I see that Instagram is now available for Android. As someone who was a late-comer to the Instagram thing (but who has now used it for almost a year), here’s what I wish I knew when I started:
- Don’t Think of Instagram as Photo Hosting. Instagram ends up storing your photos, yes, but it’s not somewhere for a permanent archive, or to keep things you want to embed elsewhere. Instead, you should…
- Think of Instagram as a Photo-Centric Social Network. Connect with interesting people. Comment on their photos. Like their photos. Share the love.
- Follow creative people. If you follow interesting people who are making interesting images, you’ll find that Instagram is great. If you follow people who only post boring photos, you’re going to find that you don’t get much fun from Instagram. It’s much like any other social network.
- Ignore the haters. Some will tell you that you’re doing photography wrong. You’re not.
- Keep a permanent copy of your Instagram photos elsewhere. Maybe you want to upload them to your computer. Maybe you want to use an app on your photo to post them somewhere else online (I’m now keeping a copy of things in a SmugMug gallery). Maybe you want to use ifttt to automatically save a copy of your Instagram photos to Dropbox.
- Find a local Instagram meetup and go meet some other local photography enthusiasts. Here in Portland, there’s a gathering about once each month. Do a search for Instagram meetup and your city in Google to find your local group. You will meet cool people and perhaps go on photowalks to create neat photos.
- Use the News / Following feature to see what your connections are doing. If you’re following someone because you think they are a good photographer, odds are that they have good taste and can connect you to other people you might want to follow.
Are you an instagram user? What else do you wish folks knew?