Our Top 3 Apps For Instagram Stories

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We're professional photographers, Mr + Mrs and Mom + Dad. We like to share insights into our industry and empower other photographers to build their biz.



What’s up, friends! Everyone has a story, and our life chapters are made up of even smaller stories. An we’re just curious…is there a better place than to share those little snippets of our life than on Instagram!? I mean come on, who doesn’t love seeing a cool behind the scenes video or reels of Erica crawling across the carpet? Just us….? Instagram stories are becoming more and more popular because it allows your audience to really get to know you. People LOVE seeing the day-to-day content of you just keeping it real. Being able to not only shoot, but style your stories to fit your brand can be the ultimate upgrade you need to take your stories to the NEXT LEVEL! So to help you do the same with your stories, we’re sharing Our Top 3 Apps for Instagram Stories!

Unfold – to create slides for stories

Unfold is the app we use to create story slides. The majority of the time we use it when we are showing behind the scenes and sneak peaks of client sessions. It’s also the app we use when we’re creating slides just to engage and have fun with our audience. Gotta love IG polls! 🙂 Unfold is a super simple way to elevate the look of your story slides and show a little more personality through them by customizing them to just fit any brand. We like to take our slides to fit our brand and ultimately make them fit our personality!

When we post sneak peaks of client sessions on our story, we like to look at it as a mini Instagram blog post. You have the ability to really curate the images to be cohesive on the slides and make it look really pretty….and, you’re probably thinking well gosh Erica + Jon how much time is that going to take me? And the truth is, yes, it takes time and is not necessary in order to show up on Instagram stories. BUT it does provide you a really good feature to save to a highlight on your profile. This allows us to create a very accessible mini portfolio for inquiring clients! We’ve actually booked sessions based on people seeing our slides! Clients told us that seeing our story slides from previous client sessions really caught their eye for wanting to work with us. These highlights really “highlight” ;)….our intention and show off our work in an appealing way. 

We have Unfold plus, which costs a little extra, but gives access to all of the templates and fonts within the app. They are fun and customizable to match your personal brand!

Planoly – to arrange your grid

The app Planoly is all strictly for aesthetic purposes for us. We don’t use Planoly in the capacity of having it post for us or to schedule our posts, although it is able to do all of those tasks. Our preference is to have hands on control when our posts go up, but the app does provide those features! We use Planoly to plug in our photos so we can visually see what we’re trying to schedule next. Also, it allows us to see how it will look aesthetically in our overall Instagram grid. 

The aesthetic of your feed isn’t a make or break, but CAN make a difference in how your brand is presented. We use Planoly to play with it like a tetris board, moving all the pieces around. It helps us to identify things like not having too many selfies or a particular style photo right next to each other on our feed. We like to mix it up with family photos, behind the scenes, traveling…etc. The idea behind this is that anyone visiting our page can get a glimpse into who we are within a couple posts.

Lightroom Mobile – to edit photos for stories

Last, but certainly not least Lightroom Mobile! We use Lightroom Mobile basically the same way we use Lightroom on a desktop. We take iPhone photos and at least edit them to have it match and resemble our personal brand as much as possible. For prospective clients who give your grid a really quick glance, it tells them if they want to keep scrolling, or stop. If we can make our pictures all blend to fit the look of our brand, then we are doing our job of showing people what to expect when they pop onto our page.  

The main sliders we use within Lightroom Mobile are exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, blacks, and temperature. Temperature is SUPER important because we can’t shoot with an ExpoDisc on our phone. Even though that would be an EPIC GAMECHANGER. Hmmm maybe we should look into that….

Well there you have it! Those are our top three apps we use for social media and to create our Instagram stories. We hope these were helpful tips for you to take into creating amazing content for your social media audience! If you haven’t already, be sure to download these apps and let us know what you think!

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