Without a doubt, Instagram is one of the most exciting social media platforms anywhere. It is now ranked the number two most active social media platform (by number of users), just behind Facebook, with over 600 million participants. As a photographer, who has been slowing building a following on Instagram over the last three years, I have a love-hate relationship with the app. “Hate” might be a bit of a strong word choice in that last statement but you get the point. Trust me, I spend way too much time on Instagram. They have me hooked. On the one hand, it is inspiring to see an incredible number of amazing images on my Instagram feed each day. I tend to follow a lot of my fellow pro photographers, who post some top-notch images. In addition, there are a large number of amateur photographers creating incredible work, and in some cases their images are better than a lot of pro photographers.
For those who aren’t yet on Instagram (yes, there’s a few), it can seem like a world of endless food, airplane wings and sunny beaches. Even if you’ve been on it for a while, it can still be quite confusing. Especially if you want to use it to try and promote your work or your business. Cinematographer Morgan Cooper used to think this way, and now he wants to tell you what he’s learned.
While Morgan is a filmmaker, many of the tips apply equally to photography. Creating consistency and cohesion in your posts on Instagram is important. So is having the right mix of what you want to create and what your audience wants to see. As well as the regular media-consuming audience, it’s where potential clients can find your new work. It’s also an amazing source of inspiration.
Last year, Apple announced the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with displays offering a wider colour range. They also announced that the cameras built into these phones would be able to take advantage of that. Most image sharing platforms however, do not. They typically convert the images to sRGB upon upload. Worse, some even strip out colour profiles completely.
Instagram, though, have just updated Instagram to now support the wide colour range the new devices can offer. While it may seem that this move is heavily Apple-focused, it’s really not. It’s just that Apple are the first manufacturer to really take advantage of the DCI-P3 colour space for mobile devices. It’s the standard for digital movie projection in the USA. And it’s the colour space Apple chose to go with for their wide gamut displays in 2015 over AdobeRGB.
The Instagram struggle is real. Everybody wants more followers, more likes, more comments. People post every day, but see very little response. Why is that? Well, there are many reasons, but one of them could be the images themselves. Many images that work fine on a monitor or printed out often scale down well to our phones. Details get lost, and the impact is gone. What works on Instagram isn’t necessarily what works elsewhere.
But, you can fix it. Despite the title, there’s actually more than three tips in this video from content creation studio, Mango Street. At least, if you include getting your dead house plants out of frame and remembering to dust off your props. Some of these might seem like common sense once somebody actually say it out loud, but they’re not all immediately obvious to everybody.
Did you read Instagram’s Terms and Conditions carefully before signing up? Be honest. If you didn’t do it, I won’t judge. The sentences are so complicated, that I’m not sure any of us read them with full attention and understanding.
Now, imagine children who use Instagram. More than a half of teenagers and almost a half of 8 to 11-year-olds in Great Britain are active on this social network. Did they read the Terms and Conditions? I highly doubt it. And the report by the UK Children’s Commissioner confirms my doubts. You can’t blame the children though, because they don’t understand these complex sentences and legal discourse.
Because of this, a lawyer Jenny Afia did us all a favor and rewrote Instagram’s Terms and Conditions so that the kids can understand them. And even us grown-ups will find it helpful.
A few people requested an in-depth post on how to grow your instagram. Here’s how I grew my instagram account without using any online services. Before I dive in, this is purely my workflow and there is no secret App that will make you gain thousands of followers over night nor is this going to be about buying followers/likes. So if this is not for you, just ignore this post.
A little about myself (this is important, I promise) I am a freelance photographer from Tanzania. I spent most of my teenage years abroad (in South East Asia) for studies. Whenever I introduced myself to people, I’d get 3 main questions:
- Where is Tanzania?
- Is it safe?
- What do you guys eat?
While the popularity and frequency of use on Instagram can bounce a little up and down, it’s certainly not dying yet. In the last few months, they’ve been adding more features to try to expand the platform’s capability. They’ve taken a leaf from Snapchat’s book with Stories, and they even hope the platform will become the future of online shopping.
With over 300 million daily active users and over 95 million photos & videos posted every day, there are, of course, lots of comments. Comments are extremely valuable to the Instagram community. They let you build relationships with your followers, and them with each other. But they’re pretty limited. This is one of the areas Instagram have decided to tackle in this latest update.
At the beginning of this week Instagram announced that it was introducing a Snapchat-like option of disappearing photos and videos to its service. As we’re now at the end of the week and it’s been covered everywhere–not to mention people would have been using it, or at least had discovered it over the past five days–this is hardly news any longer. So why do I feel compelled to write about it? It is the result of a question posed in an article covering the announcement: ‘Does yet another large social media outlet turning to instant photo-messaging tell us that the media we share is[sic] becoming more disposable than ever?’
When Instagram stories landed in August, it was an instant hit. Every day, I load up Instagram to see stories being constantly updated with new stuff. Now, Instagram are expanding the capability of Stories by offering live streaming. Live streaming is a feature that’s proven to be wildly popular for Facebook, and is sure to be a big attraction to Instagram users.
When somebody you follow starts a “live story”, you’ll see “Live” written under their profile photo in the stories bar. During the broadcast you can comment and like as much as you want. You can also check out new live stories through Explore.
For those of you who haven’t been paying much attention for the last couple of weeks, there’s been a bit of an Instagram stalking thing going on. At least, that’s the story being portrayed. Instagrammer Lauren Bullen has a very large following. She travels the world and documents her adventures. “Diana Alexa” is, apparently, following in her footsteps. Not only visiting the same places, but copying her images almost exactly.
It seems, however, that the whole thing may just be one great big hoax to promote Bullen’s Instagram account. If true, it worked. Bullen’s Instagram account has received almost 220,000 new followers in the last 11 days since the story came out. To travel around the world and reproduce somebody else’s images almost exactly is a little far fetched. Also, prohibitively expensive for the vast majority of people. But is it real? Or is the whole thing just a big promotional stunt?