A Chat About Instagram Themes & Creativity

Immy May Thailand

I have been meaning to write about this for a lil while now.

Not gonna lie, it has kept me up at night. Ain’t that kinda crazy? I am losing sleep over an app. Get yourself together guuuuuurl.

The conversation about Instagram, themes, followers, bots and everything in between has come to a head recently. A lot of folk are pretty confused about where all of this is going, and what may lay ahead. Not just in terms of Instagram, but with the blogging world too.

Immy May Thailand

Ya see, I’ve been trying too hard. I took the theme thing WAY too seriously and it did the opposite of what I initially intended.

I wanted my slice of internet to be completely me. A place you can go to see what I’m getting up to, what I’m thinking, where I’m eating, what I’m baking. But I feel that recently, my slice of internet is merely a fraction of me. The snippets of life that made me grin from ear to ear don’t make the cut, they don’t fit the theme. LOL reading this back actually makes me chuckle, who have I turned into!?

Almost everyone I chat to has a similar view. Instagram has taken such prominence even over the original blog, it can feel overwhelming. The daily square of life you choose to share is carefully curated with the aim of increasing engagement, or numbers. The number that a lot of people see as a mark of success, and that really takes the biscuit.

I slipped into a theme a few months back. Light, bright pastel hued colours, pops of blue, pretty flatlays and all that Instagrammable stuff. It was all well and good for a while, but then it just began to drain my creativity.

Immy May Thailand

I deleted snaps that didn’t fit with my ‘theme’ and I genuinely shopped to fit it. Now THAT really is crazy. Beautiful restaurant with wooden tables? Nah. Gorgeous sunset? Too dark.

Unless I hop on a plane to Santorini and live within the beautiful blue and white scenery for the rest of my days, it’s not gonna happen.  In reality, I live in a rather grey London.

Why am I trying so hard to theme my life? My love for photography and capturing the beauty in every day is dwindling as I am putting so many limits on myself, for the sake of a number.

SO here I am to say NAH MATE to a future Instagram theme. I am going to find my creativity and my personality again, I am going to post what I want when I want. Who’s with me?

Immy May Thailand

I would LOVE to hear what you think… Are you an Instagram theme lass?

Ix

Come say hey over on my (theme-less) Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin, YouTube and Snapchat (immymay)

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  • NatalieLeanne

    Totally agree with this babe! I’m new to Instagram still but the pressure to fit into a ‘theme’ is REAL shizz! Lets all chill out a bit?! xx

    http://www.natalieleanne.com

    • Yes it is SO much weird pressure around it! I don’t even know when it started? We defo need to chill da F out lol. I have started to post what I want, when I want and it is already making me feel happier! Immy x

  • YES Immy! Great to hear your thoughts on this. Obviously I am brand new to blogging but already Instagram causes me serious headaches which is ridiculous – it’s just an app, but also it’s an app I loved for ages when I was using it personally (I set up a new account for my blog). I haven’t managed to sort a theme yet but given what you have written here and also a couple of things I have read from other people I don’t think I am going to, like you say I feel like it would restrict me from posting things I love if they didn’t ‘fit’ and stifle any kind of creativity. Looking forward to seeing your snaps :)
    Beautiful photos by the way, that shade is gorgeous on you!
    Sophie xxx | Sophar So Good

    • Heheee yes galll >:) I just had to say something as it was on ma mind. I also thought a lot of other folks might be in a similar place! To think I deleted my own photos and actually bought stuff to fit in with my theme is madness lol. You do you chick, what inspires you will absolutely inspire others too :) Thanks lovely – waiting for the day I can where that dress in England haha! Immy x

  • I always thought that instagram themes were too restrictive and my life and inspirations are way too diverse to stick to a theme. I say go for it and make the feed exciting by what makes you excited :)

    Lii
    https://byliil.wordpress.com/

    • Yes you are totally right Lii! Feeling refreshed and inspired to just y’know, post what I fancy, when I fancy! I will fall back in love with Instagram – fingers crossed! Immy x

  • I agree. When I started a blog I never thought much how my Instagram had to look like. And now I do feel overwhelmed thinking about the good pictures and the ones that I like but don’t belong there. But right now I just want to post all the ones I love. And just show my personality through them.

