We all know that the world of photography has undergone a revolution in the last two decades. First, along came the digital photograph, forever changing how we process and shoot pics. And today: Instagram. Who would have thought a tiny screen could inspire such a giant amount of creativity?
The app has provided denim fanatics a new medium for showcasing their favorite pairs of blue jeans, and brought together a visual community of inspired denimheads. Unzipped already filled you in on the must-follow denim drenched feeds. But how would a denim lover get started?
Recently, we checked in with a few of our favorite #deniminstagrammers — Cory Piehowicz of @Banditphotographer, Jacques Grosz of @Spicyrec, Dan Ewing of @Ewingdrygoods, and Svante Nybyggars of @theurbanhippieswe — to ask for some tricks of the denim Instagram trade.
Their tips are all you need to create a dream jean feed of your own.
1. Be inspired.
Inspiration can come from the most mundane places, but having a lot of it is essential for an intriguing photo stream. When Unzipped asked Grosz (@Spicyrec) where he finds inspiration, he replied “Everywhere!” Dan Ewing (@Ewingdrygoods) contends that your surroundings might play a major role in inspiring you to pick up your phone (read: camera) and take that winning shot. For him, living in Alaska surrounded by wilderness and wildlife is a driving source of inspiration — not to mention the perfect backdrop for his denim.
2. Be yourself.
These experts didn’t one day wake up and decide to start capturing all things jean on Instagram. The subject is a full-on reflection of who they are and what they live and breath each day — their denim. Grosz emphasizes the importance of being yourself on your feed, saying, “A picture is a reflection of your mind!” And Ewing told Unzipped, “The things I’m into just come out naturally in my feed: God, family, leather and of course denim.”
3. Find unique angles and capture different people.
But how do you create something that will set your handle apart from the pack? The key, say the #denimstagrammers, is actively working to find your own unique voice. Piehowicz (@Banditphotographer) says users should look to post stuff that hasn’t been posted before (although, he admits that if the “stuff” is denim, he could look at it all day). And Ewing adds, “Do your own thing, don’t try to imitate what somebody else has already done. We need more people pushing the envelope!” When in doubt, find an interesting character to photograph. Nybyggars (@theurbanhippieswe) says, “People like to look at other people.”
4. Build your community.
Instagram wouldn’t be what it is without the communities it creates. Piehowicz says that he finds the benefit of Instagram to be that it allows you to share your image with many in just a few seconds, and connect with people all over the world. This builds strong connections, which for Piehowicz has led to professional work. And Nybyggars contends, “I have met so many people in the denim community through Instagram, no matter what age.”
5. Minimize the filters.
Photo: via @Banditphotographer
Most of the photographers interviewed felt that the beauty inherent to the denim means that edits are oft unnecessary. Piehowicz says that although he doesn’t use too many Instagram filters, he occasionally turns to the Snapseed app and SquareFX to show the full frame if a square image format isn’t working. And Grosz insists that “no filter at all is the best — just add light!”
6. Find the perfect subject.
It’s no surprise that according to these denim lovers, jeans are the perfect subject for the medium. No other garment can tell such a story through an image. Piehowicz says, “Denim takes on a life of it’s own. It evolves, and the color and fades are so beautiful.” He feels that shooting denim is similar to shooting portraits, because the denim has such strong characteristics, just like people.
So get out that phone and start snapping. There’s a whole world on Instagram that’s excited to see more blue jeans on their screen.