Instagram for Dummies: How to Make Instagram More Fun

March 4, 2012

If you missed my first blog covering the basics of what Instagram really is, be sure to check it out.  It was basically my beginning journey with Instagram.  I am loving Instagram and am getting a feel for how to give my profile a personality.  It’s fun to try all of the filters (I’m guilty of this), but after a few posts you start to go back to your favorite filters.  I think this is your Instagram “style.”   Does it change sometimes?  Yes!  Different pictures have a different feel and require a different filter.  Play around with them!  But it’s not just picking a filter, there are other simple options to help enhance your pictures.

  1. Try the blur tool.  You can find it by clicking the teardrop icon.  Go ahead and take a picture (or hit the icon in the bottom left corner to find a picture from your existing camera roll.)  After you have a picture, you can select a linear blur tool or a radial blur tool.  See if you like it.  If not, leave it off.
  2.  Try the new LUX button.  It looks like a sun at the bottom.  It brightens and adds more contrast to your picture.  I haven’t used this much, or maybe at all, but I think it is best to use in daylight.  In the dark it adds lots of noise/grain in the picture.
  3. Borders are funny.  They are unique to the filters.  You can’t pick any border to add to your Instagram picture.  It has to go with a certain filter.  However, you can leave off a filter anytime you like.  Just click on the picture frame icon.  Sometimes you may not want a frame.  Simple can be better.
  4. Remember some people edit their pictures before choosing a filter.  This isn’t a simple Instagram option, but you can get the Photoshop App- Adobe Photoshop Express.  I have not been using this but want to give it a shot occasionally.  It’s nice to have a way to adjust the contrast, exposure, etc. to make your pictures look better.  But honestly, I like Instagram because it is a “quick fix” to make your photos look better without all of the hassle of truly editing.

Hopefully those are a few simple tools you can use to help make your photos look as cool as possible.  Once you are happy with your Instagram photos, you need to share them and get some followers.  I talked about this in my last blog post.  Basically finding friends from Facebook and Twitter, adding #hashtags, and joining Instagram groups are the best ways I know of to increase your followers and potential interaction.  Let’s be honest- everyone loves a little feedback when they post something.  It keeps me interested in posting more.  The best group I have found and have been participating in is the #photoaday group.  Each month has a new list of photos to post for each day (see below).  I don’t feel like I have to take a picture everyday but when I remember, it’s always a fun task.  For example, for March Day 2, the topic was fruit.  I took my picture and posted it with the heading Day 2- Fruit.  #marchphotoaday #photoaday.  These hashtags add it to a pool of other photos on the same daily topic.  It’s fun to look at the different ideas people come up with for the same topic.  I highly recommend doing the #photoaday challenge.  It’s a great way to get excited about using and sharing with Instagram! You can see each day’s topic for March below.

Another fun idea is displaying your Instagrams.  Stickygram will make personalized magnets, made from your Instagrams.  I didn’t think about how cool these magnets would look until I clicked on their website.  I like them!  You can order a set of nine of your favorite Instagrams.  Great gift idea!

For some more practical tips, check out the Instagram Blog tips here.  Thanks for reading!  Look for me on Instagram @kristysclicks.


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