June 21, 2018

10 things from BTS of Instagram Life

Today is June 21st, the longest day of the year.  That means in the life of the gram, there are the most hours of any day in the year when you can take good pictures of your food! Yes, that’s a big deal. From this day forward in the year we move towards not being able to photograph breakfast, or dinner… so with that random fact,  I thought I’d take the best light day of the year to share 10 random things from behind the scenes of instagramming food!


Natural light is everything, and as we move into summer, Instafood land gets so much easier, and then conversely into winter it becomes a game of getting creative to show real life but keep photo quality good! I’m not someone who stages all my shots on one day for the whole month because I want to show day to day real life! In the summer I can snap my breakfast, in winter I have do more shots of prep in the afternoon when there’s light, or shoot tacos at 3pm and then heat and reassemble them for dinner! And you quickly get to know all the spots in the house where the light is at different times of the day!


Maybe you knew, this maybe you didn’t… but instagram doesn’t show you everything. Shocked?! They have a complex algorithm and that algorithm decides you want to see based on so many factors! The thing you can do to make sure your see someones posts it to remember to hit ‘like’ rather than just scrolling past them when they show up and by commenting on them. It also changes the way we post to make sure you see them, more on that later…


And mostly I don’t think anyone should. Especially not when you’re with other people, or for me – when I’m with my kids. I take a story, hit the save button – and then come back later when my kids are sleeping or I have a moment spare. Then I put the whole day’s stories together. It lets me edit them better, and keeps me present in the moment.


Back to the algorithm and, because it exists, posts have to look a certain way to gain traction. You could say ‘does traction matter?’ but yes – I don’t care how many likes I get for me, but I do believe in what I’m doing and if I’m taking the time to post I want it to get out to people! At the end of the day if I’m being real, people seeing posts also allows me to make the money that lets me keep posting. I don’t post to make money, but if I’m going to post I want it to actually get to people, right?! So every post is a balance between posting ‘real’ and also keeping photos looking nice, and writing captions that actually create a conversation. Sometimes you’ll see I even remind you to ‘double tap if….’ on a post. It’s not me trying to be sneaky, just trying to make sure we keep showing up in your feed if you want us there, and that our posts get out to everyone who hit follow! It’s also why I say in my stories that I’ve posted a photo… it’s just in case it didn’t show up in your feed. I assume if you’re following me you want to see what we post, so I’m just making sure!


Instagram only shows you the last 100 notifications. So it sadly means if you write me a comment and I don’t see it quickly, unless it’s on my latest post I portably won’t see it! DMs are also a spaghetti-like world so the best way to ask a question is to comment on my latest post even if its not at all related!


Most of my photos are taken on my iPhone 6, I don’t have time in my everyday life to shoot on my camera and transfer every shot for every post! I mostly edit just in the iPhone photos app, but also use Instagram editing, and snapseed (I get lots of questions on using insta for small business so there’s a little guide coming later in the year – watch this space!) The exception is book shoots, those are on my Canon DSLR but edited the same way – I’m far from a pro! And I take everything myself, bar the occasion self timer and of course, my #instagramhusband.


Yes, my most liked pictures ever aren’t food. They’re all my babies and me! I’m trying to put myself in front of the camera more and make it more personal but honestly, I spend 90% of life in sweats and a top knot with no makeup so…. But really, sometimes I wonder if I should add more family life into the mix, sometimes I wonder about a lot of things about insta, but I also have studied how to keep my peace with it, it can be an insecure world so you have to know your boundaries and own personal rules.


I actually get asked this regularly, if by having a certain number of followers I get paid. Nope. I actually pay, not for instagram but I pay to keep the blog running, and I pay to send emails. But indirectly it makes money: through selling food locally, through classes, through ebooks, and through affiliates – like if you buy something though an amazon link I get a small cut of the price without you paying any extra. So if you want to support us, just do one of those things!


I get to spy on you. Not really, but I can see analytics about you, and if you’re interested…. you guys are 88% female, 12% male, mostly between 25 and 34 years old, the city most represented in my following is actually London but the biggest country is America! Collectively you hop on Instagram most on Thursdays, and mostly at about noon my time!


…you wanna know?! When I get comments asking me a question I answered in the caption of the same photo! Or questions asking where something is when I geotagged the photo (what’s a geotag – on top of the photo there’s a clickable location link so you can see where the post is from, you’re welcome.) It’s ok, I sometimes don’t read posts well either so I don’t really get frustrated, ok maybe just a tiny bit 😉

Anything else you wonder about behind the scenes or how it works?! Drop a comment on instagram… you now know how to leave it so I’ll definitely see it!


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