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

My profile page.

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.

Key Moments

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.

What my profile is looking like, and my portfolio.

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.

Followers

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.

42 Responses

  1. I saw the word Snapseed. Now did you use this to help with getting tour photos from your camera (wifi) to your computer. And then they were easier to share from your phone. I have a Nikon CoolPix L820. This is my first digital camera, I am still learning. I accidentally found out I could take pictures of the moon and could see the craters. I have posted images from my camera to my blog.

    • I used Snapseed to do some editing to the photos on the phone. I had a program from Nikon that allowed me to transfer the photos. That’s great that your camera will let you do that, it is brilliant, I do love digital photography. Thanks

  2. I joined Instagram a few weeks ago, and I found that so far, it’s pretty static in the number of followers I’ve picked up. (Only 3 so far) 🙂

    I will look forward to some tips, but I suspect it’s mostly because I don’t spend enough time looking at other people’s work and commenting. Like you, I post one image a day (always one my my best).

    Thanks for this series… I dare to dream for when the day comes that I have 10 followers. 🙂

    • Yeah, it can be like that, you really need to find some hashtags and such, it is like advertising that you are there.
      You do have to spend quite a bit of time on it, liking posts, though just half an hour a day will see you get more. Maybe try it. I hate it when people post heaps and heaps of photos.
      You’re welcome, glad you are enjoying them, let me know if there is anything specific you would like me to cover. You will have those soon, what’s your handle?

    • Wow! Just checked this morning and I’ve doubled my number of followers (to 6.) 🙂 Anyway my handle is steinej2. I didn’t realize it uses your userID for a handle or I would have picked something less cryptic. I see it can’t be changed. I guess at this point, I could just create a new account if I want to change it. Thanks for the tips, I’ll keep reading them.

    • That’s fantastic new John. I am fairly certain you can change your handle, try going into the profile and see if you can, I am sure I have changed my macro one because someone set it up without my permission using my email address, so I took it over and changed it. You’re welcome, just keep going, you will get there.

  3. How silly is it that we need to use a work around to post proper images – that weren’t snapped on a cell? While easy enough, this is what’s held me back from buying in – in any meaningful way.

  4. I’m very anxious to hear your tips on Instagram. I marvel at the folks who have thousands of followers.. I’m happy with the paltry 200 I’ve gained. It’s very *very* slow going, and I’d like to get my photos out to more folks 🙂

  5. Very lovely portfolio on IG, and 11.5k is a great effort. So happy for you. It does take a lot of work at the start, and I think it all starts from liking a lot of photos that are similar to yours (not too much liking and you get blocked, it happened to me twice, lol), and commenting too.

    I too like the social aspect and knowing what photographers are photographing in Melbourne. I haven’t gone to meet-ups yet, but time is also not on my side. Personally, I still haven’t decided what I want to do with my IG. But like you, I’m just going along with the ride and having fun.

    I definitely prefer posting images from my camera onto IG, sans filters. But what I do noticed if I use a filter, IG increases my photo size by quite a bit. Sometimes if I just upload a full resolution image straight up (after I’ve edited it on my laptop), the quality goes down. Probably need to play around with all of it more.

    Looking forward to the next IG series blog post 🙂

    • Thank you Mabel, I’ve been blocked a few times, though not for a while.
      I’m enjoying getting to know the other people on Instagram, I think it is has been one of the best for locals I’ve had. We might have to meet one day. Yes, it is hard to know, I use it as a place to show what I’m working on.
      I always post photos from my camera, and I resize them, so I haven’t noticed anything else.
      Thanks again, will have to start working on those soon.

    • Of the two times I’ve been blocked, it’s been less than 24 or 48 hours. So not too bad.

      I am sure we will meet at some point. Just a matter of time. How cool is that 😀 Good luck with building IG this year. I’m sure it will take you even more places given the caliber of your work. Sharp as always.

    • I think they do 12 hours the first time, and I’m usually blocked for 24, once 36, but it hasn’t happened for a long time now.

      Yes, perhaps we will one day. Thank you I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with it. Thank you.

