For a quite a while I have been thinking about writing a series of posts about where to find us on the internet, not to mention a couple of blogging related tips and tricks. This post is all about our life on Instagram, which is the photographic equivalent of twitter. You can post a photograph and a short caption and that’s about it. I joined up with instagram about two years ago, when we were on an adventure in Lesotho. I was in a place where there was no opportunity to blog, but I still wanted to share pictures with friends back home. I didn’t realise how much I would love it. It is quick, fun and easy to share – your outing, your day, your lunch and it is way quicker than a blog post.
I initially joined instagram to share and then discovered that I love following too!!! I follow all sorts of folk… designers, travellers, artists, brands, families… it really is my daily vacation space. One thing I have noticed about instagram it is a really fun environment… folks are supportive and encouraging, they take the time to comment… It is all the niceness of blogging but on a mini-scale. I look forward to the friendly comments on my photographs… it provides a lift to my day… and very often a much needed encouraging word arrives instantly.
Instagram is different to photography, in that many instagrammers are purists and publish only the photo they see…no filters, no extras just the pure picture. Other instagrammers like to add and adapt their photographs… stretch their photograph to the artistic limits… add frames, beautiful quotes, overlay other images. Generally speaking instagrammers tend to be a fairly creative bunch. That’s not all, instagrammers like to meet up!!! Look out for your local instagram family – I bet wherever you are you will find them. Just search instagram for Igers+”your city name” or #yourcity…
Se7en + 1 Instagram Tips:
- Sign up: Instagram is really easy to sign up too. I know I did it without any help from my hubs and I am generally galactically helpless at anything that might say “technology.” When you sign up use an easy to spot profile picture, it doesn’t have to be of yourself, it just has to be something that your readers will recognise as they scroll through their instagram feed.
- Interact: If you want folk to interact with you then you have to leave a comment. Some photographers get thousands of likes but they will stop and see who is commenting and folk are often happy to comment back. Say something nice and you will be surprised at how often folk stop by and reply and wish you a good day right back. A couple of folk saying “I hope you have a good day” in the morning can really set the tone of your day!!!
- Be Kind: Instagram is a friendly place, “like” folk’s photographs and if you have something nice to say then leave a comment. Instagram is a very quick version of blogging… there is only time to stop and say something lovely and then scroll on. I think in all my time I have only seen one or two comments that were not very nice… and you can delete comments on your photographs if you want to… slide your finger over the comment towards the right and hit the trash can.
- Be consistent: I try to post two or three photographs everyday… and I try and remember a “good night from the gang at Se7en + 1″ photograph when my kids head for bed. I tend to unfollow folk that post thirty photographs of their coffee cup, or their pet on one day and then nothing for six weeks, a couple of photographs is fine… but don’t bomb your followers with photographs.
- What to Post: Some photographs fly… folk love photographs of where you live and I get a lot of interaction when I take a view from a hike, for instance. Photographs of us doing a project all together, “day-in-the-life” photographs… followers enjoy. But I have to mix it up a little… too many of the same type of photograph and your followers lose interest. One photograph of the sunrise is great, while twenty five of the same sunrise – not so much. You may want to post a photograph of the view from your window everyday… that’s great… but the view from your window every ten minutes through a day might be overkill.
- Hashtags: Some folk use dozens of hashtags, I never look at them… and some folk never do (that’s me… totally forget every time), but they are very handy for folks searching for a particular thing… if you are visiting a landmark then use a hashtag, for example #Tablemountain, if it is a photo you take #everyday… and so on… if you search through your hashtags you will quickly find like-minded instagrammers, who are taking the same genre of photographs that you are.
- Be Careful: Unless you have a private account your photographs are public, keep that in mind when you are posting – your grandma could be following your feed!!! In fact, even if you set your photostream to “private” nothing on the internet is ever truly private… if you don’t want your grandma to see it, then just don’t post it – EVER, ANYWHERE. I do check out all our followers as they sign up to follow us. You will from time to time get someone you would rather not have following you – it is very easy to click on someone’s profile and block them. They will never know, they won’t be offended and they won’t get back to you. There are spammers on instagram, they come in batches… they usually are following thousands of people, no one is following them and they have one or two photographs that say you can make millions on instagram, or something equally silly. Block them straight away and forget about them.
- Post from your heart: Post photographs that you have created, about the things that you love, people really want to get to know you… don’t try and emulate what others are doing, it just doesn’t ring true!!!
In My Instagram Toolbox:
- Procamera: An easy to use camera app on your iphone. It allows you to adjust the lighting, the focus and just recently add a whole lot of lovely little features to your photograph.
- A Beautiful Mess: A Beautiful Mess adds the fun factor to your photograph – frames, writing, doodles… and the creators have a fabulous website with tips about all things arty, crafty, recipes and design, not to mention stunning, stunning photography.
- Whitagram: For resizing photographs, for taking those portraits or landscapes and making them square for instagram. Also for trimming photographs… and you can pick the colour of your background as well.
- Aviary: is a photo editor… packed with lots and lots of love little features… lighting, resizing, stickers, frames, lots of lovely goodies!!!
- PicFrame: Is an app that allows you to make collages with a couple of photographs at a time.
- Photo Transfer: Allows you to transfer photographs between devices really easily. From your phone to your laptop and back again… using your local wifi network.
- Statigram: Allows you to check out your instagram stats… your most liked photograph… your most commented photograph and so on.
- Stickygram: I haven’t actually done this yet, but I love the idea of printing out photographs and having them turned into fridge magnets… I love the idea!!!
And the se7en + 1th…
I have made amazing friends all over the world on instagram. When you follow folk around the world you don’t just get to see the “Big Sites” of the travel brochure, you get to see the daily activity of a trip to the market, the sun rising in the morning, and their evening amble… it is a great way to travel without leaving home and meet people exactly where they are.
I am linking this post to one of my favourite traveling instagrammers, at Skimbako… who never fails to make my day with a cheery “Good Morning from Sweden.”