Today we’re thrilled to introduce a new and exciting series that gives you inside access to our list of irresistible Instagram accounts! Our first story features one of our very favorite Instagrammers—Amy Stone is a digital content creator residing in the West Village; a proponent of fresh flowers, gallery walls and head-to-toe navy. We hope you enjoy a close-up snapshot of Amy’s aesthetic, inspiration and editing process!
1. How did you get into Instagram?
When I moved to New York in 2011, I began to notice that everyone with an iPhone was posting these little vintage-looking photos on various social media channels. I didn’t own an Apple product—let alone an iPhone—at the time, but promptly ordered an iTouch just so I could create an Instagram account.
While the Instagram and iPhone photography scene has advanced since then, I remain equally as excited about taking and editing photos. I’ll never delete the old ones, no matter how awful they look, because I remember how cool I thought they were at the time. (Trust me, they were b-a-d.)
2. What do you think people look for in a photo? Do you think it has to tell a story?
I aim to post photos that will cause someone to stop scrolling aimlessly through his or her feed, pause and look closer. Art direction and thought definitely go into my images—I feel that viewers appreciate that. I believe people are attracted to content that’s relatable and familiar yet also a bit dreamy and aspirational.
3. We’ve noticed you seem to have a preference for the color blue in your photos. Is that planned? How did that come about?
Your observation is correct! Visually, I gravitate toward cool-hued palettes. I live for the blues of summer (pools, oceanside scenery, mariner stripes) and nautical motifs, which could explain the attraction.
4. You’re in charge of the digital and social media for @gapkids. How long have you been working for Gap, and how did you get started in the digital section?
I am! Working with adorable babies and teeny-tiny clothing was never something I expected to be involved with, but I love it. I started on the global social media team at Gap two years ago. My interests and inclinations have always been in digital marketing. In college, I started my blog, and upon graduating, my internships (Garance Doré, The Sartorialist, Zac Posen and the CFDA) were always social media-based. Eventually, I ended up at Gap, and I truly consider it a dream job—working in social media for a well-known, well-loved iconic brand was my goal.
5. How often do you check Instagram?
It depends on the day! Typically, I like to scroll through in the morning for inspiration, around lunchtime for a quick visual break and then again at night once I’m home from work. During the weekend or on vacation, I admittedly don’t look at Instagram too often—since my job and personal work revolve around social media, I like to take a rest from it when I can.
6. What is one thing you wish Instagram offered?
From a marketing perspective, I’d love to see hyperlinking capabilities within captions. I think that would really change the game for mobile shopping. However, I realize that Instagram doesn’t want to drive traffic out of the app … so I’m not sure that will ever happen!
7. Do you have any hashtags that you use or follow often?
Recently, I started to document my travels with #stoneoffduty and #idreamofdoors to organize my colored door series. I love following #ihavethisthingwithfloors, which features beautifully tiled, patterned, mosaic and unique flooring (usually accompanied by cute shoes). The @ihavethisthingwithfloors account is equally inspiring.
8. In your opinion, what makes a good Instagram shot? Do you take a lot of photos to get the “perfect shot?”
To me, clean, natural lighting, a well-composed perspective, interesting subject matter and proper editing all contribute to a great Instagram photo. While I am meticulous about details and do take a few options, it’s much easier to choose when there are fewer shots to pick from!
9. What are your favorite apps to use for Instagram? Do you have any frequently used filters?
I swear by VSCO Cam and Snapseed, both free editing apps. VSCO’s filters (called presets) enhance and enrich photos instead of flattening them. Aside from the endless filtering options, I usually bump up exposure and contrast while toning down the temperature to be more blue (no surprise there). After VSCO, I’ll use Snapseed to fine-tune. It allows you to easily blow out tiny highlights or desaturate yellow-based shadows. I highly recommend both apps!
10. Who are your top five favorite people to follow on Instagram?
I truly love following my family (even my dad is on Instagram—win) and friends. However, a few of my favorites for visual inspiration are: Lucy Laucht—endless wanderlust and colorful, serene scenes. One of the first ladies I met when I moved to New York! Meltttt—stylized still lifes in minimal black and white, with splashes of blue pools. Sarah Irene Murphy—summer travels, particularly in New England, captured perfectly. Erica Choi—a digital art director at Barneys who seems like the most chic girl in Manhattan (with the most covetable wardrobe to match). Photographer Olivia Rae James—a beautifully curated gallery featuring one of my favorite cities, Charleston, South Carolina (where Olivia is based). I could go on and on … there are so many talented, creative people that I admire.
11. What are five best practices for creating a great Instagram profile?
1. Develop a signature aesthetic.
2. Tell a cohesive visual story.
3. Build a community; maintain conversations with your followers.
4. Capture things in a way that never existed before.
5. Don’t take it too seriously; it’s just a tiny square photo after all.
Make sure to follow Glitter Guide’s Instagram today to see @Amy_Stone’s takeover and her favorite NYC spots.