So what´s all the hype about Instagram?
Instagram has millions of users all over the world, and many of them visit Instagram on a daily if not hourly basis. Users typically share snapshots from their personal life and/or working life, documenting moments, sharing events etc.
I personally got started with Instagram with an intention of documenting my daily life and getting better at taking everyday photos. As a photographer working with a DSLR camera as well as clients, models and events, I often forget to record my daily life. I´m wasn't too happy bringing out that heavy Canon with me on vacations and field trips with my kids either when all i wanted to do was play and have fun. So Instagram and my cell are the perfect match for me.
Everything you get from the Instagram app:
* It's an app for your phone. You download it from Google Play or the App Store
* It´s a social network where you can get social with friends and make new contacts. You can follow people who inspire you and follow others as well. You have the choice of liking other people’s photos, be a follower and get followers.
* It´s an online place to store your phone pictures so that you can easily access them from your computer. You will have access to your pictures no matter where you are?
* Instant sharing with friends and family. Take a picture and upload it to Instagram. A second later your friends can view it on Instagram and even Twitter and Facebook.
* Easy photo editing. Forget about advanced, difficult to learn editing process. Instagram is so easy to use. You can add filters to make your snapshots look retro or add a tilt shift effect.
…and it´s FREE!
How to get started with Instagram In 3 steps
1.Create a profile
After you download the Instagram app, you need to create a profile.
Choose a profile name, add a little bio and a profile picture. You can easily get your profile avatar directly from Facebook or Twitter.
I do recommend that you add a personal profile picture of yourself, as many users are reluctant to follow someone that does not have profile picture. Connect your profile to your Twitter and Facebook accounts if you like. Now you are ready!
2.Take a picture
Snap your first picture, add a filter, play with the tilt-shift effect and press share. Voila, your picture is now on the web for friends and family to see.
Find out if your Facebook and Twitter friends are already on Instagram. You can easily do this via your Instagram profile. You can also invite friends and family so you can follow each other and stay in touch even if you live far away from one another.
Find new friends and inspiring people
Via the popular page you can get a look into pictures of people you may want to follow. Personally, I´m not always inspired by the popular page as the content/quality tend to vary a lot.
The best way to find interesting new people to follow is to get a sense from my friends, meaning which pictures they like and who they follow. I´m lucky to have friends with great taste and through them I have found amazing new iPhone photographers to follow.
Get around the world in a few minutes
One of the things I love the most about Instagram is my daily peek into the big wide world! When I log into Instagram, I get to see the world through my friends’ eyes.
For example, If I want to see SNOW in Rome, tulips in Sweden, surfers in California, frozen canals in Amsterdam and a fashion show in New York City I can. This is the power of Social and why Instagram so much fun?
The thought of real people photographing real moments takes my breath away!
When you follow someone, their photos will show up in your stream. A good rule of thumb on Instagram is that you ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on their photos as a gesture of following good etiquette. Your contacts will really appreciate these actions.
The atmosphere are very laid back and cosy. Instagram is all about being friendly and having fun! If you do run into a stranger with bad intentions, don’t hesitate to block the person.
It's Good for business
As a photographer, Instagram can be a great way to get people’s attention. If you want to experiment with Instagram to help grow your business, make sure that you only upload your best work. Just like Pinterest, Instagram can be a great tool for building your brand.
Use #Hastags and Geotags
You can add geotags to show where your pictures were taken, kinda like a Facebook Check-in. Meanwhile, hashtags are used as a search tool. So if you add the # sign in front of a word, your picture will show up in search results when other users are looking for that particular words.
For example, if I take a picture of my dog, I can opt to add these hashtags: #Dog, #Golden Retriever, #Dogs on Instagram and so on. You can add one or many – it´s really up to you.
Experiment with other photo apps
If you are already familiar with Instagram, you might want to explore more by experimenting with different photo apps. Among my favorites are Snapseed, VSCO. There are apps that are just a camera, others are a combination of editing tools, filters and a camera.
Upload only camera phone pictures
Avoid the temptation to upload your professional DSLR photos. Try to be loyal to the Instagram community by only uploading pictures taken with your mobile. See this as a creative challenge. You can show your DSLR pictures everywhere else like Facebook, Flickr, your website and blog.