30 Nov 2014

BLOGGING TIPS: All things Instagram


Instagram is by far my favourite social network right now, and whilst it's not seen as one of the best for building your blog it certainly comes in useful. I like pretty pictures, so I spend hours browsing various feeds looking for new people to follow (and cute cats). I thought it was only right to include it in this series as it is definitely growing in popularity and I have found a lot of the blogs I now love through it.

Photography tips
The most sensible place to start would be the photo itself! My biggest tip for taking Instagram photos is to use as much natural light as possible so that your images appear cleaner, brighter and sharper. This is my biggest struggle right now, the lack of light at this time of year is driving me crazy! If possible try to avoid using the in-app camera as it can reduce the quality, same goes for front facing camera so it could be a good idea to practice taking your selfies without it. When composing your photo (we all do it) try to avoid any unnecessary clutter - much like when taking photos for your blog.  There's nothing wrong with a few strategically placed props, but no one wants to see your dirty laundy in the corner of the room.

Editing
When it comes to editing my go-to app is Afterlight which can be bought for 69p on the App Store. It provides the capability to edit in pretty much any way I would want from an iPhone app with some gorgeous built in filters. Typically I just up the brightness a tad then use the "Glacier" filter on a low level. I bought Afterlight before Instagram added more in app editing features and I probably wouldn't have bought it had these functions already been available. If I don't have Afterlight or can't be particularly bothered I have a similar routine in which I raise the brightness and then use either Valencia or Walden. If the in-app filters aren't your cup of tea there are plenty of free apps to download such as VSCOcam or Whitagram. On the whole I would say to avoid over-editing photos as they just look a bit.... fake. It can also add a lot of noise (like static) to your images and make them look considerably lower quality than the original.

Hashtags to use
Hashtags are one of the best ways to get your profile out there on Instagram and it is much like Twitter in that respect. Personally I try to avoid going overboard with the hashtags and I'll admit that I do delete them after a little while. My favourite hashtags to use include the typical #lbloggers, #bbloggers and #fbloggers which allows me to connect with other bloggers who use Instagram - I've found some of my favourite blogs this way. There are a lot more specific hashtags like #catsofinstagram (full of adorable cats if you hadn't already guessed) so it's worth taking a look at what the accounts you like tend to use as well as testing them out for yourself. Be sure to like and comment on other photos that you like, network, network, network!

Who to follow
I could rattle off a list of Instagram-mers to follow that's as long as my arm - or longer - but I'll limit myself today. I posted before about my five favourites and here are a few more favourites that you just have to follow: KatyMitten, WishWishWish, DailyOverview, BritandCo and of course ME! Hey, I couldn't write about Instagram without a bit of cheeky self promotion.

NEXT WEEK: Summing up the blogging community as a whole and why it is so important to be a part of.
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