My life in squares

It's obviously no surprise that I'm addicted to Instagram.  I remember seeing this "photo app" on one of my friend's phones waaaaaaaay before I even had an iPhone.  I bought an iPhone the next day, just for good ole Instagram.  I started using Instagram back when filters were awesome and cool and I made every photo look retro and vintage.  Fast forward many many years (I'm pretty sure I didn't even have kids when I started IG, so yep - it was quite a while ago), and now I'm obsessed with the white background and my photos.

Ever since Instagram updated their website (and the app) to the cleaner background, I can't stop playing with my photos and my feed.  There's just something super fun about snapping photos and sharing them.  Not only is it an awesome way to document the everyday, but it's just plain fun.  Oh - and double bonus - my photos fit into this perfectly spaced, perfectly aligned continuous collage.  For those of you who know me, I am a collage-aholic.  Instagram is the ultimate collage. 

Here are some of my Instagram tips!

1. Use square photos.
The collage is key.  I used to upload horizontal photos and liked that in the feed, but you can't beat consistency in my book.

2. Crop, crop, crop
My very favorite thing to do with these fun squares is to CROP PEOPLE OUT.  Yep - I like to crop out heads, hands, arms, people, bodies, etc...  You name it, I'm likely gonna crop it.  You can get so many unique and different angles with a crop.  The story changes, the background changes, the focus changes.  I LOVE that!  Don't be afraid to crop!  Play around with your photo, move it about in that cute little square box.  Go for it!  

3. Utilize white space
My second favorite thing to do is leave a good bit of white space.  Just like in my projects and layouts, leaving white space can really make your subject/project/main focus pop off of the page.  To me, there is something very dramatic about having one single subject (or two cute subjects) on one BIG white wall.  I'm forever on the search for ginormous white walls (even my kids point them out to me now - and I've even convinced my husband to stand next to one or two....).

4. Rule of thirds
I use this as a "general" rule.  If I can fit my subject onto a third of my photo with the remainder being white space, I will.  But I love a full framed photo, and a centered photo too.  

5. Use a photo editing app
No surprise, but I like my photos light and bright!  I like them to look like they do to my eye and typically my phone camera's sensitivity is off.  Cameras just don't sense light like we do, so I "help" my camera/photo out a little.  I would say about 99.9% of my photos are lightened/brightened using Pic.Tap.Go.  It's my "go-to" app for fast and easy photo editing.  I typically use the "lights on" filter (and adjust the brightness with the toggle tool) and the "crispity" filter (I use this one very sparingly because it can really add some unwanted edges to your photo).

And there you have it!  My Instagram tips and tricks!!  

While I might not update this blog every day, you better believe I'm over on Instagram 'gramming away (not really - I try to limit myself to just one or two photos a day because, seriously - who really wants a full account of my every waking minute???).  Come on over and join me!

Are you on IG?  Leave me your IG handle here!  I'd love to follow you!!


  1. Wow Stephanie, totally loved reading about your photos and I'm really liking the collage prints you do. I print A lot of 3x4 photos and I've been using the snap seed app @neat28

  2. Oh Stephanie, I love your IG account and wouldn't even mind seeing every minute of your life, as it seems so beautiful :D you take such adorable and fun photos!! My IG name is insku, feel free to follow if you like to :) <3

  3. I love your pictures and your IG! I am following you there already:) Thank you for your tips. The cropping one and the lighting one were especially helpful, now I need to go and get that app:) My instagram nic is victoryway.

  4. I love your IG pics! I also love the wonderful SB community in IG! You can find me there too @veerasaarivuo (

  5. Do you use an app to upload your photos to Insta (such as easy square) or do you just upload directly using Insta?

    1. I upload my photos directly into Instagram!

  6. Hi! I love your IG gallery & I'm a follower! I'm @callelillycafe and I love using the same rules to post. Light, bright & crisp photos! I cannot stand when I post & the photo is not white or bright enough for me! I drive my girls nuts! lol

  7. Thanks for the app tip! I've just downloaded it! I'm ZoeGuestArt But it's a super new account :)

  8. I don't usually crop, but instead take the photo with whichever body part missing (from the frame) already. IDK but I just have a HUGE thing for photos that don't show the whole picture, so to speak, because in the long run I think they end up revealing more. Photos that don't show the entire face are my absolute fave.