Going against the grain is just a part of Storm Wes style influencer Storm Westphal’s temperament. In fact, it’s what she believes is one of the determining factors that has seen her remain afloat in an endless sea of Instagram accounts fighting for air time.
With a strong style aesthetic that merges minimalism with an edge, Storm’s feed is a perfect collection of magazine-worthy images that has us scrolling into obsessive mode. So how does she get such an impressive grid and what does she think is the secret ingredient to Instagram?
Here, she reveals all in an exclusive interview with the Husskie team…
What camera do you use and why?
For Instagram, I actually only use my iPhone 6s or sometimes iPhone 7. I think the iPhone pictures kind of fit better to Instagram than professional pictures. I also think it gives the reader the feeling that they would be able to take the same picture too. But for my Blog, I use the Nikon D700 with the 50mm and sometimes 24mm. On my blog, I love high quality images and would actually love them to be more Vogue-like, haha.
Do you make the most of the ‘magic hour’? How do you work with lighting?
Germany is sooooo hard with lighting. Sometimes we can have grey days for weeks without
seeing any sun! Lighting is so important because it just gives that lovely dynamic to pictures,
whereas grey days can make it look flat and boring. That is why I loved being in LA so much – the lighting was so perfect and the sun shined every single day!
Do you strive for a certain aesthetic on your grid?
Yes! I try to be different than others – try different perspectives. I don’t take pictures that I know
people would like, I take pictures that I know I would love 100%.
Who is your biggest source of inspiration? What accounts are you lusting over right now?
I get my inspiration from everything – it can be a person, it can be art, magazines, food, places… everything, actually. But my current favorite accounts are @oraclefox, @thefashioncuisine, @zhours, @tineandreaa and @parkncube!
How do you edit your photos? Do you have a favourite filter that you like using?
I edit my pictures with VSCO and always use the A6 Filter. I can’t really see myself using any other. Sometimes I use FaceTune for highlighting certain things that I want to be more visible in the image.
What’s your dream shooting location?
Casa Cook Hotels Rhodes for an amazing fashion editorial – ah goals…
Do you adhere to a strict schedule for posting or take a relaxed approach?
I am kind of the in-between. I do have my strict times where I plan to post, but sometimes I forget to post or don’t have any content that is worthy of posting – so I don’t post just to post.
What do you do when you’re in a rut/are struggling to create content?
Cry, haha. No, actually I just take some time off from social media and blogging and all of that. And afterwards, I can focus much more and have so many more ideas. On Sunday, we took a long walk with friends and that was just perfect to refill my energy.
What do you think makes your feed unique? What are some tips for finding your ‘niche’?
I think because I don’t concentrate on things that my followers would like and rather put my focus on the things I like! Just be yourself, do things that you love and you will find your niche very easily.
What’s your most-searched ‘place’ on Instagram?
La muralla Roja.
Who would you love to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Victoria Beckham, because I love all her designs and her style. And I am such a huge fangirl too!
With endless notifications and a flowing feed, do you ever manage to completely ‘switch off’?
Sometimes I can completely switch off – like when I am having fun with friends and family.
But it depends… I am a really stressy person, so it’s very hard for me to switch off 100%. I will be smiling at you, but my thoughts will be focused on content and projects.
What’s your current goal for your page?
My goal is to increase the quality of my pictures in terms of aesthetic. Focus on better imagery and also plan cooler shootings – take more time for things like that. And I would really love to change my blog design.
What are your top photography tips for catching the perfect image?
Lighting (it’s the most important) and a cool scenery (but I bet you all already knew that!)
And lastly, can you give us your top tips for how to nail Instagram?
Growing a following naturally is getting so hard with the algorithm, so I don’t have tips on that. But what I can tell you is: Be different on Instagram, show other perspectives, show things that people haven’t seen before. It gets boring to see the 1002637 picture of macarons or a orange/purple sky (which has clearly been photoshopped).