Article by Samantha Borja

Yet another app has spread like wildfire amongst the student body of ISM: Instagram. One of the apps most frequented by ISM students, Instagram has now been adopted by several school clubs such as the Student Ambassadors and the Battle of the Bands committee, for both advertising their events to the rest of the school and sharing photos to reflect on at the end of the school year. Just recently, however, this social media platform has taken photo sharing to a whole new level.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 2.11.14 PMThe days of preset filters and neon texts are no more. In fact, a term has been coined to decide how aesthetically pleasing your overall Instagram feed is: insta-game. The many factors that make up the strength of one feed – filters, cropping, subject, captions, photo quality, and color schemes – make having an aesthetically pleasing Instagram seem like a daunting task. So what is the secret to strong insta-game, then? Senior Javier S. says he uses VSCOcam, a separate photo editing app, and always refers to ‘Lark’ “because it isn’t an overpowering filter.” When asked about the importance of having an overall appealing feed versus the appeal of the photo itself, he believes that it is always about the photo first, as “even though it’s nice to have an overall feed,” he’d rather post a photo he likes, even if it doesn’t fit with his feed.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 2.06.53 PMKatie G., sophomore, is another popular Instagrammer, with an account of over 11,100 followers. When asked about what makes her feed unique, she says it’s “how colorful and bright [it] is.” She tries to make her photos “eye-catching and of the highest quality.” When editing, she “really pays attention to contrast, sharpening, exposure and shadows.” With this level of insta-fame, Katie attributes her success to consistency and engagement. She posts photos regularly and has maintained a positive relationship with her followers. When she sees someone has spammed her with likes or left a sweet comment, she tries to do the same. She’s also made many online friends and describes Instagram as “a nice, supportive community.”

The most popular feeds on Instagram do feature similar trends, ranging from square cropping to simply artistic high-definition sceneries. However, an Instagram user’s game is not always based off of the amount of followers or the specific filter used; what really matters in the end is that your Instagram is something to be proud of – although a clever caption never hurts.

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