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Instagrammers Compare Their First Photo With Their Last

Because Lord knows Instagram was a different place seven years ago.

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1. Sophie Richardson (@SophieHannahRichardson)

A beauty, fashion, and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber, Sophie is most recognisable for her bright and vibrant hair hues. Her hair and makeup tutorials (which she posts teaser videos of on Instagram) will help you up your game by 1,000.

Before:

instagram.com

"I was on holiday in Turkey with my sister in my first picture; it was just a holiday dinner snap. I literally just smiled, and my sister took one photo. Now so much prep goes into each image I post. Back when I first started using the app, I used it to post all of my photos – a bit like how you'd create an album on Facebook."

After:

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"One key difference is filters. I say no to filters! I used to think they were so cool, but now they just ruin photos. I use Afterlight and FaceTune to edit my photos, and then I just alter the contrast and highlight in the Instagram app. Another big difference is the quality; I shoot all of my Instagram pictures on camera now.

"I shoot numerous angles to get the best photo and carefully edit my photos so that there is consistency across all of my imagery. I also always take care when curating my grid – for example, I wouldn't post two full-length photos together."

2. Laura Hyatt (@LauraJHyatt)

A London lifestyle and travel blogger and YouTuber, Laura Hyatt may be better known as Heroine in Heels. She is an oracle of knowledge if you're looking for hotel recommendations and has recently been opening the lid on how to edit your photos like a pro-blogger.

Before:

instagram.com

"I was at a friends house for her birthday when I posted my first Instagram photo. We were about to go out to a club, and we thought we were being super fancy by opening a bottle of Moet. All we could afford was a small bottle that barely filled two glasses, and we both hated it anyway! But I remember thinking, 'This will make for a great picture and everyone will think we are so cool!' It was very much a quick snap on my phone, and there it was: online."

After:

Instagram: @laurajhyatt

"Now, I only use my DSLR, and I can spend a whole morning photographing for Instagram. This last weekend, I took a product shot where I set up a beautiful silk sheet on the floor, perfected the creases so they were just right, added the product, then props, then I 'balanced the frame' by moving things around and only then took lots of photos from different angles. I then import my photos onto my computer, edit them on Lightroom, and then email myself to upload them to Instagram!"

3. Kristabel Plummer (@IAmKristabel)

I Want You To Know's Kristabel Plummer blogs about everything from how to wear gingham to refreshing your rented accommodation and trends you can wear with thermals. Basically, she's the practical kind of blogger you need in your life.

Before:

Instagram: @iamkristabel

"I was locked into a Blackberry contract at the time that Instagram became big, so I heard people talking about the app but had no way of accessing it. I actually broke my contract early, so I could get an iPhone and see what all the fuss was about! There was zero prepping for this photo. My friend and I were wearing the same trousers, so we decided to snap it.

"When I scroll back through my feed, things get a bit more experimental and diary-like. It's quite nice to look back on in a way as it brings back memories, but visually it's a bit all over the place. I was always snapping things on the go, while nowadays some of that sort of content would probably go on Instagram Stories."

After:

Instagram: @iamkristabel

"My Instagram is now far more considered. My feed is a mixture of outfit shots, styled flatlays, snippets of London, and food. I shoot most pictures on a DSLR and send them via Wi-Fi as the quality is better (I still have an iPhone 6). Nowadays, I wouldn't use borders, heavy amounts of filtering, obvious light leaks, collages, or take photos without considering composition."

4. Alice Tate (@Alice_Tate)

Alice Tate is a jack of all trades. Not only is she a travel and fitness blogger, she freelances as a travel journalist and is a PR Manager for The Hoxton hotel chain. Phew.

Before:

Instagram: @alice_tate

"This first picture was from when I was interning at a fashion magazine in Sydney, and we got cupcakes delivered to the office. I was poor as hell, and it was so fancy! There was zero prep. Snap, use one of the generic filters, post. I definitely wasn't considering how it would look 'on the grid' back then!"

After:

Instagram: @alice_tate

"My pictures are a lot brighter now. I edit them on VSCO, I brighten them all the way up, sharpen a bit. I don't put near as much thought into my grid as some people I know. I try not to put pictures of the same content directly next to each other, and I try not to ever post super-dark pictures, but really it's a diary of my day to day, and it's pretty much all in real time. It's honest, it's me, and it's definitely not preplanned! If it's a nice picture, I'll post it; if it's not, I won't.

"I have started to feature me and my face more on my feed again (!), but they're pretty much always pictures relating to my fitness journey and marathon training. As wanky as it sounds, Instagram is a bit more like a personal brand these days, so I'm definitely more selective."

5. Lucy Nicholls (@ShinyThoughts)

As well as taking on the role of Social Media Content Producer at Boden Clothing, Lucy Nicholls blogs about her her colourful lifestyle on Shiny Thoughts. She uses her Instagram to showcase her version of London, her travel and colourful outfits.

Before:

Instagram: @shinythoughts

​"​I remember this day! I'd been kindly invited to the press day of a small independent brand and they had a table in the centre with scones and cakes. I was at Uni then and all this blogging and brands stuff was novel and really exciting. ​I clearly didn't care that the angle was wrong, you could barely see what was in the shot.

"This photo says a lot about my poor ability to take a photograph but probably more about the appalling state of mobile phone cameras circa 2013. Seriously HTC, what was that?! The biggest difference is undoubtedly the quality."

