The Year of Spring Instagram Photo Series 2021
December 3, 2021Social Media
My "Spring" photo series
My "Spring Series" photos for 2021 went on for a little longer than I had planned... right through summer, into fall, and even part of winter!
seemed to go on forever this year! I can tell, because I'm just writing about those spring photos now and thinking "what's next" — but it's already winter and the holidays.
My social media production schedule probably isn't as "put together" and organized as it should be… but for me… that's okay. I really enjoy typing with everyone on Instagram... and that's the real value in the platform for me. Having a "color series" or design theme is also fun for me to think about and plan. Photography should be fun.
There were a couple of long pauses in the middle of posting the photos from this series … and as much as those online courses would lead you to believe you have to "stick to a rigid schedule or loose everything" … I just didn't find that to be the case.
Even when I wasn't posting any photos for a five or six week period, the account seemed to pick up as many new followers as when I was posting one or two photos a week. Either that says a lot about the quality of photos that I had posted previously — or that the organic reach on Instagram has fallen to around zero — and picking up random followers is about the best you can do anymore.
My usual "break bar" of photos that separates two different series of photos — this time, was flying nuts and nut textures. These were all stacked in a story, so that the flying nuts photo was the cover photo and the nut texture was the second photo.
From left to right, the Flying Nuts series was Pine Nuts, Walnuts, and Pumpkin Seeds. (I know, technically, Pumpkin Seeds aren't nuts.)
These are so much fun to do... and I do love getting to see things a little closer than what we would normally get to see.
The second photo in each of the Instagram Story "stacks" was a flat version of the nuts.
Obviously, the nuts weren't as popular as the coffee beans, but I still think they look cool.
I wanted to add a couple more commercial looking images to the series, and so these "sandwich shop" photos are intended to give off more of a "restaurant menu" vibe, than a made-at-home feel.
The series of Sandwich Shop photos includes a Roasted Chicken Sandwich, Chicken and Edamame Salad, and a Shrimp and Biscuit Slider photo.
The middle photo in the series "Chicken and Edamame Salad" was one of the top four most popular images.
I have to admit, most of these weren't really planned as part of the initial "spring" concept. Since I really slowed down the amount of photos that I was posting, I knew I was going to need a couple more to help deal with spacing… so that (for example) my beverage shots didn't end up right on top of each other in the grid.
My Cookie group this time features some little Italian Puff Cookies with a jelly bloop in the middle, a Pumpkin Spice Cookie with Bruleed Marshmallow Cream (which I made), and some Vienna Finger cookies.
Out of these three though… I think I enjoyed shooting the commercial Vienna Finger cookies the best. They didn't collect a lot of likes, but there's something about the simplicity of the photo, that I really enjoyed shooting. There may be more store bought cookies in the future!
It's a little hard to make any kind of assessment from the photos alone, because they all included different kinds of written information from me. Sometimes it's a quick note, or story, sometimes photography information, and sometimes even a recipe. Such is the case with these three photos.
The Recipe Photos group are all things that I made and posted links to a recipe on the DFW site. From left to right they are, Cantaloupe and Strawberry Frushi, Carrot Quick Bread with Honey, and a Roasted Sweet Potato Hummus without Chickpeas.
Each of these also contained links to recipes in the bio area. The middle photo of this group the "Carrot Quick Bread" was also one of the top four most popular images.
As a side note — the "Carrot Quick Bread" recipe has been updated since I last posted it. In the first one, I used an IPA forward Pale Ale… but you had to make the beer flat first… and that's not something everyone wants to do I suppose. So I switched to using gin. Fortunately — I think the gin makes this bread even better!
The "Dirty Martini on Blue" photo from the beverage series is also one of the top four liked photos this time… but here again, I'm not sure it's just the cover photo getting the likes.
My beverage photos had a lot going on this time. The left-most photo of Tea and Honey was also a product shot featuring Carmichael's Honey. The middle photo of a "Dirty Martini" also included a photography video that showed what effect a circular polarizer has on glasses. The layered Frappe on the right, was just a drink. :)
The blue martini photo also had a video in the story that showed what effect a circular polarizer has on the scene, while the polarizer is being rotated.
These three photos and the "Sandwich Shop" photos were really close to what I was envisioning for the whole collection. Clearly, I didn't get to maintain the look across all 30 photos though.
