Instagram has evolved into a whole different monster from what it was intended to be. What started out as a foursquare knock-off, is now the platform of truly new-age careers — Instagram model? Influencers? Social Media Managers? What a time to be alive.
So, what tips would professional Instagrammers have for regular folks like you and me? We have a chat with Yafiq (@_yafiqyusman_) and Yais Yusman (@_yaisyusman_), the twins rocking the Instagram scene with their gravity-defying shots and themed posts.
When asked about their memorable first photos on Instagram, Yafiq could remember his only vaguely.
He recalled it was when he was at an Insta-meet session, a few years ago at the ArtScience Museum with a shot that was taken from the river bank.
Coming from an architecture background, he sees things in a different perspective. And that rubs off on his twin brother, Yais, who focuses more on playing with different angles and perspectives.
The flag-bearer of sorts for the hashtags #groundwallgram and #maketheworldturnover, he captures surreal pictures of our everyday life that seem to defy gravity.
It started when Yais was selected to be on Instagram’s list of Suggested Users, and the rest is history.
The inner workings are simple: Instagram will follow you for a week, and with an account that has 40 million followers, you can expect some serious followings — real followers, almost a thousand every day.
And hey, if you’re wondering how to get on the Suggested Users list, you should well be on a path of having a consistent number of likes and followers. Then, pray you will receive a DM to be the next chosen one.
When asked about their creative process, the twins did not divulge much and they had little to say about specifics.
They draw inspiration from others and put their own trademarks into the shots. But with everything, they are hard on practice. As Yafiq said, “Practice will improve your skills and it [the inspiration] will come naturally after a while“.
They try to include different elements in their shots, such as having mirrors and models to create a mood.
Yafiq leverages on his architecture background to show another perspective that is not seen easily with the human eye.
Knowing what to edit is a vital skill too. They had comments criticising why some pictures are edited in a certain way, and to that, their response is: “Most of the time, our posts are a reflection of how we feel and not every day is Friday. Sometimes, we do feel down and it reflects in our posts.”
Their apps of choice include Snapseed, VSCO and Lightroom. They believe that Snapseed is one of the most powerful editing apps available which stretches the potential of any photo.
Practice. This cannot be said enough.
The good thing about shooting everything on an iPhone is that it’s always at the ready and even if the photos don’t make the cut, it’s always good to keep an eye out for a possible photo opportunity.
Chasing trends are not something the twins are big on but if you’re looking to get into the game, it’s not a bad place to start.
Some shots work for a reason and if building a base of followers is your goal, following a theme tends to get the ball rolling.
But if you’re pushing for something that is uniquely yours, do it — be a pioneer of your own style and push for it.
Timing is everything and just as quickly as trends come, they go, and there will be a time for a new style to take over the ‘gram. So, don’t be afraid to be different. Most importantly, be proud of your work and it’ll show over time.