Instagram is an interesting place to be. In a world where every person is an influencer trying to sell you the life they think you want, connections feel manufactured and bots are taking over to help people grow their following quick, authenticity is being craved for like water in the vast space of endless desert.
Instagram has given us the wonderful ability to now Archive posts. When you archive a post, it no longer shows up on your Instagram feed. What makes archive different than deleting is that all of your archived posts still exist on Instagram for you to look at and, if you decide you want the image back on your feed, you simply select the option to ‘show on profile’ and the image will appear back on your feed in the same place it was originally posted.
This feature leads us to question our content… should I archive some posts with low engagement so it doesn’t affect the algorithms? Should I archive something I don’t love anymore? Should I archive photos from locations I no longer want to shoot?
The answer is yes, there is probably some content you should archive. Let’s look at what you should archive and why.
1 – Archive anything that doesn’t make you FEEL.
A pretty image is nice. A pretty image that catches people and makes them FEEL the emotion in the image makes someone engage with an image longer than it takes to scroll past. When people come to my Instagram feed, I aim to make them feel joy, tenderness and intimacy. All of the images I select for my feed are chosen with these three feelings in mind. When I became clear on the emotions I wanted to evoke from those engaging with my images, I was instantly able to archive anything that didn’t line up with those carefully selected emotions.
Define the words that represent the emotions you want people to feel when they see your work and archive anything from your feed that is out of line with those feelings.
2 – Archive anything that doesn’t embody what you truly want your work to represent.
What do you want your work to represent? All over my website, in emails I send and in interviews I do, I intentionally get across that my images are designed to make you feel and to show that you truly lived. I want my work to represent a life well lived and well loved. Images that are not in line with that embodiment I have archived.
Define what you want your work to represent and archive anything that doesn’t hit the mark.
3 – Archive anything that you wouldn’t want to recreate or make again.
When potential clients come to your Instagram feed, they will be picturing themselves in your images. They will image themselves as the girl in the orange dress with her hair moving to the seamless song of the wind. They’ll picture their family in the water as their children squeal for delight when the birds fly overhead so close they feel like they could reach them with their outstretched arms towards the sky. They will picture their partner’s hands gently stroking their face with such tenderness that the touch will linger on long after the image is taken. If you don’t want to recreate another image just like it, it has no place on your Instagram feed.
Look at your work and see if it matches what your vision for your photography is. If it doesn’t archive it.
Even though you don’t need permission to curate a feed in line with the work you want to create going forward, I want to give it to you. As of this moment, you have permission to archive any images that aren’t in line with your vision for your company and the photography you most desire to create. It’s okay to archive images even if they were well received by others, or even if it’s a close friend. It’s okay to archive images that are great but aren’t the style you want to move forward with.
In the end, Instagram is a place to build a portfolio and engage with potential clients in a way that draws them in more to your unique brand. You want to be authentic in your approach to how you portray your work which means archiving the work that is no longer the best representation of how you want to define your work.
Have you been archiving your images on Instagram? Why?