So you’ve signed up for an Instagram account.
Maybe you have yet to post your first photo. Or maybe you’re ready to take your feed to the next level. Either way, there are a ton of resources out there to help you and today I’m going to share some of my personal faves.
When I started out back in 2013, this photo marked my not-so-triumphant arrival on the Gram:
I’ve since deleted it off my feed in a fit of shame but on the plus side, I had nowhere to go but up. Since then, photography has become a real passion of mine and I’ve progressed from total newb to a solid amateur/hobbyist (if I do say so myself).
So, where did I start?
With a camera and a good eye.
They say in the photography world that the best camera is the one that you have with you. If you’re one of the 3 in 4 Canadian adults who owns a smartphone then you basically already have everything you need to start taking the Instagram world by storm.
Personally, I started out with a Samsung Galaxy S3 and shot with that for about a year. Once I decided I really did enjoy photography and wanted to have more control over my photos (exposure and ISO and shutter speed and all that fun stuff), I upgraded to the LG G4. After another year of mobile shooting, I took the leap and bought what I like to call a “real” camera: the Fujifilm X-T10.
All this to say, just start with what you’ve got and worry about upgrading later.
(Left to right: photos taken with my Galaxy S3, LG G4, and X-T10)
There’s a saying in the film industry that you can make a bad movie out of a good script but you can’t make a good movie out of a bad script. I think the same holds true for a photo: you can crappily filter and edit a good photo but no amount of filtering can save a bad photo (believe me, I’ve tried!)
Better photos will lead to better results on Instagram and there’s more than enough info out there to get you killing it in no time.
Skillshare: the site describes itself as “a learning community where anyone can discover, take, or even teach a class.” So, it’s basically creative people teaching other people how to be more creative. I personally love it. It does require a subscription ($12/month) but you can get a free trial month right off the bat. If you don’t want to pay full price once the trial’s up, you just have to remember to cancel your membership before it ends.
The photography stream has tons of great classes but three that I especially love are:
Street Photography: Capture the Life of Your City by trashhand
This is a class by Chicago-based photographer trashhand and he covers everything from planning your shoot to editing your photos. For me, the big take away was seeing how he looked at the world around him and learning how to hone my eye.
Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night by Chris Burkard
I lean towards the landscape photography side of things and California-based photographer Chris Burkard is an absolute beast! This class was just a great introduction to the adventurous side of photography and that all important aspect of finding your light.
Food Photography: Shooting in 5 Styles by Leela Cyd
Even if you’re not much of a foodie, this class by editorial and commercial food photographer Leela Cyd is awesome. It’s a quick and simple way to understand how small changes can totally alter the mood and feel of a photo and I think the lessons easily translate into other areas of photography.
Newsletters: a simple way to bring new tips and techniques straight to your inbox is by subscribing to a few photography-related newsletters. I personally subscribe to Artifact Uprising for great photography tips from top photographers, A Color Story for inspiration and app tutorials, and Chris Burkard for amazing visuals and some great gear guides.
Follow, follow, follow: finally, follow photographers on Instagram who inspire you. Fill your feed with the subjects and styles you love. If you read a lot or own a dog/cat/cute creature or love fashion or love food or build/create things or spend your days laying around, wrapped in a Hudson’s Bay blanket drinking fancy hot beverages, there is a place for you on Instagram.
I like to use the new Saved Posts feature as a collection of inspirations or shots/techniques/angles to try. It might also help you to hone in on what subjects interest you the most and what kind of overall vibe you’ll want to eventually create with your feed.
Hopefully some of these resources resonated with you but in the end there’s no better way to learn photography than to get out and shoot. Next time, I’ll delve into the wonderful world of digital editing apps but for now, I’d love to connect with you over on Instagram (@letsmosy). And if you have any amazing feeds to follow or photography resources to share, please let me know in the comments below! I’m always on the lookout for more tips and tricks.
Until next time, happy Instagram-ing!
Take your photos to the next level. [Facebook Link: From Instagrammer to Illgrammer: Photography Resources for Beginners (PHOTOS)]
Want to go from an Instagrammer to an Illgrammer? Check out my fave #photography resources for beginners: goo.gl/ABC123