This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

October 13, 2016

How to get started posting on Instagram

Instagram is a lot of fun. I've been playing around with it recently, even though it's been on my phone for a year, and I'm starting to understand.

The most important thing to know about Instagram that it was originally designed just to be fun, like passing around Polaroids "back in the day" or showing people your "Instamatic" camera shots (that's where the name came from). If you actually remember the 70s, and the 80s, you know how much fun that was. If not, ya gotta trust me, it was fun.

So if you're wondering what it's all about, go ahead and put the app on your phone, do the user id and password thing (that all accounts have to have) and start posting photos. This is how:

• Take a photo (using Instagram) and post it. It can be the most ordinary thing in the world, in fact it should be, a flower, a sunset, waves at the beach, your dog. You don't have to write a clever caption, or even use the filters (you can skip over that), just post the photo. It's kinda amazing how wonderful just ordinary photos look in the Instagram stream. It's not magic, or special effects, it's just that people like looking at photos like that. Post as many as you want, it's not like Facebook where your friends have to read all of your posts - Instagram is about flipping through snapshots.

And there you go. After a while you will want to add a clever caption, and learn about hashtags, but that can wait. Just post some photos. After you're in it for a while it will make more sense.

Of course, there are people who insist on trying to sell stuff, or make political statements on Instagram. Please don't do that. Unless, of course, you're in the business of trying to sell stuff, or you're running for office. Recently Instagram has been absolutely infested with that spammy junk, and not only is it stuff people don't want to see, it can get you blocked, and even banned (if you look like a spammer). Don't worry, no one will think you're a spammer if you post a photo of a flower blooming in your garden (just don't have a bunch of logos all over the place, or some text that makes it look like you're advertising something).

Instagram is a Smart Phone app - the photos are meant to be posted from phones and viewed from phones. Yes, there are workarounds, but that's mostly done by spammers. Don't do workarounds - take a photo, say "Watching the sunset with my dog. #Dachshund" and post it.

Have fun!

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