Mobile Photography Basics for Instagram Success | Tyson Wheatley | Skillshare

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Mobile Photography Basics for Instagram Success

teacher avatar Tyson Wheatley, Photographer, Journalist, Dad

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Basics of Shooting with Your Phone


    • 3.

      iPhone Photography Accessories


    • 4.

      Apps for Capturing Images


    • 5.



    • 6.

      VSCO Cam


    • 7.

      SKWRT, Photoshop Express, TouchRetouch, and Afterlight


    • 8.

      Sharing Strategy


    • 9.

      Storytelling Strategy


    • 10.

      Editing in Instagram


    • 11.



    • 12.

      Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare


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About This Class

Join celebrated Instagram photographer Tyson Wheatley (@twheat) to learn the ins and outs of smartphone photography so that you can authentically build your photos, followers, and brand on Instagram!

In this 30-minute class, Tyson explores DUMBO, Brooklyn, capturing photos of people, landscapes, and street scenes. He shares tactics for capturing unique photos, tricks for editing in essential apps, and ways to reflect your personality while establishing an Instagram aesthetic.

By the end of the class, you'll have the necessary tools and skills to create great photographs, perfect for sharing with the vast Instagram community.


What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. In learning photography on Instagram, you’ll discover what it means to be a good member of the Instagram community, the process Tyson Wheatley uses in taking his Instagram photos, and which editing apps are worth exploring.
  • The basics of shooting with your phone. Where you go is key when shooting for Instagram, and in this course, you’ll take a look at one iconic Instagram shooting spot. You’ll learn the best times of day to take photographs, how many photos to take in a session, how to shoot in manual mode, and what sorts of basic photography rules Instagram breaks. You’ll also get a crash course in getting dramatic lighting when taking portrait photos.
  • iPhone photography accessories. You’ll learn the limitations of shooting with an iPhone and explore some accessories that can help overcome those limitations. You’ll also learn to improvise when needed. You’ll also look at makeshift accessories Tyson uses — bet you didn’t realize a shoe could act as a tripod?
  • Apps for capturing images. Tyson will take you through several iPhone apps he uses to capture movement and arrive at a photograph’s ideal exposure.
  • Snapseed. You’ll learn how to use the editing app Snapseed. With this app, you’ll learn how to use the “details” tool to adjust the structure of your photograph, play with shadows and saturation, and hone in on specific parts of your image to make localized changes.
  • VSCO Cam. The app Tyson uses most for editing Instagram photos, VSCO Cam, offers many preset filters that create film-like effects. You’ll focus on how to pick which tones and colors to highlight in your image in the app.
  • SWRT, Photoshop Express, TouchRetouch, and Afterlight. You’ll discover what you can do in four photo editing apps, SWRT, Photoshop Express, TouchRetouch, and Afterlight. In SWRT, you’ll learn to use its detailed grids to locate and counter small imperfections in your photograph. In Photoshop Express, you’ll focus on noise reduction. Touch Retouch will let you get rid of blemishes, and Afterlight will help you crop your wider shots into square compositions for Instagram.
  • Sharing strategy. Instagram is, above all, a social platform, and Tyson acknowledges this with a lesson on how to caption your Instagram photos. You’ll learn to approach your captions as opportunities to tell a personal story, and you’ll learn the ins and outs of hashtags and tagging people, and places.
  • Storytelling strategy. It’s important to think about what you have to offer by telling a story on Instragram. Tyson will take you through a couple examples of Instagrammers who have exceptional jobs or live in exceptional places, which make their accounts worth following. You’ll also get to see how someone with a more ordinary, everyday life can create an exceptional Instagram presence using the resources they have at hand.
  • Editing in Instagram. You’ll explore Instagram’s built-in filters and learn how to make adjustments to them.
    Instameets. You’ll learn tips for attending an Instagram meetup and connecting with others through the platform.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tyson Wheatley