After:

Instagram: @shinythoughts

"Nowadays, if I was taking that shot, I'd go about annoyingly rearranging the table display, probably taking a bite out of a scone and artfully placing it back on the table (weirdo). Once I was happy with the arrangement I'd then take about 5-20 shots, probably from above. Once it has been shot, I'd wait until a time when I could edit them in peace, like on the tube. I'd pop the winning shot through apps like A Color Story and Snapseed before seeing how it looks ​in my feed using Unum. The shot might get published days later when it works best with the other images sat next to it. I'd probably spend 5-10 minutes writing the caption and hashtags and then FINALLY the shot would get posted."

6. Chelsea Yates (@ChelseaYates1)

Through Chelsea's Eyes is a fashion and beauty connossieur. From finding the best dupes to guiding her YouTube subscribers through an Ariana Grande inspired beauty look, she's got something for everyone.

Before:

instagram.com

"I was heading out to a party when I took that first photo. I hadn't been out in such a long time and I felt really self-conscious, so I had treated myself to a new playsuit from Lipsy and I asked my mum to help with my hair and then I took a selfie before heading out. I would never dream of using that frame now!"

After:

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"I would never dream of using the frame like on my very first photo, the photo is so grainy I wouldn’t think of posting a photo of that quality today. I'd save it for Snapchat instead! I put a lot more effort into my current pictures. I try to make them tell a story; I also try to make them a lot brighter and look more professional looking.

I don’t tend to take much care into curating my Instagram grid or making; I have tried in the past but it’s never worked out well for me so I just tend to just post the pictures I like and pictures I'm really proud of."

7. Lizzy Hadfield (@ShotFromTheStreet)

Lizzy Hadfield, aka Shot From The Street, is an expert at mixing high and low fashion. From her trusty Loewe Barcelona to Topshop blouses, the Manchester based blogger will give you some serious style inspo.

Before:

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"Firstly, I can't believe that was four years ago! I remember I was so embarrassed about setting up a different account to share my outfits that I didn't have my face in any of the images. I just took all the photos from above, when #FromWhereImStanding was all the rage."

After:

Instagram: @shotfromthestreet

"The main prep before taking a picture is the outfit – I have always documented what I wear day to day, so not much has changed in that respect! I also think about my location a little bit more, but, as I love street style images, it's not too restrictive.

"The biggest difference between then and now is that my face and personality are now a huge part of my blog and Instagram now, and I never get embarrassed about it either!"

8. Sarah Nunn (@Sarah_Nunn)

Portsmouth-based blogger Sarah's 'gram is full of outfit snaps, picture perfect moments from her travels, and retro interior shots. Her love of music really shines through in the festival season.

Before:

Instagram: @sarah_nunn

"I was so emo back then! I was lying on my friend's bedroom floor, and I'd just had my hip pierced when I took my first Instagram photo. There was no element of pre-planning; I'm pretty sure that I took it just to show off how 'cool' I was."

After:

Instagram: @sarah_nunn

"Instagram used to be all about adding filters and frames to create a vintage feel to imagery. I used to post pictures of anything and everything, but my Instagram is a bit more stylised now. I still do like my Instagram to be relatively spontaneous and off-the-cuff, but I edit my pictures now using a separate app."

9. Sophie Milner (@SophieMilner_FS)

YouTuber and blogger Sophie Milner (or better known as Fashion Slave) is just as likely to be talking about the new bell-sleeve trend as she is musing about why it's okay to feel negative sometimes. Her Instagram is a visual diary of her style with the added bonus of sassy and so-real-it-hurts captions.

Before:

instagram.com

"My first reaction to seeing my old photo is to laugh! I just think 'aw cute' rather than 'that's hideously embarrassing'. I'm just so stiff and rigid! I took that photo when I hadn't been doing the whole fashion blog/Instagram thing for long, so I was still ridiculously embarrassed if a passerby saw me having my photo taken so I would make my dad wake up really early and drive around until we found a quiet street!"

After:

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"I try to keep my photos a little mixed up these days – with candid snaps that are taken as I am, when I’m out and about with my friends or boyfriend, and then actual preplanned photos taken from my blog.

"I wish I took Instagram a little bit more seriously back then. I didn’t know much about optimised engagement times – I’d just post things – and I didn’t care how they looked together. I just didn’t realise how important it would become. I was embarrassed that my real life friends would judge me or laugh at me, so I held back on what I was doing for a while and didn’t post as regularly as I wanted to."

10. Melissa Mould (@MediaMarmalade)

Melissa Mould's blog and Instagram have the perfect mix of travel and fashion content. Her enviable bag collection and trips to far-flung locations around the world will have you hitting the follow button.

Before:

Instagram: @mediamarmalade

"When I first started using Instagram, the platform was far less polished than it is now; the imagery was less professional and more 'real time'. The majority of my pictures are shot on my Canon 5DIII now, rather than an iPhone3, so that is definitely the biggest change. When I started my blog, I used to shoot looks outside my house before heading to work, so I'm going to guess that this was a 7am #OOTD on route to the tube. There is no way that I would post something so low quality now!"

After:

Instagram: @mediamarmalade

"Instagram is such a huge opportunity for bloggers today that it's a really important extension of our websites and brands, so I do try and keep it regularly updated and looking good. I'm not quite at the level of trying to keep one theme and spending hours debating which picture would be the best one for my current grid. My focus is more on sharing quality photography that inspires people and reflects my passions too without all the fuss over editing."

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