How To Achieve Moody Fashion Photos + Growing Your Instagram Style Account

Why do the lifestyle bloggers get to have all the fun being all Extra AF and still bringing in all the 50k fans and working with Bootay Bag? Share the fun.. lemme make my friends insta-famous too.

Enter project: Revamp your Instagram to a fashion/lifestyle blog and grow your following in one month.

My friend Avin (@prinseavin) and I have talked about doing a photoshoot since last September but never got around to it. He shared with me that he was interested in transforming his personal instagram into a men’s street style account. He was excited for an opportunity to work with his favorite brands. To start his revamp process, on Sunday afternoon, we grabbed some joe from Moore’s coffee shop and got down to work. This is what we did:


You might be curious how the photoshoot process went, or even how to shoot your own fashion-focused photo sessions (+ I share my exact edits with you below)! Thus, I published this post to guide you through step-by-step how we did this photo shooting session & I also wanted to share some tips to grow your social media following. Let’s get to it! 

1. Pre-Photoshoot



Don’t skip that coffee meeting. You gotta set a tone for how you want other people to perceive you. Unlike real life, we can rewrite our narratives on social media, by showcasing what we want people to see.

Grab a paper and pen and ask yourself (or your client):

  • What is the instagram going to be about? Draft up a clear instagram bio so people know exactly why they are following you for. 
  • What brands do I want to work with? Include some bigger names, but also local Seattle brands. 
  • What kind of feed do I want – minimalistic or moody? We went for moody for Avin, so you can see I’ve edited his photos to be darker and blue. 
  • How often can I commit to posting to the IG? It’s been said that ideal interval is 3x a week, and at least 1x a week if you want to grow your Instagram fast. 

2. Getting Those Shots



Get low, lower, lower. The low angle is pretty flattering for style shoots like this. I’m already short, so I guess I have my work cut out for me! HA!



Find interesting backgrounds in the city. Make sure it doesn’t take away from the subject though, and check to see that there’s no stop signs or airplanes sticking out from his head.



Work with natural light, or just do a sick job editing. I like storefront windows!

I used a DSLR with 50mm lens, but if you don’t own one, don’t fret! Try these tips with your phone camera, you might be amazed what you can do with really good natural lighting.

3. Editing in Lightroom: Creating the “Avin” preset

Speaking of editing, I went with the orange-teal coloring for a moody look. I took a screenshot of my preset (Adobe Lightroom, try it for free) if you were curious how I made the photos look that way. The following is the exact settings I did if you want to replicate this style:

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 4.11.21 PM

Light: I bumped up exposure, increased contrast, brought down highlights, increased shadows, lowered whites, increased blacks.

Colors: I turned temperature cooler, higher vibrance, higher saturation. In color mixer, I increased both saturation and luminance for the Orange and Blue colors to made them pop!

Effects: I bumped up clarity by a lot (+61).

Detail: I bumped up the sharpening and noise reduction.

By the way, Presets, if you didn’t know… is a great way to achieve consistency in your photos AND to set the mood. Think of it as a customized Instagram filter for your photos, but one that doesn’t look like you slapped on an Instagram filter as an afterthought LOL. Ya feel me?

4. Posting to Social Media for Maximum Impact (Tips)

How do you select your Instagram photos? Well you know people scroll through their feeds like maniacs, which means we only get 5 secs to wow them. Here’s what I want you to do: hold your phone out from you as far as possible and then look through your album. Pick the photos that stood out to you right away.

Also don’t forget that people decide to follow based on your consistency. That is, you gotta be posting regularly with consistent quality. Also, when they visit your profile, make sure the first 9 photos they see are your best.

  • Check your instagram profile pic and make sure it 1) matches the quality of photos on your feed and 2) the same image is included as apart of your feed.
  • Max out your hashtags to 30: Because that’s what those hashtags are good for, so people could find you!
  • Captions: your first line of caption should relate to what your photo is about! Then, if you want to get into a long rant about your girlfriend or boyfriend in the caption after the first line, go ahead be my guest.

A lil cheatsheet, my gift to you:

Here’s your first 20 hashtags written for you, just copy and paste them to your Notes + add 10 of your own:

#makeportraits #seattlefashion #fashionblogger #streetmeetwa #streetstyle #menwithstyle #mensfashion #wanderlust #pnwlife #pnwonderland #pnwcollective #vsco #hypebeast #makeportraitsnotwar #iginfluencers #gameoftones #styleinspiration #gqstyle #igers_seattle #mensweardaily

Thanks for reading! Any questions?

Got any tips of your own when it comes to fashion photography, business tips, or social media growing? Leave them here…. I’m always eager to learn 😀