5 Steps To A Fab Instagram Photo

Do you ever scroll through your Instagram feed and long for your gallery to look like the ones you see from your favorite brands and companies? It's not too difficult to spruce up your IG profile, it simply takes a little practice. At SA, we've had plenty of practice crafting Instagram shots for our clients, so here are a few tips to nail your next Gram-worthy moments:

1 — Set your phone’s camera to ‘square’

Trust us, this will make your gramming life immensely easier. If you take photos already in ‘square’ format, it will save you the hassle of cropping later and missing a crucial part of the photo.

2 — Find a unique + intriguing way to take a shot 

Whether it’s styling it up or finding a neat background outside, the difference between a good looking Instagram photo is, well, the quality and uniqueness of the image. Tip: think outside the box, sometimes the most worn down and unexpected places make the best backdrops.

3 — Tap your screen to get the correct focus + brightness (PS — lighting is everything)

That little square on your camera isn’t there just to be annoying, it’s there to help you focus the shot. You will notice if you tap around the screen, the square will move there and it will change the perspective of the photo.

4 — Take more than one photo

Have you ever been somewhere and thought you got a really good image but you went back and looked later and realized it was blurry? Join the club. Take a couple images to make sure you capture a good one. 

5 — Edit before you edit

This sounds crazy, but it’s important. Taking a peek at your photo before actually taking it to Instagram is helpful in order to get the best possible version of it. We love VSCO, afterlight, and snapseed!

Check out what we've done lately for a few of our clients!

Last Minute Father's Day Gift Guide

For the finest fellows in our lives, we can only offer the best. Even if you've put off grabbing the perfect gift for dad until the last minute, we've got you covered with quality local grabs that will make him feel praiseworthy for all he's done throughout the years. 

Wood Flask: Woodchuck USA // Duluth Pack Excursion Duffel: Wilson & Willy's // EXTO Single: Wilson & Willy's // Minneapolis, MN Cityscape Print: The Lumber Exchange // Cord Catch: Solid Manufacturing Co. // Bottle Opener: Woodchuck USA // Rein Clip Key Fob: Leather Works Minnesota // Twill Charcoal North Cap: Askov Finlayson // Wool Eyeglass Case: Faribault Mill // Man's Face Stuff Moustache Wax: Martin Patrick 

Quick Tip: Ways To Curb Creative Block

Let's get one thing straight: even if you are the most creative person in the world, you will still have moments when you feel drier and crustier than an old paintbrush. We're all human, and we can't always get our creative juices flowing 100% of the time. Here at SA, we are constantly surrounded by visuals and creative content, so it can be difficult at times to avoid creative block. But there are several ways to dip ourselves into a {fresh} glass of water, we just need to tap them more often. Here's what we came up with:

1. Get on your devices

We all operate in different ways and sometimes it takes a stimulating environment {such as a social media niche} to get our ideas running wild. Follow/friend people who will help and encourage you to become an even stronger creator. Bloggers, makers, and brands are all intriguing accounts to follow that can inspire you on the daily. 


2. Visit a unique place that you've never been to before

We don't know about you, but we get incredibly inspired when we're in new places, such as a coffee shop, a boutique, or a local bar. Creative architecture tends to force us to think slightly different and make us want to be outside of the box. While at a new place, be sure to bring a journal, snap a photo, or try a completely new food or drink! 


3. Go to a local event and meet new people

Humans are social beings {stolen via the social interaction theory from ages ago} which means without back-and-forth contact, we can start to feel empty. If you are know of a local event, this is a great opportunity to connect with community members you already know or meet new ones. Chances are the conversations will allow you to spill one another's passions and sparks will ignite the fire that is your creativity. 


4. Stop and smell the roses

Nature is creativity's bestie. Next time you are walking somewhere, take a minute to look at the raindrops covering the greenery on the edge of the sidewalk. Take a moment to see the hanging lights above you and how they illuminate a room full of people. Live the little things, and they will allow you to create the big things.

Style-Architects Summer Must-Haves

Style-Architects Summer Must Haves

The SA team loves swapping tips & advice about everything; from unique boutiques to best beauty products, someone in the office has scoop. With summer on the horizon {can you believe it’s already mid-May?!}, we put together a glimpse at the team’s go-to summer gear.

1. Kayd: Hurraw Grapefruit Lip Balm // “This lip balm is all-natural, so naturally it’s pretty cool. Plus, the grapefruit flavor is sure to bring a little zest to the summer!”

2. Carlyn: Sebastian Joe’s Raspberry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream // “Do I need an explanation? The Raspberry Chocolate Chip flavor from Sebastian Joe’s is one of my favorites because it’s that perfect combination of tangy and sweet - perfect for a hot summer day.”

3. Christina: Vitamin C Body Polish // “After a harsh winter, I need to rehydrate my skin to get it ready for the summer. I can’t wait to try the Vitamin C Body Polish because their all-natural ingredients will leave my skin feeling immaculate immediately, which leaves me more time to spend with my daughter and husband on our summer adventures!”

4. Jasmine: The Big Turtle Shell - Wireless Speaker from Outdoor Tech // “Summer for me means life at the lake. From stand-up paddleboarding and sand volleyball to grill-outs and bonfires, this water-resistant, dust & shock-proof speaker is the perfect sidekick. Bonus: it uses bluetooth technology and doubles as a USB charging port when my iPhone gets low on juice.

5. Gina: NARS Primer from Blue Mercury // “With all the great outdoor activities Minneapolis has to offer, I plan on being outside as much as I can. This primer will help protect against the harsh rays, while also absorbing the oils that may occur due to the sizzlin’ hot temps.”

6. Madeline: Tote Bag from Cuyana // “I plan on getting away as much as I can with visits to the lake. This bag is perfect because it’s tall so I can fit all of my summer necessities in it, and the blush color is pretty dreamy, don't you think?"

7. Rachelle: Fitbit Charge // “I’m obsessed now with tracking my steps and calories burned.  I love seeing how many steps I walk and how many calories I burn at my summer weddings!”

8. Claire: Asics GEL -Kayano // “I ran the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon last fall and I’m pumped for long training runs around local lakes again this summer. Asics are my go-to running shoes, because they fit my narrow feet and come in adorable color palettes, like this mint pair.”

9. Diana: Hexagon Marble Boards from CB2 // “I’m moving into my dream space this summer, so I can’t wait to have all my friends over and have fancy dinner parties!"