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

    • I know, me neither! I actually scrolled right back through my Instagram yesterday and it was so nice to reminisce. The photos I post on Instagram now don’t really have any memory attached to them, do ya know what I mean? They are curated and far from my life that when I look back, it wont really mean that much at all! I’m gonna join ya on that one :) Immy x

  • I do the exact same, it has to be a well lit photo or its not going on the gram, which is sosoo bad of me but its true. However, I do have a private instagram account where I post more personal bits, where lighting isnt an issue and yeah its pretty good, I’d recommend!

    Lucy | Forever September

    • Yes! I am SO bloody keen on all the editing apps – Matt actually picked me up on it the other day lol. He was just like why are they always so white?! Oh really? Thats actually a nice idea, I need to do something like that, even just to help me get my creativity back. Immy x

  • Laura Torninoja

    Ahh YES, I so agree with all of this! I have an Instagram theme, and although as a visual person I enjoy seeing pictures look good next to each other in the grid, I think I need to not be SO strict with it.

    My theme is very similar to yours (pastels & light colours) and I hate the fact that I have definitely deleted GOOD pictures from my feed because they didn’t quite “fit”. Once it was just because the table my food was in was the wrong colour… That’s just ridiculous, isn’t it? I just love taking pictures so much and I would never want to lose the joy in doing it. I think it’s time to try and loosen up a bit – wish me luck haha! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Yes me too! I love it when it looks aesthetically pleasing! My brother actually has a really great ‘theme’… He works in trios, as he is a photographer, each row is from a different shoot and looks so so nice! (he is oscarmay_) if you wanted to have a peek! I totttaaaally get you on the table colour woes! I am exactly the same! Let’s do this gal :) Immy x

  • I do post pictures of food days after I eat but I don’t do it for colourful aesthetics, it’s more about bringing variety to my personal page. I think if you like what you post, no worries. I have a few filters I prefer on Vscocam but I don’t define my life over it either. I think it’s about diversity in what you post, so go ahead with the table, the sunset, the selfie, and the pastels. Make it 10000000% you and it will be fantastic. I’m no expert but this is my personal view. Like you said, it can’t determine our lives THAT MUCH.

    xx

    • Yes I LOVE your feed lass. It is all your personality, and it shines through so well in the captions too! Exactly, thank you lovely :) I think the people worth having as your followers won’t mid if the table is wooden rather than pale blue. lol! Immy x

  • So true Immy!! I never quite managed to master the Instagram theme (as you can probably tell!) but still seem to be trying to be… something! Following rigid rules really does destroy creativity. Also, I can’t be arsed to play by Instagram’s game anymore ever since they changed the algorithm – I loved being able to see everything in chronological order! The new one sucks! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua

    • Keep at what you are doing lass, it has so much more personality and the snaps are beautiful :) Ugh I know, if I think about it I just get pissed off lol. I used to enjoy the app so much more back in the day. Also, as a blogger it was much, much easier to grow your audience – as people would actually see your pictures! Immy x

  • Jade Ingham-Mulliner

    I ended up in this exact pickle, I was even deleting photos I had posted that I loved but just didn’t quite work desperate to make my page look a bit brighter and more professional. Its so silly as it loses that little bit of you that Instagram should be, the silliness- laughter etc I would only save the very best for Instagram. It is pathetic how much I let it stress me out! Great post!!

    • Yes Jade! So glad we are in the same boat. It is really good to just talk about these things, most likely everyone feels the same way! Instagram is supposed to be a space for creativity, a slice of your personality! I am definitely gonna stress less and see where it takes me :) Thank you lady. Immy x

  • Hayley Rubery

    YES YES YES to this girl!!! This has been driving me crazy too – every time I look at my feed I’m like ahhhh they images don’t sit right together but then I just gave up caring! I’ve started to use the same filter so it has a level of consistency across my images but other than that I say let’s stick our middle finger up to the theme!

