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.

Let’s be friends! Like The818 on Facebook, win nothing!

Feed Me Seymour

  49 comments for “I Love Instagram, So I’m Obviously An Expert.

  1. bebehblog
    July 6, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out what makes those cool lighting effects for ages. Now Imma drive you crazy with my bokeh photos.

  2. July 6, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    I’m trying out Diptic and PicFrame. So far I like Diptic better; it seems a little cleaner, and it didn’t lie to me about saying it hadn’t tweeted when really it had.

    • July 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm

       @Tragic Sandwich Thank you!

  3. July 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Great instagram tips! But, hopefully you’re not double spacing in that script you wrote. Oh, the humanity!

  4. the818
    July 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    @melaniebiehle Thanks Mama!

  5. wa_tracy
    July 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    @the818 @smonkyou Bwahaha! Did u know that if u double space after text on the twitter app, it will plug a period in there. Try it. #ironic

  6. Melaina25
    July 7, 2012 at 4:34 am

    I still double space at the end of sentences I think? Or do I? I’m ever so confused now….

  7. TakeyaUSA
    July 7, 2012 at 10:09 am

    @the818 Since you’re an expert, we’d love for your to enter our Instagram iced tea photo contest :) http://t.co/U2L9KfDC

  8. ebum1101
    July 7, 2012 at 10:39 am

    @the818 Fun! The airplane mode thing works for android users too btw. :)

  9. smonkyou
    July 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    @the818 @wa_tracy good to know others are carrying on the fight against the double

  10. strollerincity
    July 8, 2012 at 8:59 am

    @the818 Great tips!!

  11. persimmon_girl
    July 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    @the818 Such a great post, thank you!

  12. whatnowandwhy
    July 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

    @the818 Great tips! My ? (ducks in shame): when in Instagram, where are photo captions? If tweeted I can see it, but not even just in feed.

    • August 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      @whatnowandwhy Hmmmm…mine have always been right in my feed! Are you on Android?

  13. lausie18
    July 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    @the818 Love the airplane mode tip. I always found it annoying that I’d have to publish my pics in order to work that IG magic.

  14. July 10, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Love Instagram!  Great tips on how to have better pics on there, I’ve seen some cringe-worthy ones that’s for sure.

  15. janie_real
    July 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    great tips! i use picframe to make collages. check out phonto, vsco and shake it apps as well =)

  16. July 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

    Love love LOVE IG and Snapseed!  Awesome tips….thank you! 

  17. July 11, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Total Insta-newbie right here, so THANKS for this awesome post! :)

  18. GlitterfulFelt
    July 12, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    I love..love..love instagram too!!

  19. guest
    July 17, 2012 at 8:03 am

    There’s actually a MUCH easier way to get photos to save in your library without publishing them. Just go to your setting and turn both “Save Original Photo” and “Save Filtered Photo” on. It saves the photos to my library after I take them whether I publish them or not. Saves the hassle of putting the phone on airplane mode too.

  20. July 17, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Hey thanks for the shoutouts! So appreciated! 

    • July 20, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      @Jason Hudson Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. lily
    July 17, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    picframe is nice and simple, I’ve used that for ages until I came across diptic (for free right now in the app store!!!) same general format, easy to use, AND you can apply filters within the app, if you want to. I generally don’t but it’s a nice feature to have, just in case you ever want to go crazy and experiment.thanks for the tips!

  22. the818
    July 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    @graphicsfairy Thanks lady! :)

    • graphicsfairy
      July 20, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      @the818 Aw, you’re welcome! I pinned it too, and it’s getting lots of repins, so far over 70! Great post!!

  23. wa_tracy
    August 7, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    @the818 Dude. Your airport mode trick has changed me forever!

  24. king_ruckus
    August 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    @the818 I love…….lamp. I love LAMP!

  25. BananaWheelz
    August 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    @the818 This was helpful – thx for the tips!

  26. DesignBreakBlog
    August 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    @the818 it takes one to know one! loved your obsessive post ;) // cc: @Instagram

  27. HRiderReed
    August 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    @the818 @instagram just read your tips post. Funny because I’ve recently become OBSESSED! #latetotheparty

  28. August 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    hilarious. Stumbled here from Pinterest. Love the tips. I’ll be back.

  29. nani
    October 14, 2012 at 1:40 am

    This was great advice. Thanks.

  30. March 11, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Love this. I’ve been having fun with Afterglow too.

  31. C.O
    June 22, 2013 at 8:27 am

    When I take a pic I’m not ready to pulblish yet, I just allow it to ‘process’, then hit the back button. Will have to check snapseed out..great tips!:)

  32. June 24, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Thank you for introducing me to Phoster. I will now download it and make sweet Instagram love to it after a little Snapseed foreplay.

    • Morgan
      June 24, 2013 at 10:18 am

      That is so hawt.

  33. June 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    OH! I have been wondering how to delay the publishing of my pics! And I haven’t heard of most of those apps, so THANKS, Morgan! I totally needed this!

  34. March 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Ah!! Now I know how to save the photo/video without it loading My huand loves how I can stop and start Instagram videos, but sometimes I just rather not post them!!! :) Thanks

    • Morgan
      March 11, 2014 at 8:50 am

      Haha, happy to be of service!

Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.