How to start in Instagram?

There is no defined procedure on how to upload your first photo so don’t worry to much and follow your artistic instincts!

One of my favorite things to do is to take a look at the first pictures posted by some of the most regular and recognised users today and believe me… we’ve come a long way!

The cool thing about the App is that it allows you to delete any picture if you no longer want it up there.

Is Instagram only for professional photographers?

No at all!  Instagram allows people like you and me to show off their photos.  You can immortalize ‘’daily routines’’, ‘’your workplace’’, ‘’your domestic pets’’ or ‘’your family’’ (I sometimes wonder if people care more about their pets than their family!)

The App gives you the opportunity to add an artistic touch to your pictures; it allows you to discover and experiment with your artistic side!

Another cool thing about the App is that you can have follower’s showing you appreciation for your work!!

As time goes by and inspiration starts to runs through your veins, you will begin to feel like a graphic designer or a professional photographer and your followers and the community will recognize and comment your work.

You can make photos of pretty much anything you set your eyes on, with or without effects.

Should i have my own style in Instagram?

As I mentioned before, you do not need to be a professional photographer.  In Instagram, what I call ‘’Social Mass Creativity’’ or the sum of all creativities, is what really counts.  This is in sharp contrast with small groups of artists showing their work in galleries.  Think of Instagram as a Global fee-less photo gallery.  No one pay’s and no one is obliged to stay.

All users have their own unique style and subjects, some love fields and prairies, others flowers, pets or clouds…  The important thing is not what you photograph but that you photograph according to your personal taste, let the real you come out in your pictures!

If you work on having your own unique and particular style, your followers will recognize you and that will be followed by comments in your ‘’Wall’’.  Your progression will be noticed and users will be awaiting your next photo upload.

What is being original in Instagram?

Originality comes in various formats, there is the one that is proper to artists such as Dali, Kandinsky or Picasso, unique and a once in a lifetime kind… such crazy minds they had!  Nevertheless, when looking through Instagram user pictures, you quickly notice that the platform is open to everyone and anyone that wants to experiment with pictures and filters.  This is especially true when you see that mothers are uploading pictures of their children on the way to school, who is to say this is not creativity and originality?

Can I copy other styles in Instagram?

You’re not feeling inspired?  Not a problem either!  You can find inspiration looking at other users pictures!  That’s a very normal creative process.

We live in a world where everything is remixed and re-launched, the old becomes new again.  This happens with creative and fusion cooking and re-editions of old songs, or songs where the deceased singer’s voices are re edited and inserted in duets with live artists… go ahead and get inspired by the millions of users that are posting right now.

The same thing happens in photography.  You can find inspiration in other user’s photos.  Ask your friends for some advice and try to learn new tips.  As in all activities, you will need to spend some time and dedication in order to see result.  Experience comes with time.

The Human side of Instagram

Human values are important in our everyday lives because they define who you are as a human being.  The same goes with Instagram where you should allow these values to flow freely through your pictures and communications with other.

I like to use the 3H concept (this one is my own copyrighted creation) to guide my activity in Instagram: Humor, Humanity and Humility.

Humor: (the respectful kind) Humour and good fun often facilitate virtual human contact.

- Humanity: It allow’s you to transmits feelings in the relatively short space allowed on the App… a few pixels worth of space.

- Humility.  The best examples that come to mind is those of tennis players Federer and Nadal.  A lot of work and loads of humility define these two great athletes.

Keep in mind that users will be more appreciative of you efforts if you’re expressing something funny and human than if you’re just about astonishing shots and technique.

Be Respectful in Instagram!

Just like with Facebook, you should always be respectful in Instagram.  You have to think of your words and your pictures as an extension of your personality, those who follow you will associate you with what you post.

Respect is also important when commenting in other users “Feed Walls”.  It is not because Instagram user’s pictures are public that they don’t deserve respect in the comments others make.

Moreover, if you are ready to take an Instagram virtual relationship to another level and want to ask the user, the best way to do so is to request an email address and make your proposition privately.  For the moment there is no tool to contact “directly” with another user but this function will probably be implemented shortly.

What should I use Instagram for?

Your first interest in IG should be to share.  You can share whatever you want, whatever you feel, whatever moves you, the special moments in your life, your friends parties, your experiences, your holidays, work projects or simply inform about what is happening around you.

Just like Twitter, you have a “small window” in which you can let the world know about your feelings.

IG founders had the (excellent) idea of allowing people to write more than 140 characters! Unlike Twitter! Good job!

I believe that we will soon be witnessing new communication trends using Instagram and I will be talking about that very soon in another post.

This trend will probably develop when creative people, big companies and “marketing gurus” all around the world start to understand Instagram is a big untapped market and that there are countless advertising business opportunities to take advantage of.

For the moment being let’s take advantage of the “commercial virginity” of the tool and feel the essence of the community of users.  Let’s share “real experiences”.

Is Instagram addictive?

Totally!  It is much more addictive than Facebook or Twitter.

You will soon start to see all of your life through your iPhone camera!  Be careful!  Once you start there is no way back.

Why is it so addictive?

One of the main reasons is that you can express all your feelings and your sensitivity with total freedom.

There are many “Lolitas” on Instagram making a lot of hearts skip a beat by showing off their most attractive features, as you can see, there is an addiction for all types of people.

It’s still too soon to know how IG will evolve but for the moment, the platform is a very respectful one and user’s participation is confined to the “I like” button and the usual positive comments.

I have never seen any discouraging attitudes towards people just getting started, on the contrary.  Join now and see the world from a different view point!

@philgonzalez

Sent from my Iphone the 18.11.2011