Features

7 tips to stepping up your Instagram game

No amount of editing can fix a bad image

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It all started with sharing memories using a vintage filter. Through the years, Instagram grew and became a platform for self-expression, an avenue for individuals to showcase their lifestyle and creativity. More and more, people are curating their Instagram profiles and here you are, stuck with your messy feed and hoping to step up your Instagram game out of envy.

Fret not! A lot of us feel that way, too. As a creative who lives and breathes Instagram for brands, but doesn’t have the time to work on his own account, I’ve got seven tips to share to help people level up. Here they are:

Think like a brand

Chay likes to take photos of her food, while Kevin is passionate about landscape and aerial photography

Set the direction of how you want your Instagram feed to look. It can be in tune with your personality, hobbies, and interests, or you can transform it into your portfolio of artworks, photographs, or works you proudly share. It can also give people a glimpse of your lifestyle, or the things you’re passionate about. Whatever it is, you decide on what to show on your feed.

Equip yourself with the right camera

Kevin likes to capture his adventures with his favorite toy, the DJI Mavic Pro. MJ, on the other hand, prefers to capture his moments on a good camera phone

Today’s smartphone cameras can sometimes have the same resolution and image quality as a DSLR camera’s, but you shouldn’t fully rely on them. Depending on what kind of photographs you take, there’s a gadget that will help you up your Instagram game. Whether it’s an action cam, drone, or mirrorless camera, there’s a specific shooter out there for your unique needs.

Let your photos tell a story

MJ captured this photo of a girl walking on the streets of Puerto Galera under the scorching sun, while Vincenz photographed a passing taho vendor during a late afternoon in Boracay

Be in touch with your surroundings and capture the moments you find yourself in. Give your followers a glimpse of what’s happening by including people, actions, scenery, and events in your photos. Invoke emotions and make your audience feel like they’re a part of your narrative. A caption would help to support your post, but your photograph should be able to tell a story on its own.

Adjust and tweak for the best results

Chay visited an Instagram-worthy cafe in Shanghai; the raw image is beautiful enough, but to keep her style, she adjusted the brightness and temperature slightly to make it warmer

Our smartphones may not capture the exact moment we see with our own eyes, but we can always accentuate how beautiful our photos are through editing. There are numerous photo-editing apps but remember to not overdo it! Just tweak and adjust these main points: brightness, contrast, alignment, and temperature. Do so, and you’ll look like a pro.

Keep it authentic from the start

MJ upped the vibrancy a little bit to accentuate Mt. Pinatubo’s aquamarine-colored lake, and Dan tweaked the highlights to feature the skyscrapers of Singapore

Good editing is the kind wherein you don’t notice it was even edited. A lot of people overdo their editing to the point of looking artificial. Some can actually pull it off, but others try so hard to copy styles and presets that the image loses its authenticity.

Be consistent and learn how to commit

Dan’s feed consists of his daily grind showcasing urban life and architecture, while Isa’s feed features her travels and OOTDs.

This generation has a lot of commitment issues *ehem* but being uncommitted when you badly want something isn’t going to get you anywhere. Once you’ve decided to up your Instagram game, you have to continue doing so to achieve the feed that you’ve always wanted.  Be consistent in posting a single style to make it cohesive.

Don’t take it too seriously

Isa, Alven, and Michael Josh uploaded their fun and memorable moments on their respective Instagram profiles.

And lastly, enjoy and have fun! Taking it seriously kills your creativity. Get in touch with your inner child and be playful. There’s so much more to life than your Instagram feed.

Curating your feed might seem daunting, and from your perspective, it could be a thing only brands, influencers, and creative people do. You might even downplay yourself because you don’t have talent in photography, but guess what, you don’t need to be a pro to take nice photographs. Your eyes can be trained to see the beauty in everything; you just have to believe that there’s an artist inside you.

Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra Unboxing

Unpacked it for you

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The Galaxy S20 Ultra marks the first “Ultra” device made by Samsung. Despite its hefty price tag and similar box content as other S20 models, it’s heavier with specs and features.

Here’s our Galaxy S20 Ultra unboxing.

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Features

A journey to self-love: How to set your financial goals straight

With CIMB Bank’s help

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Image: MJ | GadgetMatch

There was a point in my life when adulting hit me hard: my romantic relationship suddenly ended, which coincided with my resignation from my full-time job of three years. The thing is, I had a plan before everything happened, but life is indeed full of unexpected moments.

I decided to take a rest first to clear my overwhelmed mind. I ended up doing what most young adults like me would do: travelled to different places, went out with friends, volunteered for several causes, and spoiled myself with my favorite things and experiences — everything that involved doing what I love and seizing life’s great moments.

I was busy indulging myself in this idea of “self-love” until I realized that my bank account was draining every single week, and I was close to maxing out my credit card limit. That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t financially prepared to sustain this kind of lifestyle. 

Self-love is more than just showering yourself with pretty things

We all have this idea that “self-love” is about indulging in life’s best comforts, and doing whatever sets our soul on fire. Newsflash: real life is much trickier than these scenarios we see in rom-com films.

For me, I had to take more extra work to do these things I love, while still being able to pay bills. I regretted not being able to save up more and use my money wisely. I eventually found myself living life from paycheck to paycheck, and I realized that this is not the life I wanted to live. I couldn’t fully enjoy life’s moments, since my financial restrictions were always at the back of my mind. 

I have come to understand the real concept of self-love — that it is actually about creating a life that is prepared for whatever life’s challenges throw at us. Instead of treating ourselves to short-lived thrills, it’s much better to manage our finances first so we’re always ready for the next big thing. Being smart with our finances is indeed a great form of self-care. 

Seize life’s moments by being financially fit

CIMB Bank, the “Best Digital Bank” in the Philippines is a great choice for people like me who want to save up for life’s next moments. The best thing about it is I can open an account seamlessly in just 10 minutes — no need to personally enroll in a branch and wait for weeks to secure an account. No wonder they have been recently awarded as the “Fastest Growing Digital Bank” as well.

Through the CIMB Bank PH mobile app (iOS/ Android), managing and accessing my money is also much easier compared to other banks. They offer great perks and services such as transacting with other banks for free, withdrawing in over 25,000 ATM machines nationwide without penalty charges via Visa pay, wave debit card, and not be bothered by maintaining balances.

I can also access my cash 24/7 in just a few taps, and it’s connected to other local payment gateways I frequently use like GCash and dragonpay, so it greatly fits my flexible lifestyle.

True to its commitment to helping Filipinos achieve financial inclusion and freedom, this all-digital, mobile-first bank offers an interest rate of four percent (4%) per annum available all year round, with no restrictions, via its UpSave account offering. It’s the best-in-market savings rate, which makes me save more money without worrying about security. They also offer up to Php 2 million worth of life insurance coverage!

With CIMB Bank, I can track my savings easily and invest my money in experiences that will allow me to feed my passions. When the time comes that life throws more unexpected moments, I know I’m financially secured to handle it. And that is one of the best forms of love I can give to myself.

To know more about CIMB Bank PH, click here.


This feature was produced in collaboration with Her GadgetMatch and CIMB Philippines.


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Unboxing

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Unboxing, Setup, Photos & Q&A

What to expect when you buy the Galaxy Z Flip

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Today is Galaxy Z Flip Day! Thankfully I have fast fingers, and was able to snag one before it ran out online. In this video I pick up in store, unbox and set it up, and answer some of your questions.

This is our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip unboxing.

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