House of Brinson's Guide to Instagram

It took everything in me not to name this post House of Brinson Is In the House! I am a huge House of Brinson fan and I am sure you are too. If you aren’t yet, you will be.

William and Susan Brinson are the creative masterminds behind House of Brinson. They style, photograph, blog, and are in the process of restoring and designing their gorgeous house (Stony Ford Estate). Some of their clients include Martha Stewart Living, Random House, Glamour, and Food and Wine Magazine.

I connected with them on Instagram and I was immediately drawn into their feed. Their photos are gorgeous! They welcome you into their home via beautifully stylized snippets and it’s such a lovely experience. I am so grateful they were willing to share their expertise and write an exclusive guest post for Iterate.

May these tips help you on your Instagram journey and bring you a little closer to your beautiful dreams.

House of Brinson's Guide to Instagram

I’m excited to be writing about Instagram cause it’s our favorite social network. Instagram has been a great fit for us because we are visual people, and enjoy taking images. I’m going to give you some insight as to how we view our Instagram account and some styling tips you can use in your images.

Before we talk about styling, it’s important to understand the big picture. Here’s how we like to think about our Instagram account. You should spend some time and think about how you want your account to look and feel, it will help with your image direction. We make a list about topics we like to represent, and make sure we have a diverse feed. (It really keeps me in check so we don’t have 9 of 10 photos of our dogs.)

We are iPhone only

We are professional photographers by trade, but sticking to iPhone only for Instagram frees us from our professional requirements. For every photo we take professionally, the shot is concepted, planned, styled, photographed, retouched, etc. Plus the cameras are SO heavy! Sticking to iPhone only is so awesome cause it takes no time at all and sends a message to our followers about accessibility, and no fancy camera is needed to create beautiful images.

We really ‘think’ about each image we post and if it’s a good image or not.

Look at your feed and ask if each image is dynamic and interesting. Sure we all have some duds, but we will have a conversation about each image and if we should post it or not, especially if we are on the fence. I have so many images we don’t post cause they are not up to snuff. I also try not to post emotional images meaning uncreative pictures of our dogs, thinking the dogs are cute and every silly thing they do is the most amazing things in the world!

Post only your images.

I know this might seem obvious, but it’s so important! This is your vision and feed, and your point of view. Stick to it!

We generally overshoot a subject then we’ll go back and edit our work.

This can be really handy when you want to do a throw back or revive a topic. For instance we just added another image from our summer Spain trip a few days ago.

Styling the perfect image for Instagram

Look for junk in an image.

If you’re taking a picture of a room or someone in a room, look at the background. If you’re doing an interior shot, make sure all electrical chords are out of the way, etc. I’ve seen pictures with piles of laundry in the background and piles of shoes. It’s not pretty! Change your angle slightly to get that junk out of the shot!

Keep it simple.

Sometimes shooting an image straight on, or straight overhead is really simple but pretty. Angles can positively add to or negatively complicate an image. If in doubt, keep it simple and shoot straight on.

If you’re shooting a still life, take some time to clean it up.

Move that fork or take things out of the image that don’t add to the impact of the image. Sometimes turning a plate a quarter rotation makes for a much prettier image.

Sometimes the prettiest objects look so much more exotic when singled out. I love found object and will often drag things in from outdoors like branches or whatever else I might find. For Instagram I’ll shoot them on a dark back ground cause they look really interesting.

Awesome advice! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us into your world Susan!

You can follow House of Brinson on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.