Day Two : Inspiration

Hello again!

I hope that you have enjoyed thinking about your Instagram Gallery and what you want to use it for.

Today I'd like you to look for inspiration for your gallery, so that you can start to produce the right kind of images to tell your visual story.

This can often seem like a daunting task, so I thought it would be helpful to share with you some of the ways that I stay inspired and keep my work fresh and focused.


To continually produce beautiful, engaging visual content isn’t easy. I spend time every week thinking about my photography for my Instagram gallery and planning new ideas. I always strive to improve my photography and look for new inspiration.

I look for inspiration everywhere whether it is in the park on my way to work, in a magazine, on Pinterest, in galleries, or even from the colours on clothes in the shops.

You're no doubt the same as me - consciously and subconsciously absorbing stuff all the time. When I'm thinking about my next photograph I think about all of my current influences, combine them together in my mind and I try to come up with something that represents my version of the world around me. Let's focus on that feeling for today's lesson.


My work is very much influenced by the changing seasons and light and that is something that I love to share through my Instagram gallery. I have a particular colour palette that subtly changes throughout the year as each season comes and goes.

Creative people don't produce things in isolation. As you improve as a photographer, you'll learn to take inspiration from the world around you.

When I was starting out I found it inspirational to spend time looking at the work of those that I admire. Early on, they're the ones that can help you to not only push onwards creatively but also push forwards as a business woman.

They can help you to set goals for yourself and encourage you to keep moving forward and continue to grow.

It is really important to have places to go for inspiration and also people to keep you inspired. But it is even more important to tell your own story. To be inspired but not to feel like you are 'copying' anyone. To develop your own visual voice and style. These are the things that I want you to think about when doing today's exercise.

Hashtag research

A big part of growing on Instagram is using hashtags. It sounds surprising, but by putting some time into researching good hashtags to use, you'll find that people will bump into your posts a lot more and be encouraged to follow you.

But which hashtags are the right ones for you? To answer that question, we've built a tool that analyses your Instagram account for the hashtags you're already using. Then, you can use those hashtags as a starting point to explore others that might be good to try.

If you've made a Makelight profile by signing in with Instagram, you should by now have an Insights report in your inbox. If not, pop over to the Insights page and try it out!

Once you're signed in you'll be able to browse our hashtag library which is built up from the hashtags that everyone in the Makelight community is using. There are hundreds of thousands! Try to look for some inspiration and favourite the ones that look promising using the heart button.


Buying magazines, following people whose work you love, absorbing the imagery and ideas that inspire you - these are all important and part of the process.

Yet there will be times when I personally don’t open the magazines and just leave them to the side for later. I don’t want to see what the people I admire are doing because I just want to focus on my own thing!

Sometimes it's important to push all of the influences to one side and focus on my stories that I want to tell. Let's follow that feeling today.

For today's task I want you to think about your muses. The people who really inspire you. But more, I want you to think about what it is about what they do that inspires you. Creativity doesn't exist in a vacuum - we all have our muses. How could you build on the work of your muses to do something similar, yet completely your own?

  • Find 5 people that you admire on Instagram.
  • Look at what it is they are doing that you enjoy, spend some time with everything that they do. Immerse yourself.
  • Go to Pinterest and create a private pinboard.
  • Add images (from wherever you want) to your board that illustrate to you the kind of visual story that you want to tell on your Instagram stream. It may be very similar to other people. Don't worry! It's private.
  • Do some common themes appear for you in these exercises? Perhaps a colour palette or subject matter for example. Make a note somewhere about these themes. For me, my themes can last for months, so it could just be one!
  • What is it about the work that you've gathered that is missing? What elements can't you find because your own unique take is somehow missing?

Good luck on today's task. I hope you can find a moment to step away from the busyness of life and think about this. It might seem simple reading this, but I've found it such a useful exercise to repeatedly come back to.

Have fun, explore, think and I'll see you again for the next lesson!


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