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

    • Yesssssssss Hayley! Ugh I know, so bloody frustrating. I too have stopped caring and it is making me so much happier, I mean green on ma feed used to be a no-go – now look at me! lol, so ridiculous! Yeah I think using a specific filter is a great idea, but all the rest can do one >:) Immy x

  • I’ve never been an instagram theme gal, I just cba with the effort of it all for exactly the reason you’ve said! I think my personality and my genuine life and the pictures I take to remember it has literally made a theme for itself – and that’s with no effort whatsoever, just me being me! It’s so interesting to read your point of view, I always love scrolling through pretty themes but never thought how restricting it could be! Xxx

    http://www.lifeofem.co.uk

    • Yes you have the right idea Em! Exactly, your personality is your theme – which is what people want to see anyway! Me too, I used to love it – but It really is far more hassle than it is worth. Thank you for stopping by my love. Immy x

  • totally understand where you are coming from, i found the same thing for quite some time as i was theme obsessed and it actually made me quite unhappy haha. Now i’ve developed my aesthetic and actually the theme thing is making me more creative when it previously wasn’t. I think the ‘theme’ should just be you, personally i like accounts that are honest with lots of behind the scene shots and after you follow some one you dont usually go back to look at their feed as a whole- well i dont anyway if someone has a lovely eye and interesting posts i want to see that on my feed an not because they have a cohesive theme going on.

    http://www.thewhimsicalwildling.com/

    • Right!? I genuinely feel happier now I have lost the theme! The pictures I put up make me happy and have proper memories (i.e me and an alpaca at the weekend hehe!) You are so right, I love seeing behind the scenes and what they are getting up to outside the blog. I do usually look at individual snaps too, rather than their page as a whole. So glad we are all on the same page haha! Immy x

  • ninegrandstudent

    I totally get where you are coming from – I love the IDEA of a theme but it totally doesn’t fit my life. I’m happy with making my grid look pretty though!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

    • YES! It didn’t with mine either, I love pretty photos but I don’t need to be so strict on myself! Immy x

  • Rakel

    I’m with you! I feel the same!

    http://www.alovelystyle.com

    • We are in it together Rakel! Are ya gonna break away from it all? Immy x

  • I feel the same, girl! I’m trying not to care as much as I just started a new theme haha. First time seeing your Instagram now and I think it looks great, followed you!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

    • Yes! I bet you I will fall into another theme, but I am enjoying just going with the flow right now! Ah thank you so much my love :) Immy x

  • I’m obsessed with my theme and when you say “Beautiful restaurant with wooden tables? Nah. Gorgeous sunset? Too dark. Unless I hop on a plane to Santorini and live within the beautiful blue and white scenery for the rest of my days, it’s not gonna happen.” I’m like YES GIRL YOU UNDERSTAND ME.
    My problem is that my house is not as bright as I want to, as white as I want to and I still live with my parents so of course I can re arrange things a bit in my room but oh gosh I feel like I need to move house mainly because it doesn’t fit my Instagramblog theme. Taking pictures is so time consuming for me! I’ve got backgrounds to use etc but, for instance, I’d like to write a blog post on my bedside table essentials but I can’t take a pic of products on my bedside table because it’s of a wooden color that doesn’t fit. #endlessstruggle

    Caterina | http://www.caterinasosso.com

    • YES GAL! So glad we are in the same boat haha! Crazy isn’t it!? I was planning on re-decorating my bedroom with my theme in mind LOL. I have stopped with the theme recently and have found things much more enjoyable – green was never on ma grid, now it is errywhere! Immy x

  • Yep! I get you. Becoming obsessed with whats right and whats not right to post is very draining. You’ll end up posting more authentic content if you stick to what you love. And thats what your followers are there for! Well done girl. Happy to stumble across your blog today. xx

    • Yes it really is! I have lost my theme now and I am SO happy about it, I post as and when things happen now – they are memories rather than curated snaps! Ah thank you Emily :) Glad ya found me! Immy x

  • missgetaway

    Interesting, I just posted a persoanl text about the same topic. I’m absolutely with you on that one – let’s make Instagram real again.

    xx kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

    • Yes, lets! Would be far more enjoyable that way. Gonna go and have a read of yours :) Immy x