How to Use Instagram Like a 15-year-old Girl
Elizabeth, 15, shares tips for the perfect Instagram post.
If your Instagram feed consists of sunsets, water droplet close-ups and elegantly arranged gourmet meals, you're not a 15-year-old girl.
Teens girls favor embellishments you can't get inside Instagram, as well as photos of their favorite people, including themselves. While some effects may seem a bit silly (sparkles, anyone?), many of them are handy for women and men of all ages.
For cutting-edge tips, I consulted with an Instagram expert, my 15-year-old daughter Elizabeth.
Last Saturday, Elizabeth and I went to lunch. I took a photo of my plate as soon as it arrived. Elizabeth snapped the two of us on our way out of the restaurant. And there's the first big difference between how teen girls and others use Instagram : Adults take pictures of things around them; teen girls take pictures of themselves and the people they're with.
Whereas I quickly add a filter and post, Elizabeth almost always does a lot of editing, giving it a #latergram hashtag , which indicates a photo was posted a bit after an event.
Here's a look at the steps from selfie (a photo taken by the photographer of herself) to finished Instagram post, compliments of Elizabeth.
1. Snap a photo.
She takes several photos of herself over the course of a few seconds and chooses the most flattering one.
2. Make basic edits.
She starts with the Snapseed app for basics, such as adjusting contrast and brightness.
3. Blur the background.
Still in Snapseed, she uses Center Focus to keep her face in focus and blur everything else. She cranks the setting to 100 percent.
4. Add a filter.
Pixlr-o-matic, another editing app, is then used for the artsy, dramatic effects that girls love. In this case, she choses the "Julia" filter which lightens the image.
5. Add glitter.
This may not be for everyone. Use Pixlr-o-matic again, this time to create sparkles or some other effect layer that adds lights. If you spot this splashy effect on Instagram, you can be pretty certain it came from a teenage girl.
6. Go square without awkward cropping.
Instead of cropping a vertical photo to Instagram's square proportions, she uses Whitagram, which adds thick white borders to the picture so it fits the Instagram format.
7. Add another filter.
There's always room for one more effect. She uploads the photo saved to her camera roll to Instagram. She chooses the warm-toned, slightly faded effect of Instagram's "Sierra."
8. Describe and share.
No photo is complete without a caption, hashtags, location and plenty of emojis — preferably in groups of three.