These photos best represent the "Spring" color and design style I was going for with this series. From left to right Roasted Beet Hummus, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Tomato Basil Stack with Black Rice.
Product photos are tricky to post on social media. I think maybe they don't collect a ton of likes because a certain percent of the audience thinks they're paid sponsorships and that I'm trying to sell someone else's product. In most cases though… what I'm trying to sell, is my photography service.
The products featured in these photos are Carmichael's Honey, Eva's Organic Jam on a Bagel, and an Eva's Organic Jam product shot on white.
Awe, hey there Buttercup!!! I don't care if he didn't get a lot of likes… my little wool bunny is just the cutest! Oh, he'll be in more photos next spring.
Because the series went longer than I was expecting it to, I needed a few additional spacing shots for the grid. From left to right, Waldorf Salad in a Martini Glass, a single Strawberry on White, and Buttercup the Bunny!
The splash and drizzle photos were a lot of fun to shoot, and I didn't even get milk on the floor or camera lens!
From left to right, a Blackberry Splash in Milk, some Agave Nectar being poured over a Blackberry, and a Strawberry Splash in Milk.
The middle photo, the Agave Nectar Drizzle on a Blackberry was one of the top four most liked images of the series.
Oh my goodness… these got some good like and comments… and for good reason. They're so easy to make and amazing to eat! I want a little rice cream dessert cup right now!
There's soooo many things you can do with sweet rice cream! These are small dessert cups that would work just as well in the morning for a breakfast or brunch. From left to right... Blackberry Rice Cream, Strawberry Rice Cream and Peach Rice Cream.
Each of these did post with a link to a recipe… even though the "base" sweet rice cream recipe doesn't change that much. It's all about the toppings… they're fun and easy to layer and adjust to whatever season we're in. I'm sure we'll be seeing more rice cream dessert cups in the future.
Lowest and Highest Like Counts
It's true, you can't really build any kind of logical photo quality criteria based on like counts, because no two photos and posts are the same. As I mentioned before, some posts come with recipes, others come with technical photography info, and a couple included a video clip. It's still interesting (to me anyway) to find out which images got the most likes, and which got the least.
The three photos with the least number of likes are...
Hummmm... I wonder why these received fewer likes than the other photos? Maybe it's because they're all light beige in color? Buttercup the Bunny did get quite a few comments though. :)
The "Flying Pine Nuts", "Buttercup the Bunny with Carrot Powder", and "Honey Drip in Tea with Product" photos.
Interesting. Hummmm…. they all contain quite a bit of light tan and beige in them. Maybe Instagram doesn't like tan and beige photos.
There was a tie for top three most liked photos… so I made it "top four" instead. The top four photos with the most number of likes are...
There was a tie for the "third most liked" photo this time, so I added both of them. From left-top to right-bottom... Dirty Martini on Blue, Quick Carrot Bread, Chicken and Edamame Salad, and Agave Nectar Drizzle on a Blackberry.
The "Blue Martini and Circular Polarizer" photo was the top liked photo, followed by "Carrot Bread", and a tie for 3rd — "Chicken and Edamame Salad" and "Agave Nectar Drizzle on a Blackberry".
Very interesting as well. I think the "Blue Martini and Circular Polarizer" photo also generated the most number of comments for a single post as well, with a comment count of 71.
The "Blue Martini" photo was the only blue photo in the series and also contained a video along with photography information in the post — while the "Carrot Bread" photo included a recipe. The two photos that tied for third place, did not include a video, recipe, or photography information.
Out of the four… I think the Blackberry Drizzle photo is my favorite… but really, I love them all — because each and every one gave me a chance to interact with all the people that commented. That, is truly the fun part for me!!!
I'll close out this article in the same way I've closed out the other "Instagram Recap" articles
— with some general stats.
This group of 30 images resulted in a 10% increase in followers over the course of about 253 days. (Yikes, I've been running this "Spring" series for 253 days?!?!?)
The average number of likes per photo was 112 (3,449 total likes divided by 30 photos).
The average photo "like to follower interaction ratio" was around 12.1% (total number of followers at period close, divided by the average number of likes per photo). That's up 1.6% from the previous "Forewinter 2021 Instagram Photo Series