July 17, 2012

Let’s Talk Instagram.

The pluses.  The negatives.  The convenience.  The dangers.  Instagram vs. real camera pictures…

My First Mistake:

I’m new to IG.  Just dipped my toes in the water last Friday.  I immediately dumped a bunch of pics in my feed.  And thus from the get-go, broke one of the biggie “etiquette” rules of IG – don’t bog down your followers’ feeds with a bunch of pics.  But hey, I’m new.  And don’t have followers.  So I’m not bogging.  Much.  [sheepish grin]

Why I Avoided It So Long:

I’ve stayed out of IG waters til now for a variety of reasons.  In the beginning, because I didn’t have an iphone (still don’t, but IG is now available for android phones).  In the middle, because I didn’t really want another “social media” outlet.  And more recently, because I’ve feared becoming one of those photographers who seems to favor IG over real camera photos.  (I have good friends – you know who you are!! – who have begun taking almost all of their personal pictures on their phone – because it’s super simple, fast, & convenient – instead of going to the trouble of using or bringing along the “real” camera (y’know, the one where you actually have to choose your focus, set your exposure, compose, shoot, import, edit, export? – I know, it’s a pain!  But, hey, at the end of the day, you actually have a great picture that has better than 2” resolution!).

instagram pageant 4x4-1

Why I Caved:

Dare I admit it?  I really like the simple Instagram filters.  And the tilt shift.  I love the tilt shift.  I wanted to “fancy” up my phone pics.  And sometimes and some places, I just don’t feel like hauling along the real camera gear.  I wanna travel light.  I just want simple phone pics.
But.  Back to this whole Instagram etiquette thing.  I’m not supposed to post a bunch of pics.  So my typical storytelling-by-taking-a-bunch-of-pictures-that-together-show-the-day style isn’t going to work on Instagram.  (after all, that’s what a blog is for)   Ok.  So I need to restrain myself and post only one (or maybe two, grin).  But I still want all the phone pics edited similarly …

A Tip:  How to Use Instagram Edits Without Posting to Instagram

I learned that I can apply all the IG filters I like and just not upload to my feed by … putting my phone in airplane mode (turning off the wireless) so that the upload fails.  But still saves to my phone.  Win-win.  I get my edits.  I don’t bog down the IG feed.  And instead I can make a big ol’ collage that tells my “story” and post it right here on my blog.


1.  Have you fallen prey to shooting with your phone instead of your real camera?  How do you find the balance?
2.  What are your favorite apps that play along with Instagram?  I’m looking for one that will allow me to post a full vertical or full horizontal with white backdrop (to fill out the square).  I’ve yet to find such an app that works with android.
3.  Are you guilty of over-posting?  Or do you only post every once in a blue moon?
4.  How often do you check your IG?  Continuously?  A couple times a day?  Every once in a purple moon?
5.  Is your feed public?  Or Private?  What drove your decision?
6.  Did your other social medias (ie. blogging, Facebooking, Pinteresting, twittering, Flickr-ing) take a backseat to Instagram or just come right alongside?
7.  Is Instagram here to stay?  Or just the “flavor” du jour?

The end result that I want from Instagram: 1. cute edited phone pics that I can include in my annual family album and 2. to feel like I’ve had a quick daily interaction/“conversation” with my favorite photographer friends.  Instagram could be just the ticket for those two goals.  Feel free to look me up:  shortonwords .  I promise not to bog down your feed :-).

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Tracey said...

I started Instagram for the reason that I could see what close friends and family were doing during the day, via photos. I didn't want to follow "famous" photogs or people with a gazillion followers. I get tired of FB and Flickr and such and so of course am tired of everywhere I turn there being another social outlet to have a MILLION followers and such.

So. I actually like the photo overload from friends. :) You aren't breaking any etiquette rules with me.

