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M. SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION

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SW's JOURNAL

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INSTAGRAM BRANDING: READER REQUEST

Samantha Wills

We receieved an email from SW Foundation reader, Laura this week. Laura is in the early stages of a launching her brand & was wondering if I could throw my 2 cents on three questions. I thought they were such important topics for start ups, I am dedicating one post for each answer.

Laura – Firstly thank you for taking the time to email, and for your kind words. I LOVE your questions, and appreciate you asking them. Secondly, CONGRATULATIONS on the start up of your new venture. I say this a lot, but you truly are one of the rare ones, most people only ever talk about what they want to do, so by making moves to put things into works puts you on the front foot already.

I will do my best to answer your Q’s, or at least share my experience with them....

So, here is the first of three posts to follow! - SWx


SENDER: Laura

TO: SAMANTHA WILLS FOUNDATION

Subject: Content Request

….if you could find a way to feature/answer any/all of these questions, it would be a huge help not only to me but I'm sure the other overwhelmed/daunted/scared shitless bussinesswomen-to-be that I'm convinced are out there!

1. What filter/editing app does SW use on her personal Instagram? In other words, how does she get it looking so good? I know there was an article written about this but I'm after a bit more detail...obviously I don't want to directly copy the SW look, I really just want some advice on photo editing that is relatively straightforward and not overly tech-y like every other "How to Edit your Photos" article seems to be! Long story short, I like the filter SW uses.


INSTAGRAM

On my instagram account @SamanthaWills, I mix it up between editing in Afterlight or the whitening tool in Facetune. I use whitening tool on Facetune a lot, mainly on interior shots, or if shooting flatlay jewellery on white marble. This cleans up the image & removes any yellow tones that are often thrown by light. If I use the whitening app in facetune, I usually do not use a filter, but I do play around in the EDIT section on Insta.

I use the following editing tools in Instagram;

SHADOWS: I try to reduce shadows, as this brightens the images without blowing out white elements.

BRIGHTEN: I use this a lot, but if there is a lot of white in the image, you have to be careful not to over expose the images.  (Especially if you have used the whitening tool in Facetune.

SHARPEN: I sharpen everything. Always.

SATURATION: I am more a monotone lover, and will always use this tool to tone everything down a bit.

ADJUST: I much prefer a portrait image on Insta, so use the ADJUST tool a lot to pull the image in portrait & then crop in adjust.

WARMTH: If the whitening still hasn’t done the job, I use the warmth tool to dial down any yellow tones.

If I do use a filter, I try to keep it in these same de-saturated tones, and if adding a filter, it is to bring the image into that palette.

For example:

GINGHAM: I would use this filter to lighten a darker image.

MOON: My preferred black & white filter

SLUMBER & CREMA: Are great for skin & making you look tanned! But often create a very yellow tone if there is lots of white space in the image. If you are adamant about a filter to even out skin etc, you can add these filters, screen grab, then use the whitening tool in Facetune to clean up the white areas.

LO-FI: Is the devil. Stay well away from this filter always. OK? Good.

If you have the iphone7 (I use the 7 Plus), the portrait setting on the camera ia AMAZING. Perfect for shooting product, (or your avo toast....)

As a business, instagram is such a visual representation of your brand. Treat it with the same integrity you would your website imagery. Try to find a tone of imagery, and palette that is consistent. Some people are really clever with their formatting so its about uploading to the overall feed of the aesthetic.

New York Restaurant, @ChineseTuxedo often run single images over 6 or 9 squares to create one image, broken up with single square images that are told in a narrative story.  

@MacaMilk (are creative genius in their execution) treat their feed like an moving artwork, but in a very understated way for each square, having each square fuse into each touching image.

@LisaMessenger simply, but effectively mixes hers up with a quote then image consistenly which is a very low maitence, but very high impact build.  When you find your voice, & know what resonates with your follower, this will become more obvious. you don't have to know this from the get-go. I have also included some screen shots below of the @SamanthaWillsOfficial insta from when we separated the @SamanthaWills & @SamanthaWillsOfficial feeds, to build this timeline,  we had the setting on private, and built it out like a full page on the overall feed. You can see the whole thing if you scroll to the very bottom of the @SamanthaWillsOfficial  feed.

Laura - hopefully this has answered Question 1! Answer to 2 & 3 to follow soon! And I hope something in the above is helpful, or triggers something for you, in building your brand on Instagram. And never has the term 'think outside the square' been more apt! - SWx

FROM TOP LEFT: @SamanthaWillsOfficial

MIDDLE FAR RIGHT: @LisaMessenger

BOTTOM LEFT: @ChineseTuxedo

BOTTOM MIDDLE + RIGHT: @MacaMilk