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Do’s and Don’ts According to Chicago’s Top Instagrammers

Do’s and Don’ts According to Chicago’s Top Instagrammers

If you’re an avid instagram user,  you know the drill, you’re scrolling through your feed— first thing in the morning, on a lunch break at work, out at a bar, before you go to bed, to see who wore what, who did what or marvel at all the aerial shots.  Whether it’s for inspiration on how to put together a chic desk-to-dinner ensemble, where to eat for date night, get a good laugh or find a fun event going on in the city, Instagram provides endless hours of entertainment and is a great resource for keeping a pulse on who and what’s going on in Chicago.

CHoose Chicago instagram example

Photo Credit: ChooseChicago

Chicago’s top Instagrammers, Matt Lohmus, Hayet Rida, Jena Gambaccini and Nycole Hampton-who runs the ChooseChicago account, have mastered the art of engagement and maintaining personality through social media via their stylish aesthetic and well curated images.  To find out what makes a good photo, we asked these top Instagrammer’s some of their do’s and don’ts and tips for those of you looking to step up your insta presence and now you’ll be in on the secret!

Jena Gambaccini-Chi-City-Fashion-Instagram

Photo Credit: ChiCityFashion

Jena Gambaccini of Chi City Fashion says there really isn’t much she avoids with regards to posting on Instagram: “You have to go with what you think looks cool and pretty, and hope that people are into it! If you have a good eye, you’ll know. If you don’t, you have to rely heavily on editing tools.” She uses Snapseed/VSCO for editing and lighting contrast. Jena shared a few of her favorite tricks as well:


  • Make everything look consistent on your feed
  • Post at strategic times of the day
  • Use relevant hashtags
  • Make things appear more cool than warm, aesthetically
  • Shining a flashlight on your photo is a great way to brighten it up
  • Natural light is always the best for a photo, especially sunrise and sunset!
  • Face whatever object you are trying to capture towards the light


  • Post dark images
  • Post things that aren’t interesting to you

Chicago Matt Instagram-London House Photo Credit: ChicagoMatt

With almost 100,000 Instagrammers, Matt Lohmus, aka ChicagoMatt, captures the best architecture, art and life throughout Chicagoland using only his iPhone. His favorite thing about representing Chicago on Instagram is when people from all of the world comment about how amazing the city looks, and that they would love to visit someday. He doesn’t think many people realize all Chicago has to offer; the perception is that the city is a “landlocked metropolis in the middle of the country, and [people] are surprised when they learn Chicago actually has 28 miles of beautiful shoreline along Lake Michigan!” He has even shown out of towners around after they comment on his feed. 

• Provide a bit of variety on your feed
• Try to make the shot your own; with so many great Instagrammers in Chicago, you see many of the same shot
• Shoot from different angles to come up with more of a unique way of viewing the subject
• Edit and filter your photos to make the shot your own


• Post something that was recently posted, try to mix it up



A photo posted by Matt (@chicagomatt) on


Photo Credit: Chicago Culture Couple

From the trendiest art and food to events happening in town, Chicago Culture Couple captures what’s happening in Chicago through a beautiful lens. While they have many favorite aspects of representing the city on Instagram, they highlighted: “We love using our Instagram feed to present an alternative view of Chicago. There is so much to see in our city and we want to encourage our followers to look for the little things that make Chicago unique. Hunting street art motivates us to visit all areas of our city. We want to show others that there’s more than just the downtown area of Chicago to explore.” Master the art of photography with their professional perspective. 


  • Visit as many neighborhoods as possible: this gives a unique and authentic perspective on Chicago life
  • Utilize geo-tags: allow others to join in on the fun and experience what you’re seeing by clicking on the location so they can also visit


  • Post everything you see: sometimes it’s best to pick and choose
  • Curate your posts; this offers a unique perspective to your viewers

Ms Nycole-Instagram-Earls Photo Credit: MsNycole

With 140,000 followers and a Shorty Award Finalist for Best Tourism in 2015, it’s no secret that Choose Chicago, curated by Msnycole, is an incredibly popular feed for all things Chicago. The motivation for showing off Chitown? Nycole loves showing the city’s beauty to people around the world.


  • Encourage people to share their pictures with a common hashtag, she uses #mychicagopix
  • Work with a local photographer to showcase their talents and points of view


See Also


  • Post content your audience won’t enjoy; make sure you understand them
  • Post random hashtags- do your research and get in front of the right people



Hayet Rida-Instagram-Dress

Photo Credit: Hayet.rida

From a trendy #ootd to happenings in the city, fashion blogger Hayet Rida shows off Chicago with flair. As a body positive movement proponent, she says “Chicago is on the verge of becoming the next fashion capital in the U.S…I love being a part of amazing bloggers who are showing off the unique styles that we Chicagoans have. My favorite part of blogging is finding the amazing spaces to shoot in; we have the best murals, walkways and backdrops for amazing blog content.”


  • Tell your story; make sure every post is representative of you
  • Ask yourself before you post “does this accurately portray who I am?”


  • Post anything that is not true to who you are


Tell us, what are your favorite instagram accounts to follow or tips and tricks you’ve learned? Be sure to follow us @SociaLifeChicago

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