Other answers:
1. I tend to go through phases of using both. I don't carry my camera to the grocery store, so it's cool to have a phone camera to capture the fun lines and Iight I see in the ceiling or on the floor. I feel that having my phone camera has actually enhanced my creativity. It's a tool at my fingertips. I think bc you are already established in your big camera skills and habits, you won't trade it for your phone camera. There are many that use the phone camera bc it's gives them the "look" they want, the one they don't know how to get with their real camera. To that, I say...Pick up your camera and push yourself to learn!
2. I love ProCamera and Camera+. I rarely use the Instagram camera and filters. I think it's like going through the editing growth process when you first started picking up the real camera: you played with every action and preset and texture until you found your "thing". I used every Instagram trick at first, and then grew out of some of them bc I discovered what I really loved.
3. I go through days of not posting, and then will find one day I have a lot to share.
4. I usually check once a day or so, maybe more, depending on my day.
5. Public. But I actually go in an see who is following me and block people that I really don't know or are questionable. People who are following 150,000 people are like spam Twitterers. Also, I block men in Russia who have photos of random women in their photo stream. (Seriously-I've blocked a few of those.)
6. Flickring yes. Don't Twitter, even though I have an acct. FB--I go through phases of wanting to just turn off my acct, and enjoying the connection with far away friends.
7. Here to stay.

BTW, in the older versions of Insta you used to be able to just save the edited photo and not post it to the stream. A couple of updates ago that went away and I was sad. Now I always shoot in another photo app, edit and then bring into Instagram.

Long comment! Hope that doesn't break any etiquette rule?! :)

Life with Kaishon said...

I don't remember how I got on the wagon. Everyone talked about it so much...I guess I just gave in one day.

I break the rule all the time : ) I like to put 3 pictures in a row. I don't care if it is bad. I do it anyway.

I haven't really blogged too much this summer, so it doesn't take away from that.

The thing I don't like about it is that it takes me away from being present with the kids. That makes me sad. I am too worried about 'telling a story' so sometimes I miss what is really going on.

I definitely do leave my real camera home sometimes because i think that instagram is good enough.

My feed is public. I don't care who follows me. I hope they are nice people. Nice people are my favorite kind.

I don't know where the tilt shift feature is. Should I investigate that right now?

Skeller said...

Thanks for the words of wisdom, Tracey & Becky. The learning curve of IG wisdom ... I'm trying to shorten it!

stacey said...

I love IG, mainly bc it's a way for me to connect with the every day lives of my friends through photos. Love it.

1. I agree with Tracey on this one. My phone hasn't taken the place of my camera, although I do find myself leaving my camera at home a bit more because of it. Which I think is good because I was taking my camera everywhere and sometimes I felt like I was missing out on being present because I was always behind the lens. Make sense? And it's actually kindof freeing to sometimes NOT have to worry about settings and such and just play around with composition and light in a different way. I find it challenging.
2. I also very rarely use the instagram filters now. I play around with other apps and filters and then import into IG as I like. I love ProCamera and Camera+, my latest favorite is VSCO Cam. I use Squaready to get that white border on my pics. Also have played around with Cameramatic.
3. I post every day, some days more than others. Not sure if I'm guilty of over posting? Ask my friends :) I love seeing pics so POST AWAY!! It makes me feel a part of my friends that live far away.
4. I check maybe 4-5 times a day.
5. Public. I have also blocked a few peeps.
6. FB and Pinterest, Flickr.
7.Here to stay!!

Julie Davids said...

I love the Instagram filters and the square format, so I instagram most pics that I take on my iPhone. I have never tried Airplane Mode (although I've heard of that trick). I like my pics to upload directly to Flickr, so I publish all my pics and then delete the ones from the Newsfeed that I don't feel like sharing.