  6. I love seeing your images on Insta Leanne. They always leap off the screen! I’m really looking forward to your tips .. and I’m with you, I love seeing what others are doing! 😃

    • That’s great Julie, I love seeing you there as well. Good to hear about the tips as well. I do as well, I get so much inspiration from it. Thanks Julie 😀

  7. So FB owns Instagram and are making messenger separate so conversations will not be on there. What will be? wondering, wondering. 🙂 Never mind that. I look forward to your follow-ups as I have considered this once my blog reaches 3GB, which will be soon. Yes, desktop computers will be business only soon enough. That is the potential of cloud computing. By the way, my phone is usually faster than my computer at loading pages. Sorry for the rambling, just looking at variables and will be looking for your follow-up posts.

    • Yeah, they purchased it a few years a go, I think about 2013. Yes, they have, though it is like that on the phone as well. I am wondering too, they have managed to stuff up Facebook and I hate using it now, I would hate the same thing to happen to Instagram. I thought you got more storage now with WordPress? Mine is self hosted so I have more than enough space. I don’t think I will ever get rid of my desktop, I hate, hate, typing on the phone, it is so small and it drives me nuts. I love the big screen for editing. I have a 13 inch laptop and that is hard to edit on that. No problem about the rambling, I believe I just did some of my own. Thanks Robert.

  8. Great post, Leanne. I have recently started with Instagram (thanks for the follow) after being convinced by a mutual friend (@stacypfischer) that there are ways to get images posted from a computer. I am ambivalent, however, for the same reasons John listed and would be happy to pay a fee to keep the ads off the platform. Nevertheless, I definitely love the images you have been posting there and I’ll be interested in your next segment on the subject.

    • Thank you Robyn, it is a great platform, I love it, I just hope they don’t stuff it up like they did Facebook, though I am fairly certain they will. I have to say I agree, I would pay not to have ads,definitely.

  9. Hearing your experiences is already helpful. Thank you, Leanne!

  10. I’m a newbie to both Photography and Instagram and have been following you and your images. They have helped me gain so much, when talking of perspective and inspiration. 🙂
    Just wanted to say you’re amazing at what you do.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Oh, thank you so much, what a lovely comment to receive, I can’t tell you how big the smile on my face was when I read it. Thanks again, and I’m sure you can be guaranteed that I will continue. 😀

  11. Hey Leanne, always love your posts .. and of course your images.

    There are three things that frustrates me about Instagram:
    1/ The aspect ratio.
    2/ The elongated process of getting fully edited images from camera – desktop – mobile device to post.
    3/ Clunky tools for interaction with comments etc in comparison to facebook

    As you can see I don’t enjoy working via small mobile devices.

    Richard

    • I do like that you don’t have to have all images square anymore, but I don’t like how vertical images get cropped.
      I’ve found a way that I really like for getting images to my account, and will talk about it in a future post.
      Yeah, it is all a bit like that, though I prefer commenting and responding on the phone.
      I am with you there, I don’t like it much either and the thought that they will do away with computers seems ridiculous to me. Thank you Richard.

  12. Amy

    Wow! 11.5K, impressive, Leanne!!

  13. I will look you up and follow you to view the best photos in your portfolio.

  14. I refuse to publish a photo without a watermark. This is an informative post that could have easily spanned into two parts alone 🙂 Once my photos are dropped into dropbox (edited), I prefer to use my tablet to post a photo. Often times I post a photo from a recent blog post, with a share to Facebook. Looking forward to your part 2!

    • I do the same Terri, it is very rare that I don’t. I will talk about posting photos in future articles, there are so many ways of doing it. Thank you Terri.

  15. The entire premise of Instagram being a ‘mobile device only’ platform needs to be taken away. The purchase of Face Book (which i despise Face Book) hasn’t helped. Since then, of course the greedy ads have revealed their ugly selves just as the ads have totally destroyed the YouTube I once loved. I pay WordPress the yearly fee to keep the sickening ads off of my website. Either way, it seems we lowly ‘public’ can’t avoid being screwed one way or another. My Instagram days may end soon enough should the ads become ever more aggressive on Instagram. Leave it to the damned FB to screw up the internet any way it can.

    • Yeah, that’s true, I think that is what got me to start with, then again you can still only post from the phone and they haven’t taken that away. I guess it is always going to happen when they don’t charge you for the service, you will have to put up with the ads, then again, I would pay Instagram some money not to get them anymore and do wish that was an option. Thanks John.

  16. A fabulous part 1 and look at Instagram Leanne. Always enjoy your images and I so enjoy the spontaneity of Instagram myself.
    When you are short on time its wonderful to be able to visit your favourites and say hi…and as you sag the inspiration is fantastic!!
    A great post, thanks 😀

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