Why I love Instagram

Nikki Parkinson Life 23 Comments

I’ve been an iPhone convert since late last year.  My main reason for swapping from a Blackberry was blogging.

Not only can I post a blog from my phone (thanks WordPress app), I can check my Google Reader (thanks Mobile RSS app), add photos to Flickr (thanks Mobile Fotos app), take better photos and high definition video.

It really is the perfect “office” for me as a blogger.

I mentioned that it takes better photos – and yes the megapixel size of images is larger than my old Blackberry – but it’s the apps that you can add to your phone that can turn even a crappy photo into a work of art.  (Just quietly, those filters are pretty magical at shaving years – and visible wrinkles – off your face too.)

My favourite by a country mile is Instagram.

For starters, it’s free.

It also works as another social media channel, offering a timeline of friends’ photos, made more interesting by the filters chosen to place over the photo.  You can also share those photos outside of your Instagram feed via Facebook or Twitter.

I’ve now extended my use of Instagram by downloading InstaDesk for my iMac.

InstaDesk gives me desktop access to my Instagram photo feed

InstaDesk gives me desktop access to my Instagram photo feed

Which is just a fancy, schmancy way of saying I can now waste more time checking out everyone’s photos … and not just on my phone when in the school pick-up line.

Getting started on Instagram is super easy via the App Store on your phone or through your iTunes account.

1. Once you’ve set up your account and linked your Facebook, Twitter (and Flickr, Tumbler, Foursquare, Posterous if you like), you’re good to go.  Take a photo while in the app or just using your iPhone or iPad2* camera.

2. If taking the photo using your camera, you need to press the “share” button to bring up the camera roll and choose the photo you’d like to Instagram.

3.  Once photo is chosen and positioned (all Instagram photos are square format), the fun begins.  You can move the photo through each of the 15 filters to choose the one you like best for that photo.

4.  Hit the Next button,  choose how you’d like to share the photo, then click Done.

5.  The filtered photo is published into your Instagram feed and wherever you’ve decided to share it.

Now, the fun really starts – as it does in any social networking situation – when you, well, get social.

When you install Instagram and add in your Twitter details, the option comes up to search for friends on Twitter who use instagram.  Following your friends this way just creates another dimension to your social networking experience.

This week, gorgeous Blogger Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim, flagged a 30 day Photograph Challenge using Instagram.  It started on June 1. I’m taking part and I’m loving seeing other friends’ interpretation of each day’s theme.

Some pics from Day 2 of Fat Mum Slim's 30 Day Photo Challenge:  What are you wearing today?

Some pics from Day 2 of Fat Mum Slim's 30 Day Photo Challenge: What are you wearing today?

It’s not too late to join in the challenge.  Today’s theme is Something Green.

Now, Chantelle is someone who always has beautiful photography on her blog – either from her “real” camera or through her phone.  Instagram is just one of the photo apps she uses for photos for her blog. If you’ve mastered Instagram and are ready to pay for some more photo apps, check out her fantastic post which demonstrates and details her faves.  I suddenly feel more time wasting experimentation coming on.

Happy Saturday.

*I would really love Instagram to develop an iPad version of its app.  Yes, you can zoom in on the iPhone version on your iPad but it loses quality.

Do you use Instagram or other photo apps to create more arty images from your phone?  Do you have a favourite Instagram filter?

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Comments 23

  1. I want to ditch my EVO for an iPhone. I’ll give it a go! Instagram lets you filter the photo AFTER you have taken it, with Hipstermatic you choose the filter first, but you can’t really see what it is.

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  2. Yes, jumped on the Instagram bandwagon after reading about it on IFB last month.
    So this Instadesk… worth the $$? Or will I regret the time lost? Haha.
    Hipstamatic I got so far as to make some art pieces with. But really like the social aspects of Instagram. Just wish I got better coverage at my house. My shares always fail here.

    Thanks for the tip on the 30-day challenge. There was another similar one on FB that I started (and was thinking of restarting with Instagram) but this one skews more fashiony. I’ll give it a go!

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      Yes InstaDesk is $2.49 here but I do like being able to check my feed and look at the images in a larger format – plus I can download straight to my desktop. Let me know what your instagram handle is so I can follow you – you’ll find me at stylingyou

  3. Love the idea of the 30 day challenge! I flick between Instagram and Hipstermatic. I like them both for different reasons. Instagram lets you filter the photo AFTER you have taken it, with Hipstermatic you choose the filter first, but you can’t really see what it is. There is a cool option to ‘shake’ the camera and it picks a random filter for you.

    The other cool thing about Hipstermatic is it adds the pics to your camera roll on you iPhone, unlike Instagram which just stores the images in it’s own album (as far as I can tell)

    Happy snapping with both!

    1. I use Hipstamatic too but it frustrates me that you can’t really frame the shot – it does it for you. Instagram does save your photos in your camera roll so you can do what you want with them.

  4. Doing the photo challenge and after Fat Mum Slims post (which got added to My Favourites it was such a good one) I’m being a bit more adventurous with the photography.

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  5. I love instargram too!!! So much and am loving the photo challenge. Didn’t realize you could have it on the iMac too, that’s slightly dangerous hahaha! I just love the social aspect of instagram and have met wonderful new blogger people on there. Glad you crossed over to the iworld 

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      Hi Lauren, yes, how great is the photo challenge? And yes, discovering I could pull up everyone’s photos on my Mac was dangerous – but in a good way! You can’t bring in your photos to process on the desktop but is a great way to check out the feed, comment and download images.

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