Welcome to our newest #holdersnotfolders challenge. A few weeks ago,  Beth & I announced that we were bringing back our Holders Not Folders challenges! So many of you participated in our Summer 2014 series, and we had a blast cultivating a creative Instagram community with you all.

For this quick, six week series, we want to focus on teaching you something new (or reminding you of something you already know) to integrate into your phone photography. Each week we will announce the new challenge, share a quick tutorial and/ or tips, and then encourage you to practice that skill in your Instagrams! Make sure you hashtag #holdersnotfolders and interact with the others participating!

Are you in? We want to encourage you that you can create fun and inspiring photos with your phone and have a beautiful Instagram that reflects YOU! Join the challenge and get creative.

Written by Meg of Rivers and Roads

Today is the last lesson in this quick six week series, and I really hope you'll join in because it's one of my favorites! We are talking about color. I LOVE color. Color is everywhere, and I'm always trying to be aware of those in my surroundings as I choose what to photograph. I like how color comes in many different forms: rich, bright, muted, earthy, etc. and each color evokes various emotions. While I was getting my degree in design, we learned a lot about the psychology of color and how each color affects us. For example, the color red is proven more than any other to induce hunger, which is why you will notice many restaurants tend to use red in their branding (McDonald's, Chick-Fil-A, etc.) The color blue is supposed to make you feel calm and relaxed. Yellow is considered cheerful, but it can also create feelings of frustration. Isn't it funny how color can affect us so much?

Color is a factor I like to keep in mind when taking photos for my Instagram feed. You can set an overall tone or mood for your feed by being conscious of the colors that you post. This can be done through color blocking or an all-encompassing color theme.

I love to practice color blocking a single row in my Instagram feed. This means I pick a specific color, find ways of photographing that color in various shots, and post them in a row together.  I really like this idea because it challenges my creativity and makes me think ahead and be more aware of my surroundings as I'm searching for different colors.

One good example of color blocking comes from Elsie over at ABM. She was doing a rock star job at color blocking her Instagram feed for a while. Scroll down her feed just a little and you'll see what I mean! She has an incredible knack for finding the same shade of blue, or pink, or green, in various items for her photos.

Below you can see I put together three photos all including the same shade of cheerful yellow. (The photo in the middle I regrammed from the amazing Amy Smith.) My version of color blocking may not be quite as apparent as others', but it is its own thing.

The photos in this row all share the same shades of tan/brown, tying the photos together in a small way.

Now, another color option is to have an overall theme for your feed. Some people go with strictly black and white, others may post photos all having a dark background with their subjects being the pops of color, while other's photos all have a white, light, and airy feel. Maybe all of your photos are bright and bold, or maybe they are more muted tones. There a multiple ways to create a theme and a feel for your feed, and color is just one of them! Have you taken the time to create a theme for yours?

HOMEWORK: Now it's your turn! As you go through this week taking photos with your phone, keep the colors around you in mind. Snap lots of photos capturing multiple colors and see if you can do a little color blocking on your Instagram this week! See if you notice a difference in your phone photography when you think and plan ahead! Look at some of your favorite Instagrams or Instagramers -- do they practice color blocking or creating a theme for their feed? Share with us any photos you are proud of by using the hashtag #holdersnotfolders, and share some love on the other photos you see in the feed! 

Make sure to follow @oakandoats and @megmcilvaine on Instagram. To see the rest of our series, click here!
Sarah Elizabeth said...

Just discovering this, and I love it. Your compositions are gorgeous!! <3 xx

Samantha@Elah Tree said...

Girl! Look at you! Two posts in a day! Whew! You're so rad at gramming!

Stacia said...

I have loved this series and the helpful articles you two have shared on making our Instagram's better!

Meg McIlvaine said...

I'm so glad, girl! Hope you'll join us for the next challenge, too. :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Yay! So glad you are here. Thanks for the compliment!