May 14, 2012
Was there life before Instagram? I can hardly remember. I've always enjoyed playing around with photography in a very amateur way, and as soon as I jumped into the smart phone world with an iPhone last year, Instagram was the first app that I downloaded. Now it's making the news. Facebook just purchased the app for $1,000,000,000. (Yes, that is a BILLION dollars!) Instagram must be doing something right.
When the app launched in 2010, it was #1 in the App Store within 24 hours. So what's the big attraction? Instagram is an easy to use photo sharing and manipulation tool that has come to be wildly popular. You can take pictures with your phone camera and instantly share them on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, or you can manipulate the photo by applying some cool filters to improve the image. If you really get into using Instagram, you can download other photo editing apps that have different filters and then share it back to Instagram before posting it on your feed. So many possibilities!
Instagram quickly becomes a picture documentary of your life. I make it a point to take photos while on vacation, walking in the countryside, or just visiting everyday locations like downtown Kansas City. Any time something scenic catches my eye, I stop and snap a quick photo. I love going back and remembering some of my fun vacations or even a day out shopping with a friend through the pictures that I take.
Who should you follow on Instagram? I'm not really a fan of "following" strangers, so I only follow my friends and family. Many people, however, like to browse through photos that are popular and "like" or comment on the beautiful and often incredible photos that are floating around out there. My account is set to public, so I occasionally get a random stranger that passes through and "likes" my photos. That always makes me feel good. So far, Instagram is a pretty friendly community.
Instagram is by far my favorite app. It is available for iPhones and recently became available for Android based phones. The Library has a great book for learning about photography on your phone. Create Great iPhone Photos: Apps, Tips, Tricks, and Effects by Allan Hoffman will give you some tips about capturing great photos with your phone. Try it out today, and if you have some great photos, let me know your user name and I'll check them out!