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5 easy photo and caption ideas for Instagram

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Sometimes we’ve got the social media thing under control, and other times we hit the brick wall. 

‘What the hell do I post today?’

I hit that wall more often than I care to admit. But I’m here to help you out sister. Below are 5 photo and caption ideas to keep your Instagram mojo happening. They are designed to be quick, but not nasty.

But before I get into the photo ideas, here's a bonus 5 reminders to help you get better results out of your smartphone camera. 


General photo tips to get you started:

  1. Clean the lens on your smartphone camera

  2. Find better light. Look for… just inside a window or open door. Under a balcony or in open-shade. Avoid flash, artificial light and direct sunlight. 

  3. Turn the ‘grid’ on your camera. Use this to keep lines straight and your horizon even. 

  4. Take loads of photos. Pretty sure we all know this, but be trigger happy in shooting and then ruthless in culling. 

  5. Editing is okay, but make sure you are still recognisable. I love using the Adobe Lightroom mobile app for pretty much all my basic phone edits. It’s easy to use and keeps you focused on editing good clean photos and less on fancy presets and filters. I almost always tweak the crop, exposure, contrast, and vibrancy.

The Selfie

The photo

Of course this was going to be number one. Anyone who watches their Insta analytics knows that photos of themselves get the best engagement. There’s a reason too. Social media is about being ‘social’. Instinctively we want to connect with people. Not ‘feeds’. So, show people who the brain is behind the business. 

I know it’s easy to try and do something a little sneaky like take a photo of your foot or something (and this is okay sometimes), but this needs to be your face. It’s what we intuitively connect to, person-to-person. 

The caption

Introduce yourself. No matter where you are in your social media journey you will be having new followers coming along all the time and they want to meet you too. Consider something like: “Hi there, it’s been a bit since I’ve shown my face around here so this is me…” Write about what you do in the business or perhaps about your experience in this role. Another great thing to share is a ‘3’ things you mightn’t know about me list. It allows you to share fun stuff about yourself and create greater connections.
Renee drinking coffee
There's nothing fancy about this example. I am using a prop to hide my face (wasn't feeling myself that day) and I am looking straight at the camera. 

Your workspace

The photo 

One way that you can create trust with your viewer is showing them some of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your work or process. It visually connects you with the product or service that you are offering. People’s workspaces come in all shapes and sizes. Embrace yours. It doesn’t need to be pretty or perfect because we are sharing it with authenticity. Work on the kitchen table? Show it. Work on the verandah of your farmhouse? Show it. Have a fancy office with pretty decor. Show it. For extra branding points, add in a prop (pen, pot plant, coffee mug.. whatever) in your brand colours. 


The caption 

Why is your workspace significant to you? We often think that we have no stories to tell, but when it comes to sharing part of you, it’s surprising how much there really is. Ask yourself, why do you work where you do? I am currently located on the dining table. It lets me work in 5 minute increments when I can grab the chance and I can supervise the kids. I can work in chaos. You might work on the deck because seeing nature brings you peace and inspires you. You might be in a dark spare bedroom that seconds as an office, sewing room and storage zone. These aren’t things to hide. Your work is important to you, so you find a place to do it wherever you can.

Image
A perfect example of my 'team' or 'my workspace'. Now, not everyone is going to have decor that matches their personal brand... I am strange like that... but, where possible add elements of your brand colour or voice into the image. 

Your team

The photo

Anyone who runs a business knows they can’t do it alone. But a support network comes in all forms. Do you have a business partner or a virtual assistant? Is your dog your company mascot? Is your husband your biggest supporter? Perhaps you have mentors that you check in with or a girl gang. Ideas: 

  • A photo of the hubby/mentor/girl gang (with permission of course) 
  • Even better, you and the ‘team’
  • Your dog on your lap 
  • A photo of the screen of your zoom call 
  • A message thread or message from your ‘team’
  • A photo of your family in a frame on the desk 


This photo taps into our inherently social nature. It is social proof and powerful for building trust. Photos like this demonstrate to viewers that you (and therefore them as a potential client) is backed by others. It makes you less of a risk. 

The caption 

This one is all about the team member.  Talk about what they do for the business and most importantly what they mean to you. 

 

Your inspiration

The photo 

Whether we are in a creative industry or not, we are all inspired by something. A sunset, an artwork, an interaction with someone. Your inspirations are beautiful. They show a part of your personality and your soul because they spark something new inside you. This is a great thing to share. When people see your inspirations they see what interests you, what matters. They also see part of your work process or behind the scenes. This is especially clear with creatives. 

  • Some ideas for photos include: 
  • A mood board or pin board 
  • A repost from another account (with all appropriate credit) 
  • A flower/tree/scene from nature 
  • A colour or texture 
  • Words or quotes

The caption 

The caption is really important in this post because the interpretation of the inspiration is what’s important. You don’t need to use fancy language or tell a big story, but tell THE story. 

‘This [view/image from] stopped me in my tracks because it made me…’

‘When I had a conversation with xyz it made me realise that…’

‘When I am stuck for inspiration I often look at …’

Image
A fan, made in Ghana. This is on my dining wall but is also a great inspiration to me. The colour, its story, the cultural heritage it comes with, the woman who made it and the income she's building for her family. They are all things that inspire me within this image. 

Something you value

The photo 

You are human. You have things you love and are important to you. You have values that guide who you are and what you do. When it comes to sharing your brand this is important. As the saying goes, people do business with people. With people, they ‘know, like and trust’, If your follower (a potential client or source of referral) doesn’t get to know who you are, then how are they going to like and trust you? 

One of the challenges with sharing ‘your values’ is that it can be hard to translate into an image. But here are some tips.

  • Write down what your value is; happiness, freedom, family, quality etc.
  • Take your word and brainstorm as many associations as you can come up with. For example ‘freedom’. Write down what freedom means to you (and go crazy here, the more words the better); travel, flying, laying on the beach, rolling in money, a balloon floating away. Keep going until you’re empty.
  • Take a picture of, or search a stock site for an image that represents this word. For example, you could have a cloud, or a feather, or a kite. All might be potential photos that could represent this word. You can get some more tips for finding good stock photos at an earlier blog post

The caption 

Similar to the example above, you will need to make sure that the caption explains what the image means to you. 

‘When I started my business I wanted to embrace …’

‘XYZ is a core value of mine, to me it means…

 

So there you go. 5 straightforward photo ideas and inspiration for associated captions. What is most important about these ideas is that they are an extension of your brand values and what is important to you. 

If you give them a go, tag me on Insta at @reneeshea_au so I can see!
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