The big announcement is that Instagram is now available for Android based devices! I’ve been using Instagram for quite awhile now, I use it to play creatively and explore photography concepts that I wouldn’t normally attempt with my Canon dSLR, mostly because I always have my phone with me and the camera is always available, unlike my dSLR.

I thought I’d give some tips to all the new users of Instagram:

  • Instagram is a photo social network, so you can use it to either connect with and share photos with people you already know, or you can use it to follow and connect with complete strangers and discover some new creative techniques.
  • Follow creative people, Instagram is only as interesting as the people you follow and interact with!
  • If you find someone who is interesting and you like their photography.. check out who they are following, chances are you’ll find some more interesting people to follow!
  • Interact.. don’t just post photos! Make sure you actively like and comment on other people’s images as well.. share the love! :)
  • Use other apps for post-processing.. I generally use PhotoForge2 and Snapseed to do some creative editing before putting the image through Instagram, there are many many many photography apps you can explore. I highly recommend using the Discovr app on your iDevice to find new photography apps. I’m not overly familiar (yet) with the equivalent apps on Android, would love to hear some suggestions as I’ll be getting an Android phone shortly
  • Use hashtags.. if you aren’t familiar with hashtags (used on Twitter and Google+), they are descriptive words preceded by the # symbol.. it makes it easier for other users to find your photos and for you to do a search. For example if you are photographing the city of perth at sunset you might include #city #perth #skyline #sunset in your tags.
  • If you are looking to tag another user, you can mention them by using the @ symbol before their name.. for example my user name is @paulmp (feel free to follow me!)
  • Don’t upload your entire photo library at once! If you are looking to get ignored or even worse, unfollowed, just clog someone’s feed up with your entire photo library in a few minutes… space your postings out, people like to see variation.
  • Experiment with themes and stories when taking your photos, the phone camera is the perfect street photographers camera as everyone has one and generally ignores people using them. The composition of your image can tell a story with out saying a word!
  • And finally.. Play! While there are definitely some that take Instagram completely seriously, it is a great avenue to play and to experiment and get feedback. Try shots that you wouldn’t normally attempt with your normal camera!

Anwyay, good luck with Instagram, feel free to follow me, I’ll be sure to check out your photos! My username is @paulmp.. I’m not posting a lot at the moment as I’m waiting for my new phone and for my old one to get repaired!


Paul Pichugin