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What's Your (Instagram) Secret?


What's Your (Instagram) Secret?

Ansen Goh

Featuring @Ashleux
Followers Count: 11k


HAVE YOU EVER wondered what are the ingredients that go into the making of such #minimalist, #monochromatic, #carefullycurated, #fresh photos? 

I took on the liberty to shed this Instagram mystery for my curious self (and hopefully for you too). I managed to get in touch with my friend, Ashley, whose Instagram is filled with aesthetically pleasing visuals, and have her document her process of producing an Instagram photo for me that captures best, the idea of happiness.

What is happiness to you?
Ashley Bei.jpg

Step 1: Be inspired

A self-proclaimed "wanderluster in Singapore" (something which I conveniently plucked from her Instagram biography), Ashley defines happiness as the ability to do the things she wants, whenever she feels like it.

After the initial brainstorming, Ashley actively seeks to capture her seemingly #yolo definition of happiness.

Step 2: Capture & Frame

Pay great attention to detail - that was Ashley's advice for me, while also suggesting that I take the photo from as far away as possible. She says, "it's more advantageous to have more 'information'. [You] can always crop things out later but [you] can't add things in." 

Having considered step 1 & 2, the result is as such - A poolside scene that encapsulates the epitome of indulging in life's simple pleasures in spite of life's busyness.

Feet in water, candies, music and a lifestyle magazine.


As with most, if not all successful Instagrammers, it goes beyond just pointing, shooting, adding pre-fix Instagram filters and uploading.

We're all aware that this formula alone doesn't produce images that garner the likes of hundreds or even thousands (unless of course you're a celebrity).

Aside from being inspired and having an aesthetic vision, Ashley reveals that the other key secret lies in using third-party editing apps to spruce up her images.

 The raw image - preprocessed

The raw image - preprocessed


Step 3: Ashley's secret

For most of her edits, Ashley uses the paid version of "Afterlight" (available on the Apple app store for SG$1.28) . 

By editing the aspects of the image slightly, like its brightness and contrast, you contribute to the final look of the photo.

In her own words: "Increase contrast for clarity / Decrease it for a softer feel."




After absorbing Ashley's advice, I tried to capture my own version of Happiness in an Instagram photo. Here's my very own masterpiece - What do you think?

And what's yours?

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