Challenge Half: Instagram Analysis 

My overall conclusion of my instagram analysis? My fans like my face, I like flowers. 

I conducted this short study on my personal instagram (@magpie_photo), which I have recently decided I will also make my “business” instagram. Previously, I had a separate instagram for my photography, but it just proved to be too much work to keep up! 

Initial Grouping 
I grouped my posts into three categories: “great” (25+ likes), “O.K.” (24-15 likes), and “poor” (14-0 likes). Upon grouping them, one pattern stuck out immediately. I found that over and over, posts of me were the posts that got the most likes. This is generally counter to how I conduct myself now. I don’t like putting up pictures of myself, for fear of seaming vain, so I don’t do it often. the one selfie I posted over three years of having Instagram was the one with the highest total of likes! I also noticed that images with depth tended to do better.

Applying the Golden Ratio
Applying the Golden Ratio to my images definitely became more difficult as I went down my list of “most liked” to “least liked.” It was clear that the most-liked images were also the ones that had the strongest sense of movement, perspective, and contrast. None of them were exactly renaissance paintings, but clearly having a defined subject was helpful.

Considering Subject
The puppy and pictures of me were by far the most popular subjects. Following this were images from protests, and images of scenery with depth. The images of flowers with no depth (I take a lot of pictures of flowers) didn’t do well. Additionally, pictures of my friends also didn’t do well. I found this relatively surprising, because I think I have beautiful and interesting friends, so I assumed they would garner attention.


In conclusion, I found that my general Instagram strategy is not conducive to having a significant Instagram presence. I highlighted my favorite Instagram posts with blue boxes, and considered how my favorites landed in the “poor, o.k., great” scale. Overall, I found that I preferred images of interesting places, NOT people. I’m also clearly very fond of uniform backgrounds covered with bright flowers or fruits– not exactly everyone’s idea of a Van Gogh. I used the insights I gained from this survey of my instagram to create guidelines for good and bad posts.

Good Posts: Subjects are either me, a cute dog, a protest, or something very exciting. One outlier (not included in the survey) was an image of a cool room that was completely lit with purple lights. So, very futuristic, trendy looking places are also acceptable. Subject must be in the foreground, and there must be depth to the image (at least a middle ground and background). Caption is necessary. Hashtags help.

Bad Posts: don’t have a discernible background, and have no depth. Subjects that don’t do well are fields of flowers and stands of trees, both of which tend to produce low-contrast fields with no discernible subject. Bad posts may also include pictures of friends, which, even if they have proper depth, don’t do well. Not having a caption or a hashtag lowers the chances of the post being liked, and so should be avoided.

Testing My Conclusion: 
I applied the good post/ bad post rules I learned from my initial Instagram survey to three of the most recent photos I posted on my instagram (all had at least 3 days to accrue likes). Overall, my assessment was fairly close to the actual metrics of my posts: I assumed that the post of the drawing would have a “poor” like status, that the post of me blowing bubbles would have a “great” like status, and the picture of my friend looking majestic on a hilltop would have an “o.k.” like status. I was close! the actual pattern was “poor, higher-end of o.k., lower-end of o.k.” So, have I learned how to make better posts from this exercise? Definitely! Will I employ these new tactics? Probably not. I like pictures of flowers, whether or not my friends see the beauty in them.