Win at Instagram and you’ll soon be living it up with Ja Rule and Bella Hadid on Pablo Escobar’s island in the Bahamas, drinking Evian someone put a certain body part on the line for…
Fyre Festival aside, Instagram is an amazing platform for promoting yourself and/or your business, carving out a career that exists on your terms, and connecting with inspirational people in your field. In our new series ‘How to win at Instagram’ we ask super-successful Instagrammers to share their pearls of wisdom for building followers and engagement in the world of interiors ‘gramming. First up, it’s renter and prolific Instagrammer Pati Robins, who doesn’t live in the Bahamas...
The Renter: Pati Robins
Pati is an Instagram wizard, transforming her small rented flat into a haven of plush, dark interiors and her signature eclectic style and sharing it on the squares. She’s also one of the most generous ‘grammers around, lifting her peers with positive words and DIY tips. We chatted to Pati about community, photography and being on the Insta-naughty step…
@PatiRobins focuses on DIY for renters as well as stunning interiors. Should you have a niche if you’re trying to get noticed as an Instagrammer?
I personally think that if you stick to what you love, it will attract the right kind of people. If you start overthinking then Instagram becomes too much like hard work. If you’re having fun using social media it shines through.
You have a blog with two other interiors Instagrammers – has Instagram created a community for you?
In a way, yes. It’s a fantastic platform where a lot of creative people join together and show what they do across design, styling and DIY.
It definitely helps me having an audience to share DIY tips (and problems!) with, as well as having people who support you on your personal journey. Instagram is one of the most welcoming communities when it comes to social media.
You mix beautiful images with funny, personal captions - which is more important, the picture or the caption?
I think captions and images are equally as important – although apparently you should keep your caption short which I definitely fail at! Some people are just on Instagram for a nice photo, but I think my followers appreciate my longer captions and the stories they tell. Having a bonkers family does help with this!
You’re really active responding to comments and praising other Instagrammers’ posts. Does that help to build your profile?
Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t comment to build my Instagram – for me the whole point of social media is being social and supporting each other. It really is people not numbers that matter the most on here. I am very grateful for every person that follows me and sticks around as I love chatting to people. I don’t think Instagram as a platform rewards having lots of comments on your profile as at busy times my posts tend to go down in the hashtag pages. Do I care? Not one bit. I’m here to have fun, meet like-minded people, and support fellow ‘grammers.
You’re a fantastic photographer – any top tips for Instagram photography in particular?
I wouldn’t say that - I often struggle with interior shots. My home is really small which is tricky, although helpfully it looks much bigger in photos than it does in real life.
I’ve learned to observe how lighting in my home changes through the day and the seasons and to pick the best moment to shoot. For instance, spaces that have really small windows (like my hallway) I try to shoot when the sun is directly hitting them so that it illuminates the space. For a larger window, I would recommend shooting when the light isn’t directly shining through it, but if you are short on time then invest in a super cheap diffuser kit (I bought mine on eBay), or a sheer bit of cloth. Pop it in the window so the sunshine will be diffused nicely, making the light look much less harsh in photographs. If you want to bounce light into the space then get a diffuser kit with a gold or silver reflector, so that you can bounce warmer or cooler shades into the space. For sharper shots in low light a tripod is a must.
If you’re like me – living in a small home with not a lot of angles to take – practise ceiling yoga: go up high and shoot downwards!
What do you use to take your photos?
A mix of iPhone and my DSLRs with wide angle lenses, depending on the size of the space (I sound like I have loads of rooms to shoot – I just live in a bog-standard house!)
Talk us through your favourite or most successful post of all time, the image, the caption, the hashtags and why you love it.
I think the most memorable one was my Ikea RAST (chest of drawers) hack. On the morning of posting it, I thought to myself ‘this is such a crappy photo but who cares it’s only a DIY’. Cut to a few hours later and the post had gone absolutely bonkers! I had such a huge traffic flow that Instagram banned me from posting any text for a week – I’ve been put on the naughty step far too many times over posts!
Thanks so much for chatting with us Pati - see you in the squares!
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