The New Rules of Instagram

April 1, 2016

There are some aspects of social media that are very superficial, but at the end of the day, Instagram provides people with a creative outlet who otherwise wouldn’t have one. I’m totally one of those people who posts a lot. It’s as simple as going to an indie coffee shop instead of Starbucks, recording an awesome outfit, and keeping your eyes open for street art.  You don’t have to have a Chiara Ferragni sized crew or Hailey Baldwin’s bikini bod to have a dope insta. I asked some advice from girls without a glam-team.

“make sure every picture you post is thumbstopping.”


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Take pics of every cool thing you see.  Don’t be embarrassed to whip out your camera to take pics of walls or a top down of your outfit in public. I’m 100% THAT GIRL that takes pics of every thing I eat & everything I see and i don’t care at all. Getting a dope pic is worth it.

date an editing style, it’s not a marriage.

My former roommate Amanda stuck with a single filter longer than anyone I have ever met. Long before I knew it was unnecessary to have a white background in my photos, this girl had months of perfectly organized single-filter posts in her feed. Her advice: Filters aren’t one size fits all, and sacrificing the best filter just so it fits with your feed is so not worth it. Use VSCO & caption your photos with your actual thoughts.

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clean & consistent (if thats your thing)

Simple photos are good for cohesiveness, know the difference between plain and polished. Although there is no trick to Instagram, as Mariel suggests, avoid putting two quotes or selfies next to each other. I would add above/below as well. The easiest way to do this is by having every-other-photo be of a person, and every-other be of ~something~ else. This is what I do.

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color // create // curate

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You don’t have to commit to a color-coded feed like Sincerely Jules, but you’ll find it surprisingly easy to incorporate some sort of scheme into your photos. As far as filters go, VSCO is the standard. My babe Selo rocks the HB2 and ACG filters, but your choice will have a lot to do with your skin tone and the lighting you find yourself in most often. If it doesn’t seem like the perfect fit, decrease the intensity of the filter, and lower the exposure to bring our the highlights int he photo. It will always do the trick.

“pose outside the box.”


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Pose differently. Take photos of architecture/scenery from a unique angle/perspective. Play with fun editing techniques. Great fashion always results in cool photos. Post frequently & share your adventures.

“show people who you are & what you’re passionate about”


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Instagram is technically a platform just for photos, so you have to learn how to express yourself through them. Show people what you’re passionate about, whether it’s travel, fashion, food, or anything really. Although serial hashtagging can be a little spammy, using a relevant hashtag or two will allow anyone with similar interests to find your photos! Which is the goal of Instagram, right?



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If you like Damsel in Dior, my girl Charlotte‘s  tips helpful. She embodies pretty much everything I want to convey, and I will make her a staff writer if it’s the last thing I do.


  • Only post photos that you love. At the end of the day, Instagram is a photography app and it is YOUR photography app. As long as you’re posting good photos, it doesn’t matter what other people think or how many “likes” they get. A bird’s eye view of a latte or a “selfie” day in and day out is not bringing anything new to the table.
  • Posting a handful of pictures in one day while on holiday >>> dragging a weekend getaway out to a whole month of “TBT” and “take me back!” photos. The whole “only post once a day” rule is outdated. I post when I feel like it!
  • Be consistent (with everything) and your feed will all fall into place. Become loyal to one filter, theme, color, lighting, or cropping technique, as long as it feels like your style and fits in with what you like. I really love the look of bright, light, airy photos with a little pop of color, and sure enough, those types of pictures seem to be what I post most often.

Know someone with a great Insta-game? Have an article to pitch? E-mail

More about Mackenzie

Retired scene queen living in Astoria, New York with my boyfriend Ben. Accidentally started blogging in 2011, haven't stopped since. Lover of Nutella, hater of white jeans after labor day. Graduate of Suffolk University with a degree in Sociology. During the day I work for Petrossian Caviar, the world's largest caviar supplier and buyer. I have a wonderful life, and I'm excited to share it with you. Also, I have seen every episode of Law & Order: SVU.