How to Make Your Instagram Posts Stand Out

To make a big splash on Instagram, you need: 1) beautiful work to highlight; 2) a good eye for showing it off; and 3) the right device for capturing it. But to really make your social media gallery stand out, you may need a few extra accessories. To decide which ones, experts say to consider three factors: stability, lighting and sound.

Rock Steady
Are you trying to entice your audience—or make them seasick? To avoid the latter, use a tripod. “Nobody wants to watch a jumpy video or look at a blurry image, so a tripod can really save the day,” says Andrew Carruthers (@andrew.carruthers), Director of Education for Sam Villa. He recommends the kind with bendable legs “because you can use them almost anywhere and they are small enough to throw into a bag or backpack.”

Lighten Up
Nothing can substitute for Mother Nature, points out Jenny Strebe (@theconfessionsofahairstylist), Founder of The Confessions of a Hairstylist app, who has racked up an Instagram following of 700,000-plus. “Natural light is my brand,” she says. But when sunlight isn’t available (or doesn’t cooperate), there’s always the simple and affordable ring light. Carruthers suggests even kicking it up a notch: “Spring for LED lighting panels if your budget allows. The quality of light these create will set your work ahead of the pack.” 

Sound Check
If your demo video is going to include sound, don’t go mic-less. Just ask top celeb stylist and L’Oréal Professionnel Ambassador Jennifer Macdougall (@jennifermacdougall), who has amassed almost 40,000 Instagram followers. “My Canon T5i camera mic allows me to get better quality video content and sound,” she says, and credits this tool, along with Final Cut Pro editing software, for much of her engagement success. Want to go simple? Pick up a “lapel mic,” which can be plugged into a phone or camera, to ensure audio clarity—and keep viewers from fading out.

Check out these smartphone-attachable gadgets and gizmos that are raising the technological and artistic bar for high-performing Instagrammers.

Selfie Halo features three-mode lighting so you can control brightness (selfiehalo.com)

Sony DSC-QX100 turns your phone into a DSLR-like quality camera. (sony.com)

Olympus Air A01 offers all the benefits of an SLR, like zoom, high image quality and more. (getolympus.com)

The Life-Phorm all-in-one positioning device features six multipositionable legs, meaning it can stand nearly anywhere. (amazon.com)

Many thanks to our sponsors Redken, Pureology, Matrix, L’Oreal Professionnel, Baxter of California, Level Loyalty and Salon Centric for making this digital supplement possible.

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