Aesthetic photo dump ideas for Instagram, according to Gen Z

You may have noticed that cool kids post less frequently on their Instagram grids. And when they do, it’s usually multiple slides with a cohesive color palette and early Tumblr vibes. There’s a blurry selfie, a flat lay of a white dish, a road sign, and an overflowing recycling bin full of champagne bottles. These images make no sense together, and yet they most certainly establish an uppercase mood. The caption reads: “empty”.

For Gen Z, the difference between uploading a few different photos and mastering the photo dump the aesthetic on Instagram is subtle, yet specific. While a carousel of highlighted images recapping a weekend or showing different angles of a #OOTD could see Like a photo dump for the untrained eye, Gen Z will tell you that a photo dump is the arch enemy of a best shots slideshow.

“It’s pure vibe,” Taylor, 20, told Bustle. “A photo dump is a collection of images that give people a sense of a mood or feeling, more than a set of images of what you’ve been up to,” she explains. A standard slideshow, on the other hand, says Taylor, “is less about the mood and more about not being able to choose which photo to post.”

Mastering the aesthetics of the photo dump involves an eye for scrapbooking and a light hand when it comes to retouching. Here’s how to avoid the carousel squeaking.

How to create a photo dump

From a logistics point of view, there is no difference between a dump and an image carousel. To create a post with multiple photos, tap the plus sign in the upper right corner, tap “New post,” then tap the overlaid squares icon next to the camera icon above your roll of photos. Tap the photos you want to include in the order you want them presented. Tap the photo a second time to deselect it if necessary. Press “Next” to go to the editor page, where you can apply filters or edits to each photo individually. You can also long-press a photo at this point if you decide to delete it. Then press “Next” again to caption and share your message.

As for the number of photos to share at a time, Chloe, 20, suggests aiming for four. “You can post up to 10, if they’re all good photos, but I think the best shots are smaller and carefully selected, so people pay attention to each one,” she says.

What photos go to a photo dump

This is where it gets complicated. According to Chloe, you don’t want your photo dump to be all about you. “A good photo bank is not only photos of yourself, but also of your life and the things you love to do over a period of time,” she says. You can take a photo or two of yourself, a few photos of people you were with, places you went, things that caught your eye, meals you enjoyed, etc. similar colors or give off the same atmosphere, ”she adds.

Leaning into the aesthetics of the photo dump makes you a more attentive observer, says Chloe. “Try to pay attention to the environment you are in and the details that you find pretty and pleasing, pay attention to color palettes and how things make you feel inside,” she says. . Taking photos for a photo dump post makes you think beyond the obvious captures. Instead of a bunch of posed portraits or selfies where you are all in sight, a dump paints a more complete picture.

Bartool, 24, says on a deeper level, photo dumps are all about finding beauty in your ordinary life, not just big events. “There’s just something so nice and relatable about it – getting a glimpse of life from a different perspective is almost like a vlog,” she says. “Photo dumps can even be a random collection of photos in your camera roll that you think represent a pretty good representation of your current thoughts and feelings,” she adds.

How to edit a photo dump

According to Bartool, the key to a genuine dump is to avoid editing altogether. “The best photo shots come from the raw, unfiltered photos you take throughout the day. ” she says. “We all see edited photos every day, and there’s something so fun and new about a random photo of, say, the sky, a cup of coffee, or your cluttered desk – that’s a view. about someone else’s life without all the glamor, ”she adds.

While you can allow the photo dump aesthetic to inspire you to be more mindful of your surroundings and take photos beyond the obvious, Bartool says that part of what makes this trend so relevant and authentic is that the photos are not planned in advance. “If you take specific photos and post them as dumps it doesn’t really matter, they’re supposed to be picked at random – pick four that stand out and reflect your mood of the moment,” she says.

How to caption a photo dump

“Don’t think about it too much,” Taylor says. Part of the fun of a photo dump is that it’s a bit of a mystery. You don’t have to overdo it with a wordy caption, explaining everything in the photos; people don’t expect this kind of trend storytelling. A single word emoji, quote or caption will all do. “You can let people know what the photo dump is about, if you like – like ‘last week’ or ‘the weekend trip’ or ‘birthday’ or ‘October’ – but it doesn’t. there are no rules. “

Echoing this sentiment, Bartool says, “People don’t care about photo dump captions,” unlike other trends where people write short stories instead of a caption. The aesthetics of the photo dump is just that: all about the visuals.

Aesthetic photo dump ideas

By nature, a photo dump should be something you don’t think about too much, but if you’re new to or aren’t used to documenting your life, here are some themes for good content that can be downloaded:

FMH: Snapshots of working from home, including things like your empty cup of coffee, your desktop setup, your to-do list, and maybe a screenshot of a conversation with a coworker. (Shared with permission and for humor, of course.)

Reading: The books on your nightstand, your bookshelf organization game, a passage you have underlined, or a photo of a beautiful book in the world.

What is there to eat: A beautiful meal, the disorderly consequences of an attempt at cooking, table landscapes, restaurants, grocery stores, beautiful fruit.

Lighting: Pay attention to the interesting lighting – a hot streak of afternoon sun hitting a disco ball, a pink night sky, a neon sunrise, direct sunlight highlighting your eye color.

POV: Stay home with me: A messy bed, a neatly folded stack of laundry, a thumbtack on the kitchen counter, ringing in your teacup.

Atmosphere: Capture the ambience of where you are by looking for things that make it memorable, like art on the walls, cozy textiles, interesting signs or displays.

Jack C. Nugent