July 4th is about a few things: America, partying, fireworks, sunglasses, the beach, drinks, children, selfies, freedom, friends, family, a sick outfit.
Most importantly, it’s about documenting all of this and posting it for everyone else to see what they missed when they didn’t hang with you either because A) they couldn’t make it or B) they weren’t invited because fuck those peasants.
When posting a photo of any of the things listed above, or adding additional elements like your two “hot dog knees,” your plate of food, your drink spread, or your feet wherever location you are, it is incredibly fucking important to choose the right Instagram filter. Seriously, a perfectly good photo can be ruined by a poorly chosen filter, and a perfectly bad photo can become something extraordinary if filtered correctly.
You need to pick a filter that shows off the colors red, white, and blue. If you over filter, the red can become too purple or too pink, and the white can go yellow. The blue can go black. What the fuck kind of American are you if you do that? July 4th isn’t the time for your goddamn expressionism through your Instagram account. This isn’t the time to prove that your art school education is worthy of something. It’s the holiday where you show everyone how much fun you have (being an American).
First off, the black and white filters are out of the question. I would also stay away from deeper, more saturated filters (X-Pro II and Lo-Fi).
Before we go any further, it should be stated that all July 4th photos are to be taken outside in the daylight. Do not waste anyone’s time with indoor photos and especially don’t do the fireworks (or a posed photo with fireworks in the background).
The indoor photo is bullshit because July 4th is about being free to party outside and wear a bikini or go shirtless and squirt a water gun or wear a captain’s hat or shotgun cheap brews. Show us your romper and how it plays with the sunlight to make you look like your curves are in the right areas and now you can finally show us the thigh gap you’ve been starving yourself to get! Guys, you’ve been doing nothing all year for a reason, and now is your time to take off your shirt and show us that. Don’t worry, someone will still think you’re sexy, especially if it's on a rooftop.
The nighttime or the firework photo just suck and it shows that you know nothing about how to take a photo. Kill yourself.
The key to the filter, for July 4th, is to present a vibe of true Americana while you’re enjoying yourself more than anybody else who has ever enjoyed themselves. This means there has to be a sense of nostalgia to the photo. The point of the nostalgia is to prove that your picture (and the partying happening within) transcends time and space and creates a sense of past while being in the present. It’s trippy to think about, I know. That’s why this is so important.
Popular choices (with a bit of tweaking) to show optimal Americana:
Gingham, Aden, Amaro, Rise (maybe), Valencia (be careful here), and Nashville.
Good luck, godspeed, and for the love of all things America: snap it, filter it, share it, repeat.