Photographer, Journalist, Dad



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1. Introduction: My name is Tyson Wheatley. I'm really into Instagram. This happened about three and a half years ago, when I moved in Hong Kong. I wanted to tell the story of living in this new place place and I wanted to keep in touch with my friends and family back home. A friend of mine told me about Instagram, and she was like, ''I think you're really going to like this,'' it turns out I did. I got really into it actually. I'm a former journalist. I spent 11 years working at CNN. I've always been fascinated with social media, and storytelling, and where that intersects. For me, Instagram became this perfect place to tell the story of moving to a new city, meeting new people, exploring new places, and they're really magical thing that happened with Instagram was not only did I realized that I really loved taking and sharing images, but I also ended up connecting with all these people, all over the world. When Instagram first started, it was like it was just an iPhone community. Everyone that was using it, was taking photos with an iPhone. It was only available on the iPhone at the time. You would see these photos from people, and you'd say, ''wow, that's amazing, but you know what? I can do that too, because like we have the same equipment.'' So, in a way, Instagram initially, it democratized a social mobile photography. For me, at least, it was a great way to be really encouraged by seeing these images and being inspired to try to capture myself. So, if I saw, maybe, someone in New York taking amazing picture of the Brooklyn Bridge and I that I could recreate that in Hong Kong. So, I would go. The other thing too is the Instagram community, and still is to this day, very supportive in terms of telling you how you captured an image. Right? A lot of people will ask me, ''What apps do you use?'', and, ''What camera do you use?'' I think for the most part, the community seems really forthcoming with that. They want to be able to share that knowledge, and it's overwhelmingly a positive experience. So, for this class, what I'm going to try and do is I'm going to tell my story using Instagram and my experiences. I am going to talk a little bit about the process of how to go and capture images, what editing apps to use, but we're going to talk a lot about how to be a good member of the Instagram community, and what that means and what's an Instameet? Should you go to an Instameet? What's a hashtag? Should you use a hashtag? I'm going to share the knowledge that I have, not so that you can go out and take pictures like me, but so that you can maybe apply the things that I've learned to your own story, and maybe have some success on Instagram. 2. The Basics of Shooting with Your Phone: So, we're going to cover a couple of the really, really important things. The most important things about capturing Instagrams. First is location. It's really important to scout a location, it's really important to think about where you want to go to capture an image. Today, I brought you here to one of the more iconic Instagrams here in New York City, in Dumbo. Perhaps you've seen this images before, but I thought it would be a good place to talk about some of the key things, like lighting. Lighting is probably the most important thing, not just with Instagram but just in photography in general. Lighting is everything. But what does that mean? So, one thing is the time of day that you come to capture an image. Typically, it's like during sunrise or like in 90 minutes around sunrise, and then the last 90 minutes before sundown. Basically, not at its harshest. You don't ever want to go out and shoot, for instance like in the middle of the day when the sun is directly above because it's going to be really harsh and it's probably going to create a lot of shadows. That of course can be different if you're in a fog bank or it's really cloudy day or you're on top of a mountain, but you get what I'm saying. Lighting is really key. All right. Well, let's take some photos. So, basically, when you're at a location and you're going to take photos, I think my advice to anybody is take more photos than you think you need, take a ton of photos. You can always go back and select the ones that you want to use. When you're shooting, you want to shoot, I like to shoot horizontal. A lot of people will shoot this way. I prefer to shoot this way because I think it's going to be easier to crop in the end. If you have the iPhone 5S, there's this thing where you can shoot in square. I wouldn't recommend shooting in square at all. I think you're going to lose a lot of resolution if you shoot that way. So, I like to shoot in the full and then you can always crop it later. I think the other thing is to think about composition when you're taking a photo. So, you've probably heard the thing called the rule of thirds. So, rule of thirds is basically like you draw, you imagine a picture in your head, draw an imaginary lines, breaking it into thirds, and you don't