My Instagram page is a mess: How do photographers organize their grids?

Why Instagram needs to divide content
(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This might not be a popular idea, but I've been thinking recently how I'd absolutely love it if Instagram could enable photographers and content creators to section off or organize certain posts - in the same way that videos and Reels can be viewed collectively or in a separate tab.

Instagram has recently introduced a pinned post feature that enables users to move important and most popular posts to the top of their profile grids – though there is a pin limit of three posts / Reels / videos, so unfortunately this doesn't solve my issue. 

What is the best cameras for Instagram?

I don't know about other photographers on Instagram, but lately I've been really struggling with finding a way to structure my profile grids and posts to look a little less mismatched and more cohesive. What I mean by this is that my photography and the images I post are drastically different from each other, and it bugs me. 

For example, I post images of everything from Venetian landscapes, portraits of Spider-Man, studio headshots, live music photography, darkroom photograms, my dog dressed as a ghost, the occasional macro shot, and things that I choose to set on fire. 

If this sounds drastic, then you can imagine how chaotic my Instagram profile actually appears when scrolling through it.

Example A: My Instagram grid is a mess (Image credit: Beth Nicholls / @Bethshootsbands)

While I try to consider things like color, composition, relativity and overall aesthetic when 'posting in threes' on Instagram, there's no real way to separate my content from the weird and experimental to more profound portraits. 

I've tried methods such as mosaic-posting (wasn't for me), using white or black separation blocks in a row to divide content (didn't really like the look), and trying to post in chunks of, say six landscape images, and then some live shots and then some that had white borders (but it looked even messier). I even gave the swipey collage scrapbook-looking carousels a go – something with which I might experiment more. 

Example B: My Instagram is a mess (Image credit: Beth Nicholls / @Bethshootsbands)

A few years ago, I indulged the idea of making separate accounts for different themes. I had an Instagram profile just for landscape shots, one for band and live music shots, and nearly made another for portraits. 

But like any busy person with a low attention span, I found this way too hard to juggle and maintain, forgetting to post and favoring one account over the others. After scrapping these extra accounts, I currently post everything photography related on what started out as my music photography Instagram, as it initially built up the most engaged followers. 

I now use a free Android app called Feed Preview to plan my grids in advance, and see what they'll look like next to other posted images. And while it's definitely helped, I still feel like I need some guidance or a separate space to post certain images that don't match the rest of my content.  

A screenshot of using the Instagram Feed Preview app to arrange content (Image credit: Beth Nicholls / @Bethshootsbands)

I noticed that many "successful" photographers on Instagram all seem to have a theme and post one type of content. Landscape photographers especially seem to have nicer looking grids that aesthetically match, and a large following. Posting one genre of photography isn't practical for my own work and showcasing the things I like to shoot, but it clearly works as a business tool, and is something I may look into. 

Many photographers rely solely on Instagram as a portfolio, especially students who can't yet afford domains or websites. And implementing a feature to allow for the separation of different posts, or extra profile tabs across the top, or somehow introducing albums, would be a game changer for me. I can visualize 'Instagram albums for cleaner feeds' (hopefully) becoming a thing.

Instagram: In the very unlikely event that you scour Digital Camera World or see our rage posts whenever you update your app, please help. Also, while we're hypothetically talking, please fix the god damn algorithm and restore engagement!

How do you organize and structure your grids on Instagram? Is it something that even matters to other people? Let me know the ways that work for you. 

Read more: 

10 tips for Instagram success with your photography
How to use Instagram filters
Learn how to use Instagram Reels
How to add multiple photos to one Instagram Story
The latest Instagram update is the worst one yet… and I hate it
This is what contemporary queer photography looks like
Professional photographers using Instagram can make up to £18k per post

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.