Are you looking for a great way to share photos and enjoy the work of other photographers? Instagram may be just the home for you. This wildly popular smartphone app now has millions of active users from all over the world, including professional photographers, fashion designers, athletes and celebrities.
At its core, Instagram is like a combination of photo-editing and photo-sharing. Users can add filters to their favorite photos in order to achieve different effects, change up the lighting, or play with the focus.
In a recent update, users were also able to upload short videos that looped, again with filter options. Users can then share their photos with other users, like posts and leave comments. Since 2012, it has been owned by Facebook, which means you can find your Facebook friends within the app and follow them.
Many people use Instagram as another tool to add to their social media toolkit. It can be a great way to build a brand or get your name out there. Let’s take a closer look at how to make Instagram work for you.
Put Your Website on Your Profile
When you put together your profile, make sure to take full advantage of it and provide relevant information related to your brand. This includes a picture, a description and your website. The website is particularly important because it will help build exposure for your project, company or organization. Once people know who you are and what you’re all about, they will be more likely to follow you and keep up with your news.
Mix It Up With Different Filters
The filters can be great fun to try out, but don’t get stuck using your favorite. Instead, mix it up by posting one image in black and white and then another in something else. Also, that artsy photo you took of a wheelchair at the hospital may not need a filter at all. Just be sure to tag it #nofilters to show it off in a more subtle way.
Keep Track of the Current Trends
Instagram is also a great way to keep track of what’s popular now. All you have to do is search for popular hashtags and add your own image with your interpretation of the hashtag. Then, when other users search for trends they’ll be more likely to see your work.
Furthermore, some larger Instagram accounts, like magazines, photo agencies and travel companies will advertise contests on Instagram where they will ask you to post a photo around a certain theme. Participating in these contests is a great way to get noticed as well as find more interesting people to follow.
A Word About Owner’s Rights
When Facebook took over Instagram last year, many professional artists and photographers left because the terms of posting had changed. Instagram can now use your photos without your permission and without compensating you. This can be terrible news if you take a photo, only to find that you can’t publish it later because Instagram already has the rights!
However, you can still promote your work without giving away your photos or integrity. Just make sure to post only the photos that you can’t or weren’t planning to publish. Or, you can only post photos that you take with your phone and tag them #iphoneonly or similar. You can still take pretty decent photos with a smartphone camera, while using your top quality images taken with a DSLR for publications, advertisements and your website.
These are just a few of the ways you can use Instagram to share your creativity with the world. All you need is a smartphone and a willingness to learn and experiment.
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