I Love Instagram, So I’m Obviously An Expert.

Instagram Tips and Tricks -- The818.comI’m home alone (well, me and a pack of dogs) because Dee is at her Grandma’s house, Scott’s truck took a sh*t so he’s made off with my car, and no one appears to be on the internet, either.  But I have Instagram. I always have Instagram.

I’ve made no secret of my passion for this latest, greatest form of social media [or is Pinterest the latest?]  Either way, with each new Insta-skill I acquire (where skill mostly = app, but whatever) I only love it more and more.

So while my initial love of Instagram began at first sight, it took a while before I really started to fall for the community element.  And then another while before I snuck in to the end of Ryan and Jason’s Instagram session at Blissdom, and whole world of Insta-possibility opened up.

I think for a lot of Instagrammers, the tendency to gravitate towards a filter or two comes naturally — most folks with a creative bone in their body have a preferred aesthetic, and the ease of Instagram’s billion dollar filter + share app let’s us kind of feel like we’ve found our personal style without having to work too hard for it.  (I mean that in the good way – I swear I’m not being a passive-aggressive dick.)

What I took away from Ryan and Jason’s session, and began to implement in my own Instagramming, was that there were apps out there that could help me hone that style and create an Instagram feed that felt like it was telling it’s own unique story.  And as it turns out, I kind of dig on telling stories.

SO.  The following are some of my go-to tricks to keep my story looking just how I want it.  Use them well…and enjoy finding your Insta-style!

{Be forewarned, most of these tips kind of take the “insta” out of Instagram, but it’s still pretty-fastagram, which is OK by me.}

  •  Shoot from the hip, and not with your in-app camera.
    Sure, Instagram has a camera in the app, and that’s fantastic, but it’s inability to save is going to cost you that shot if you’re not careful. Using your phone’s camera (or download Camera+, that rapid-shooting sexy genius) you’ll be able to shoot your subject as you see fit and choose the best shot to share AFTER that hilarious bird that looks like a fascinator fit for the royal wedding has flown off the statue’s head.
  • Airplane mode is your friend.
    Accidentally shot in Instagram but not ready to share?  Or perhaps you want to stack your filters (have you tried going Inkwell over Rise)?  Or maybe you’re just not the sharing type. Turn that iPhone to airplane mode and publish.  Your upload will fail, you’ll delete it from your stream using that handy X, and you’ll find it safely and privately in your photo library. (Update: Apparently works for Android, too!)
  • Cut the Crop
    Before we get all app-happy, a final piece of advice — in my experience, it’s always preferable to crop your shot as you see fit BEFORE you apply any filters, etc.  Some of the apps mentioned below allow you to choose your crop, some will plug in the square-format for you, but your good ‘ol iPhoto library will let you crop your shot down right from your viewing pane.  (hint: hit edit.)

OK – NOW Get App-Happy!

  • SNAPSEED: My personal favorite. $4.99 and it gives you everything the free Adobe app is going to make you pay more to download you once you get inside.
  • Okay I lied.  I haven’t tried the Adobe Filter Pack yet, so it might be all that and a bag of chips.  I am liking some of the shooting abilities I have in adobe, although I wish I had tried it out before adding their camera pack because now I can’t tell what I paid for.  Obviously this app is still new to me.
  • PicFX: If you like to really age and abuse your photos, you will spend endless hours with PicFX.  I’m not as partial to their filters as I am to the Instagram originals (and I am surprised to be finding myself to be something of an Instagram filter purist, when it comes to my own stream) but their light effects alone make it worth the $1.99 it costs.
  • Phoster is a killer app for adding text or watermarking OR if you Instagram your travels often, I could see it really adding a cool narrative element to an eclectic stream.  Also good for pin-friendly graphics, like this:

Instagram Tips and Tricks -- The818.com

Kinda makes you want to pin this, doesn’t it?

[I am not a professional photographer, but Jason Hudson is, and he’s got a really fantastic series called Instagrammar School running on his blog right now that you should DEFINITELY check out if you are interested in taking your phonetography to the next level.]

And now that you’re an expert too, you’ll want to read “Stuff To Do With All Those Instagram Shots“.

I think that’s all I’ve got for today, friends and lurkers.  I’ve yet to find a montage program I really like — if you have one, please, I beg of you, leave it in the comments.

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