Obsessed: Instagram

me + IG


I’ve gotten some questions concerning my pictures, collages, and editing, along with inquires on Instagram. So here ya go, lovers.


Obsessed. I have been capturing moments of my life via photography since probably about 7th grade when I would go through a role of film each week at school. Anyone who was friends with me in Junior High knows how true this is. The bedroom I grew up in had a trillion bulletin boards of picture collages on every wall by the time I moved out. I resisted digital photography hard until my senior year in high school when an internship at my hometown paper required me to be digital camera savvy. Since then, I have been taking pictures of myself, my friends, my family, and my outfits to edit and post online. I have been sharing pictures using social networks, since the days of Xanga, (Please, someone, remember Xanga! It was Pre-MySpace. I feel old.) but never have I loved a place to show and share pics like I love Instagram.


Upload. Here is how it works. You take a picture, open your Instgram app, upload the pic, crop it to fit into a cute little square, and pick a filter. A few easy steps. Practically magic. For eons this was what I did with Instagram. I would quickly edit pics and then post them on my other social media outlets ie facebook, twitter, and pinterest.


before and after :)

Community. Now I know that, like most social media outlets, Instagram is a ginormous community with many subcultures inside. It is primarily for IPhone users. Like twitter, one finds people who have similar interests using hashtags (a pound-sign before a word – as in I #love amandafrances.com). Unlike twitter, Instagram is ONLY pictures. So when you search using a hashtag a ridiculous amount of visual inspiration emerges and the images are from everyone, everywhere. From real life girls to super famous celebs in their everyday life. For me, this makes it much different than pinterest whose images look more like snapshots in magazines than anyone’s real life

Since I am obsessed with capturing glimpses of life and pictures this has become my favorite social network by far.

Network. It’s super simple to gain followers and find inspiration quickly. When I upload a picture with the hashtag #fashion, a trillion girls who have searched for that word see my picture along with all the other pictures tagged that way. When one double taps a picture, a heart flashes on the screen of the person who tapped, and that pictures is ‘liked’. So when you upload a picture with an appropriate hashtag, others see it quickly, like it quickly, and you develop friends and followers in no time.

You can use up to 30 hashtags per picture. So on a picture of me in a blue dress I might hashtag #blue #dress #fashion #fall2012 and then use a few other popular hashtags that other instagrammers like me seem to use such as #ignation #igdaily #picoftheday #bestoftheday etc.

I have also used hashtags like #yoga #vegan #spirit #quotes #blogger for other types of pictures and found quite a large network in each hashtag. For example the hashtag #yoga brings up 246k images.



Create. To create a collage of my images I prefer PicStitch which is an app that very easily allows you to place pics in a layout and save it to your camera roll on your IPhone. You then just open the saved pic up in Instagram, edit, and share the goodness.


Love is always a reliable guiding force. Pay attention to what you love and do more of it.




Amanda Frances


follow me on Instagram @xoamandafrances


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