazing community, I thought it’d be fun to see how my feed has evolved and take a look back at my journey to see how far I’ve come in the last 7 years!
I actually started using Instagram in 2012 and have always loved taking photos of everything! But the pictures were really random so let’s just start with 2014, where I began trying to make my feed look “neat”. I had spotted a fellow uni friend who was making their feed look neater with their consistent use of the faded T1 VSCO filter, and making all their photos the same size, cropped into the horizontal 4:3. I fell in love with their page and decided to do it on my own account. I loved how consistent my page was looking and continued this style for a while, taking pictures with both my phone and digital camera. At the time I travelled to Hong Kong and Taiwan whilst I was still in my second year of uni, so that gave me a lot of content to upload and experiment with editing!
At the beginning of 2015, I started swaying towards the square grid instead of the horizontal photos, so I changed the look of my feed. I continued using the filters on VSCO, primarily with A5, F2 and HB1 which gave a cool, blue tint to my photos. I was into my third year at university, was on work placement and out and about a lot in London. At the time I was not in a good place and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do career-wise, but posting on Instagram was an escape and a creative release, and I enjoyed capturing photos and editing even more. It became my hobby, and I also picked up blogging again, documenting the food places I’d been to and countries I’d visited.
2015 – 2016:
I soon grew out of the blue-ish theme and went into a black and white phase. Yep, this is when the minimalistic black and white feeds were in, and I totally loved it! I was starting to develop my own style with editing, and focused a lot on maintaining my colour scheme, which was getting more consistent, and posting regularly on my blog. I mostly used the SE3 VSCO filter here as it gave it that minimal, street vibe. I started taking my blog a bit more seriously during this period, and wanted to create some great ever-green content and travel content, but it wasn’t easy to keep up with as I was in my final year of university.
2016 – 2017:
During my Santorini vacation, my feed had momentarily gone into blue-white mode again (you can’t avoid those colours if you visit Santorini!) which was unintentional, but the photos turned out great so I didn’t mind too much! I started trying to use more hashtags and used other apps such as Snapseed to further enhance my photos. I had graduated and was working in a full-time job which meant that I had to be more organised; I started scheduling my posts, editing and writing blog posts whenever I had time!
2017 – 2018:
By 2017, I had gotten into the swing of posting regularly on Instagram and had started receiving a few requests from brands to collaborate with them. I remember my first ever collaboration (which was gifted+paid) was for a travel money belt, and I was so happy! At the time I only had around 700 followers so I was lucky to receive a paid collaboration. It made me more motivated to create content, and by 2018, I had grown my account to around 2k followers.
2018 – 2019:
In 2018, this was where my Instagram really took off. I decided to invest more time into engaging with the online community, collaborating with more brands and making my feed even more cohesive. I slowly grew to like the warmer toned images, so around mid-2018 whilst I was on holiday in Tenerife, I changed my editing style to a warmer, brown tone. It was a big change as previously my editing style would be a cool, black and white feel, but people change, and so does your editing style! I also started using Lightroom CC on mobile to improve my editing and the quality of my images. I had also hit the 10k follower mark whilst I was on holiday, which was amazing!
Now we’re in 2019, I’m currently at around 15k followers (at time of writing), which is incredible. I could never have imagined that my Instagram would turn out to give me so many wonderful opportunities! If you have reached the end of this post, thank you! Hopefully you’ve enjoyed seeing the transformation of my Instagram and realise that it’s a slow process and was not an overnight success. It all started out as a hobby and has gradually grown into what it is today.
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