20 October, 2014

Instagram for dummies // the beginning of my love affair....

Ok, I'll admit it.  I never really understood Instagram...there I said it.  

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Hefe filter as much as the next girl but I didn't really, you know...get it .... and don't get me started on hashtags #zeroclue!  The bigger Instagram got, the less I understood and the further away I stayed ....until recently.

So, I'm a Pinterest girl and along with the rest of you, I like facebook too.  But I get them.  You upload a photo, connect with your family and friends, at home and overseas, you chat, you like. Yup I get it.  

Ohhh Pinterest, my dear Pinterest - I will ALWAYS have a soft spot for you....a place where I can organise all of my favourite web images (with the original weblink), by category of my choice...it's an OCD persons idea of heaven-in-a-website.  I pull out my Pinterest daily; at the hairdresser, the cabinet makers & even the supermarket for ingredients for a new recipe.  Visit my Pinterest boards here

So, back to Instagram.  I started to get a feel for Instagram by jumping in and observing...who am I kidding...I asked A LOT of questions so I'd like to thank my gorgeous friends who helped steer me in the right direction (YES I even understand hashtags and probably use too many!) and kicked off my love affair with Instagram. Check out my Insta-spiration:

Rose Grandile Pizzi - Click to see more or follow her @rosegrandilepizzi

Melissa Rossi - Click to see more or follow her @Melr03

Amy Day - Click to see more or follow her @daisyree

I started seeing my friends gorgeous images, taken with a humble iphone and got inspired.  With the evolution of this blog, I realised that Instagram was an awesome way to connect with the community and my favourite brands with the click of a button and also to get new traffic to my site. But you don't have to have a blog or a shop to enjoy Instagram, there are literally hundreds of communities within Instagram in which you can watch, follow or interact with.

I'll give you two examples

If you go out to breakfast in #freo or #fremantle, then people who search #freo will find your picture. They might be inspired by your granola and maybe visit the @cafeinfreo that you tagged in your post.  If you add the #breakfastinperth, then you may even be featured by @breakfastinperth.

My husband and I often browse this hashtag for inspiration on where to go to breakfast or places to add to the list!  Are you following?

The second example is photo challenges and one of my faves is @fatmumslim
Chantelle Ellem runs this really popular challenge and there is a massive community of people who join in each day.  Basically, to play along you need to upload a picture that fits the theme of the day and add the hastag #fmsphotoaday.  Everyday Chantelle features her Fab Four with kudos to the photographer

So a couple tips before you jump on in:

1. Connect with your favourite brands and celebs: think @Beyonce, @Victoria Beckham, @Country Road @RealLiving Mag 

2. Edit your photos, you'd be surprised the life that the sharpen tool alone can bring to your images

3.  Use free photo editing apps like VSCOcam & Snapseed...dont forget the hastags #vsco #vscocam #vscocamphotos or #vscokids 

4. Forget the filters - i know its tough but somtimes less really is more

5. Forget the random hashtags or keep them to a minimum eg: #ohmygodilovemykidssomuchtheyarethebest

6. Join some communities, here are a couple to browse during your lunchbreak: @nothingisordinary_ @todays_simplicity @lovelysquares

I hope this blog post has inspired you to give Instagram a shot, even if its just to sit back and enjoy the view....you may find a flash sale on your favourite brand or even find a funky new cafe in your area.

Be sure to follow me and I'd love you to share any of your #toptips  Do you have any favourite people to follow? or favourite communities to recommend?