5 Tips from Lifestyle Instagrammer ‘A Guy Named Patrick’

His visuals ruled at Social Media Week New York...

Patrick Janelle Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar“A guy walks into a bar” is the first result that appears based on the Google search for “a guy.”

Another top search result is “a guy named Patrick,” and he’s Patrick Janelle, an award-winning Instagrammer with 340,000 followers. Janelle, who uses the tagline “Man about town”, spoke at Social Media Week New York on Tuesday about his work for brands and offered his unique perspective on the visual platform and the process.

1.Major effort involved:

His moniker could be “Patrick the perfectionist,” since as interviewer Melanie Altarescu, WIRED‘s head of strategic initiatives, said, “it dawned on me how much effort goes into these photos.” Indeed, although Janelle takes all his personal and business shots with his iPhone, he spends much time planning, curating and editing his images.

2.Relevant background:

Janelle has several years of experience as a graphic designer at Bon Appetit, and he also works on sponsored posts for clients like GQ, Bloomingdale’s, Lacoste, Victorinox, and the New York State Beer Festival.

“I also exist outside the Instagram platform,” he said. Janelle serves as executive director of the Spring Street Social Society, where he organizes surprise local pop-up events, and he recently started Liquor Cabinet, a spirits and cocktails venture. (Soon the top search result may be “a guy named Patrick walks into a bar.”)

3.Clear focus:

“I showcase the world of lifestyle, including food, fashion and travel,” Janelle said.

All three areas reflect his expertise and interests, and he won CFDA Fashion Instagrammer of the Year award. “I’m New York-based, live in SoHo, and my street scenes capture the ‘man about town’ theme.”

He also loves to travel — and he documented some of his favorite places, like Central Park, for Capitol One. During a trip to San Diego for Orbitz, he posted an image from Ironside Fish & Oyster Bar (pictured), and asked his followers about other venues to visit.

4.Consistent tone and organization:

“For me it’s about being aspirational, accessible and not too high-end or precious,” Janelle said. “Brands come to me for an authentic, editorialized, honest view. I maintain my personality and add context to explain the photos.”

He noted that most of his work isn’t one-offs, but ongoing brand relationships. He posts to Instagram chronologically and categorizes, captions and geotags his images to add the proper context.

5.Essential editing apps:

Janelle pointed out that his culinary and fashion work is often arranged and styled, and he may need studio lighting and a ladder to take selected images. He also relies on photo apps to achieve high quality visuals. For a recent shot of the High Line Hotel‘s ceiling, he demonstrated for the audience how to use the following apps: VSCO Cam to filter and add a matte finish, Afterlight to control color tones, and SKRWT to adjust the perspective and angle.

“My Instagram feed is my journal, and it’s about creating a world that all the images live in.”

(Photo courtesy of Patrick Janelle)