How I Plan & Colour Cycle My Instagram

Instagram Planning Guide.jpeg
Guide how to plan your Instagram colour cycle.jpeg

MY GUIDE TO PLANNING & COLOUR TRANSITIONING YOUR INSTAGRAM GRID

In case you have missed it, I regularly transition through different colour palettes on my Instagram grid, depending on the season and my mood too. I did this all through spring and summer of 2017, and this spring and summer too… Not long ago, I asked you folks on Insta if you’d be interested in me sharing how I plan and colour cycle grid. It was a resounding yes, so I’m finally sharing how I do it.

If you’re in any way curious about how this happens, today’s guide to planning and colour cycling on Instagram is just for you…

How To Plan Your Instagram Grid Colours.jpeg

IT STARTS WITH AN APP…

I currently use Mosaico to plan out my grid, before I post. If you’ve not heard of it, Mosaico is an app that allows you to upload an unlimited amount of photos and move these around in a Instagram-style grid; plus it syncs with your Instagram account, so that you can see how your new and posted images will sit together. You can also write out your captions and save hashtags into handy groups to make posting a little easier, but Mosaico does have some limitations; it’s £5.99 to download, and you can only manage one account… it’ll be great for anyone with a single account, but it may be worth comparing it to Unum if you manage multiple accounts.

I upload all the photos I like to Mosaico, and then go about the process of grouping similar colour palettes together; currently, I have the warm colours that I’m sharing now, as well as a green section and a blue section that probably won’t see the light of day until next spring, as I’m feeling utterly drawn to autumn.

I play with my grid a lot; I love being able to use Ghost Mode to help me make certain shots disappear, and I’m forever shifting things around to make sure similar pops of colour are together, and that there aren’t too many of the similar shots together. (In case you haven’t spotted it so far: I’m a little obsessed…)

HOW TO PICK A COLOUR

There are a few reasons why I’ll gravitate towards a certain colour palette… They are:

  • I might see just one photo, and it inspires me to shoot images that match the tones in that shot

  • Sometimes my pics might be driven by a certain season; things might get very, very warm-toned around October, cooler in November, red for Christmas, monochrome for January and February, et cetera

  • Occasionally I’ll go back through my feed and find shades that I love and want to explore once more

  • I might come across someone else’s Instagram grid and feel sparked by their colour choices

  • Or I’ll notice that a few of the shots I have taken all hail from the same colour family.

HOW I STRUCTURE MY FEED COLOURS

Once I feel drawn to a certain colour, I’ll naturally end up looking for it when I’m pottering around home, or out and about. As I take shots in the tones I want to share, I’ll bring them down the Mosaico grid to sit against my posted Instagram pictures to see how they’d work together. A lot of the time I arrange my images so that two complimentary hues alternate; as you can see in my Mosaico plan above, it’s currently a warmer/brown tone against a cooler/grey. I usually have a photo bank of at least three definite shots I’m sharing next, with the potential images I want to play with placement above these. Often I’ll put shots in that I’m not sure about and want to review later, and occasionally “placeholder” shots, that might have the colours I want but possibly aren’t the quality that I’d like to share.

HOW I MAKE SURE MY GRID STAYS TONAL

I almost exclusively use the same filter, but will change its opacity and use the other editing options to suit the photo and the grid at the time. White balance is key; I place photos I want to use next to each other in VSCO, to make sure the colours work together and that the whites match as much as they need to. If there are pictures that I’ve taken that just don’t look similar enough, I’ll just move the ones that don’t combine well elsewhere in the grid, for me to use later.

THE DOWNSIDES TO COLOUR CYCLING

There are a few: I don’t always get to share the photos I have taken in real time. This only really concerns me when I’ve been travelling, but the beauty of the Insta Story is that I can share whatever I’d like to without sweating the colour scheme.

It’s also, as you can tell, really time consuming. In my case, I absolutely love it; my brain finds it weirdly soothing to put together different shots… as I said above, I love me a good puzzle challenge, and colour cycling feels like exactly that.

Lastly, it can be challenging to find photos that work with what I want to share; I remember wanting a light blue/grey palette and not having any luck taking photos to suit it.

THE UPSIDES TO COLOUR CYCLING

I find this process really, really visually pleasing… I almost exclusively follow Instagram accounts whose photos feature complementary shades across the board, as this is what I’m naturally drawn to.

I hope transitioning regularly gives a little identity to my page as well as encouraging folks that already follow me to pop by and have a look at what’s happening shade-wise on my feed.

Most important to me, this keeps me interested and inspired; you may have noticed that I need to be kept on my toes a bit! Switching up my colours makes me feel inspired and motivated on Insta — it’s like a cool puzzle I’m always playing, and I hope it draws people down my grid to look at more of my photos. Instagram is part of my job, so I try and make sure my feed looks as appealing as possible, before people press to look closer up on individual photos.

What do you think about colour cycling, and how do you plan your grid? Come let me know…

PhotographyAnna Considine