I’m definitely one of those people who loves telling their story through photos. Videos and photos. That’s my thing. I have a Samsung S3 and I must say it’s a lifesaver because the quality of the photographs is more than I could have asked for! I use it everywhere I go – sure, blogging is the new reason I snap away when I see a beautiful scene. I joined Instagram fairly recently and my very first photo was of Cape Town’s Table Mountain on a clear day.
Since then my participation in this online community has grown and I thoroughly enjoy visiting it every day. Instagram is a super way for my blog readers to see into my life a bit more. It also allows my friends and family who live far away to be a part of my life.
Here are a few tips I’d like to share with you about taking great photos through this application:
- Get Close up and personal. Whether you’re eating a salad, see a cute animal or want to capture a lovely moment with someone, getting close to the subject comes across really well. Enjoy an angle you wouldn’t have otherwise tried from up close and you will see your shot becomes so much more effective. Photograph that cup of coffee or your make-up spread across the vanity in a different way that you haven’t seen done before by getting close and trying a different angle. Once you add your filter it will look like something out of a magazine!
- Stick to the square. Unfortunately, Instagram gives you a strict option of cropping when you upload your pictures. Sometimes a stunning vertical photograph you see before you wouldn’t work on Instagram. Remember that when shooting and just ‘stick to the square’ when composing your shot!
- Tap to Focus. This is a wonderful little feature I only just realized myself. With all of these smartphones, you can tap on a subject within your frame which you specifically want to stand out in your shot. Say you are capturing a crop of daisies, but have one in particular that you want to stand out, tap it on the screen as you hold your phone up to take the picture. You’ll see it comes into focus and the others sort of fade to the background. This adds such a beautiful and interesting dimension to your shots, and I highly recommend it.
- Be Aware of Light. Natural lighting is the best for Instagram. Rather stay away from using your flash. Move near a window if you must. If you want to specifically take a ‘mood’ shot by shooting in the dark, leave it at that and allow your peers to see what you are experiencing.
When it comes to writing captions, you can use a hashtag (#) and the title of the category your photo falls into. Try be natural and don’t overdue it. You really just want to spread your oh-so-magnificent photo to the rest of the Instagram community! This is a great way to make yourself ‘known’ as it were to people who are interested in the same things as you. Before you know it, you’ll have a new friend to follow and a new one following you. So your community can grow and you can tag people if it’s a photo of them and they’re on Instagram too.
On Instagram you are encouraged to write captions, comment on other people’s photos, ask questions, tag and hashtag. It is a community and without engagement it’s boring! I always try to respond to comments I get on my photos and I also interact with other peoples’ photos. It’s fascinating to get a glimpse into other peoples’ lives.
I’ve met so many wonderful people through using Instagram. It’s strengthened my relationships and friendships and for that, I love it!
The best photos you take on Instagram aren’t necessarily the ones you post which are you or your friends posing. They are the arty shot, the interesting and quick capture of a single object, scene or person. To produce great photos for your audience, get out there! Travel, eat beautiful food, do interesting things, read books, go to talks, attend exhibitions and art galleries! … Give your friends on Instagram something unusual and educational/entertaining to look at. Share information and share moments. It’s one of my favourite tools and I’m excited to watch it grow!
Are you on Instagram? What’s your favorite thing about it?