What's Sequencing and Why is it Important for Photographers?

You know those Instagram feeds you see online that are gorgeous, effortless, and so cohesive it almost hurts to look at? Everyone does, and those feeds can inspire some serious jealousy if you're struggling to find out how to make your feed look just as cohesive. But what's sequencing, and what does it have to do with social media? Sequencing is a technique that I learned about during my undergrad at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago - it's the idea that there's a method to putting together a series of photos, and not just throwing everything up in a jumbled mess and hoping for the best. 

Although I learned about sequencing at a fine art school in a fine art setting, I think it still applies to social media feeds too. I had a friend ask me recently to look at her Instagram feed and tell her if I thought that everything went together cohesively - she said that she spends so much time worrying about if something will look good next to the last photo she posted, that she barely posts anything at all out of fear. And when she does post, she does it in the middle of the night all secret-like so that if she ends up not liking it she can delete it and no one will know. Anyone else been there too? Cause I know I have.

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Here's an example of what I mean when I talk about sequencing for exhibition - this was at my recent BFA thesis show at the Sullivan Galleries, and I spent months critiquing, analyzing, asking for advice from mentors, and ultimately putting together a show I was happy with - but you know what I spent most of that time talking about? Primarily sequencing; which photo should come first? How can I move on to the next one seamlessly? What will build emotion? What will make someone uncomfortable? Because the sequence that you put your images in will tell a story, they'll build on the previous image and lay the foundation for the next. No pressure, right?

But don't worry, it's not all guessing in the dark. There are a few tried and true techniques that I use to help me organize my photographs both online and in exhibitions, and I'm going to be releasing a free ebook that will guide you through what my techniques are, and how you can put them to use in your feeds. If you're interested in getting the free ebook, drop your email in the box below and for the download!

Katharine Hannah

Chicago, IL

Katharine’s work has graced the walls of institutions such as The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Harold Washington Library of Chicago, and local galleries such as Dreambox Gallery, Siragus Gallery and Blick Art Materials. She has also been featured on websites such as the Huffington Post, Phlearn, Fstoppers, Tigress Magazine for Girls, Bitchtopia, and Golden Boy Press.

In addition to photography, Katharine has been a mentor and educator in the arts since 2013. She has worked with students in various organizations and projects over the last two years, including Hive Chicago’s PROjectUS initiative and Digital Youth Network’s Digital Diva’s and Chicago City of Learning programs.