1. My youngest son is 18 months old, so pretty much once he started walking and getting into everything, my real camera took a backseat. I only use it at home or when my mom or hubby are out with me. I have three little boys to manage and a bulky camera just doesn't work right now. I can't count how many times I've bent over and my camera has whacked one of my kids on the head. I'm surprised I haven't done permanent damage to either! Lol! Plus, like Stacey said I find that when I use my iPhone I'm more "in the moment" then I am with my real camera.

2. I use SquareReady with the iPhone to make square pics and I also use VSCO cam and Snapseed for editing sometimes, but still mostly use the instagram filters.

3. I post almost every day. I probably over-post...who knows. I take pics of my kids, so of course I think everything they do is cute. Lol!

4. I'm a SAHM, so when I'm at home I check IG a lot. I love looking at pics. :)

5. My feed is currently private. I go back and forth. I have small kids that I post pics of and I'm ultra-paranoid. My blog is private too. I just feel more comfortable knowing who has access to view my pics.

6. My Flickr is private too, so that was never a social media thing for me. FB has definitely taken a backseat. I don't really care to post on it anymore.

7. I think IG is definitely here to stay, but it really depends what FB does with it on whether it continues to grow or people get tired of it like they are with FB.

Glad you're enjoying IG. It's fun!

Andrea said...

1. I'm guilty of shooting with my iPhone the way I wish I knew how to shoot with my big camera. Totally, utterly guilty. I still pick-up my big camera, but am just so stinking frustrated with trying to figure things out with it that I've at times thought of just putting it down for good. Putting it away in the box it came in.
2. VSOC, ProCamera and Camera+
3. I hope I don't overpost. I usually post once a day at least. You know, I don't mind the over-posters...I love to see my friends' photography work.
4. Public. I went private for awhile and am back to public. Though I'd like to know how to block people...I have no idea how to do this on IG.
6. I check FB a few times a day. Rarely check Flickr anymore. Have a Tumblr account that I post to regularly and Twitter (which I never ever use.)
7. Here to stay I hope! Love it!

jude said...

1. Have you fallen prey to shooting with your phone instead of your real camera? How do you find the balance?

i still prefer my real camera. i like IG to just share the daily life stuff. nothing too fancy on there from me. lol i must check to see if i am following you!

2. What are your favorite apps that play along with Instagram? I’m looking for one that will allow me to post a full vertical or full horizontal with white backdrop (to fill out the square). I’ve yet to find such an app that works with android.

vsco will work for that.

3. Are you guilty of over-posting? Or do you only post every once in a blue moon?

i post in fits and spurts. haven't been on IG for very long. i like the airplane mode idea! vsco also doesn't upload automatically so i usually take a bunch of shots with it and upload faves later.

4. How often do you check your IG? Continuously? A couple times a day? Every once in a purple moon?

couple of times a day, otherwise i would be scrolling forever.

5. Is your feed public? Or Private? What drove your decision?

was public but then people we adding me that were like following a bazillion people with no pics in their stream. when i figure out how to block peeps i'll be back to public

6. Did your other social medias (ie. blogging, Facebooking, Pinteresting, twittering, Flickr-ing) take a backseat to Instagram or just come right alongside?

blog is still where it is at for me, IG next, FB not so much, and flickr is more or less just to host my pics. haha. but 500px is pretty cool!

7. Is Instagram here to stay? Or just the “flavor” du jour?

maybe since fb bought it. it seems to be the new 'flickr' tho.

The Lendennies said...

Good Android apps with some editing flexibility: be.funky, pixlromatic, pics play pro, vignette and for the full vertical/horizontal flexibility try photo grid and use the "free" layout option!

The Lendennies said...

Correction: use photo grid, choose single option, edit and zoom out, the grey defaults to white

instagramfollowerhub said...

If you're editing a picture what is the best color of the border to enhance the beauty of the picture like for example foods?

Skeller said...

Thanks, Lendennies - I will totally check those out (especially the photo grid - cuz sometimes I just really don't want to crop out anything!)

instagramfollowerhub - I'm super simplistic. I like white :-).