U4D: Social Media – Instagram Part 1
It has been my intention the last few weeks to do a comprehensive look at Instagram, but it is such a big topic and then I don’t find the time to write it. So I thought perhaps we could compromise and I could do a series of posts on it instead. So today I thought we could take a look at it
more generally. Perhaps why I love it and then I can work on some other posts about it. Look at the advantages and disadvantages. Anyway we will see how we go.
Instagram, my experience
I first started using Instagram when it became available for Android, after seeing so many people using it for iPhones, I wanted to try it. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about it, but when Facebook purchased it and declared that whatever images you put up on it they would have the right to do as they please with, I deleted my account.
In March 2014 I started it up again. I thought, well if people want my images from here, then I will just do phone images, have some fun. So I started using it when I went out. I would take photos of where I was and post them. I used the filters that Instagram had available and just experimented. For a long time I just posted when I went somewhere. I thought it could be a way to show people where I was and what they could expect to be coming up on my blog.
As I watched what was happening on Instagram I also starting seeing that people were posting images that weren’t taken with their phones. I started to wonder, but kept using my phone. Then I was starting to hear about people that were actually finding a lot of success using Instagram. I had to work out what I wanted to do. Though in all seriousness, I didn’t really know what to do with Instagram, how to make my followers grow.
There were two key moments for me in my Instagram journey, one was my trip to the United States in September 2015, and the other was the following month.
When I went to the US in 2015 Nikon Australia loaned me the Nikon D750 to use. It had WiFi capabilities, so for the first time I was really able to transfer a photo that I had just taken on the camera and get it to my phone rather easily. I had Snapseed on my phone for processing, and I started putting up photos that were taken with the camera, so stopped using the Instagram filters. This began a new way for me to use Instagram. By the time the camera went back I had thought of ways to get my images from my computer to my phone. I still used phone photos, but it was happening less.
I remember going to the Flatiron building and then having coffee straight after the visit. While enjoying my coffee I put one of the photos on my phone, processed and posted it.
It was becoming apparent that the photos taken with my camera and processed on the computer were far more popular than the images taken on my phone. I believe the last photo I put up from my phone was on the 30th of October, 2015.
From that moment on I have always posted photos from my camera.
The second key moment for me was October when I met some new friends out here on holiday from the US. I took them down to Rye for some photography and while sitting in the Portsea Pub having lunch Melissa taught me a lot about Instagram. How to use it, how to use hashtags, how to grow my following. What she told me has worked, because I went from 340 followers in that October to now where I have 11.5 thousand. Not a bad effort.
So far it hasn’t meant a lot to me, and having over 10000 followers doesn’t mean as much as it used to. I do wish I had stuck with it from the start, but no point being disappointed now.
My account is now my portfolio. I only put up images that I am happy with and I only post one image a day. Sometimes I do a second but it is very rare.
Inspiration and the social aspect
One thing I am loving about Instagram is looking at what other people do. There are so many incredible images on it and you can get so much inspiration. I really love that aspect of it. Though, another one has been the social side of it. I’ve been meeting a lot of people from Melbourne through it. I’ve met people through blogging, but not many from my home town. We do all seem to be gravitating to one another, and I really like that. I’ve learned about new places to go and take photos.
So far there have been too many positives for me using Instagram. Will it lead to anything, who knows, but right now, I don’t mind as I’m having fun. It is continuing that drive to get me out and capture photos. It has also meant me having to go through my archives to find images. That has been good, means older images have another airing.
Following on from this post
I haven’t given you any real tips here, but they will come. I will help you work out how to get the best from Instagram, how to get followers and hopefully getting your images noticed. Next week will be the second part.