want to put your subject matter right square in the middle. That's just the basics of like photo composition. However, I will say that that does not necessarily apply to Instagram. Instagram breaks a lot of rules of traditional rules of photography, and it's because Instagram is like a square format, so a lot of photos that you post could actually be dead center or might have a perspective that goes right down the middle. It's a great rule but it's not word of God. You don't have to use it exactly. One of the cool things about the iPhone is, it has an exposure locking mechanism. So, you can switch around and change the exposure. So, if I hold it onto that building for instance that becomes now more lit. If I hold it over here on the sky, the bridge itself is more clearly defined. So, what I like to do with exposure lock is, I like to look and find part of the photo that's like the softest sleigh, or in this case, there's a bit of gray in between that bridge. I'm going to make that my exposure and then I'm going to take a photo like that. Basely, what that does for me is, I think even though the building becomes a lot darker, when you're editing a photo later you can always bring up a darks, I think easier than you can to wash away the light, or if it's too overexposed. That's a lot harder for me at least to edit that than it is to brighten the dark spots. So, that's why I like to do that. So, another very important thing about lighting is, the light right now is like pretty great. It's getting pretty golden, it's glowy. It's awesome. But if I'm going to shoot a subject, I want to make sure it's not back-lit. In this case, Jessica is not back-lit, so it's going to be hard for me to see her because she's back-lit. So, if I maybe move around or maybe we try some different things with the light, see like right here. Oh yeah, that's much better. Now it's glowy. I can see what she's wearing. I can see her face. Just the better photo. 3. iPhone Photography Accessories: Very important because iPhones run out of power pretty quickly especially when you're out shooting and using all these apps. This right here is a Mophie and I recommend getting one. This one is less than $100 and it'll charge my iPhone four times. So, very important, got to have one of these. Now, we're going to talk about some lens attachments that you can get to add to your photos, so that you can get a different kind of shot. So, these are lenses made by Moment. This one here, for instance, is a wide angle. A wide-angle lens is going to allow me to get a wider image with my phone. This is basically a telephoto lens, a 60 millimeter. So, I can get a closer shot of something that's far away, which is one of the limitations to an iPhone. But there's other lenses that you can get. You can get a macro lens from Olloclip. They also make a fish-eye lens which is really cool. So, I encourage you to buy lenses and attach them to your phone, try to get different photos. So, another must-have thing that you should bring with you is a little tripod. They make tripods like this that you can get pretty cheap in any camera store. Make sure you want to get one that has a flexible grip so if you don't have a flat surface, you can wrap it around a pole or a post or a tree branch or something like that. So, let's imagine that you don't have a tripod, that you left it at home. There's a trick that I'm going to show you that I've actually used in the past. I'm going to use my shoe to hold the camera steady. It's the same thing. I mean, the trouble here is that now you got to find a flat surface, but we happen to have one here, a rock, and basically, I have found that my camera will fit perfectly snug in the heel of my shoe. So, I won't be able to hold it horizontally, but I'll be able to stand it up vertically, and I can get the same effect with that. So, in a pinch, you can use your shoe. 4. Apps for Capturing Images: So, we're going to talk about a couple of apps that I like to use for capturing images. All right. So, the first one I'm going to show you is called Lapse It. It's one of many time lapse apps that you can get out there. So, what this app- basically, what we're making here is we're not making a photo or making a video. But it's a series- it will be a series of images captured over time. This can be really cool, especially if you have something where there is movement. This maybe is not the best example. But sometimes there's boats moving in the background here. So, that will be something cool. It's really cool if you're like over a bridge, capturing traffic for instance, or over a waterway and there's boats or you're above a crowded city area and you want to capture the people moving. Obviously, with this over time, it's just going to capture images after images. So, it's important that you hold the camera super still. If you've ever tried to do that with your hands, it's like impossible. So, get one of these things. They don't weigh very much, you can put them in your bag. Super easy. So, the next app that I want to show you, is called Average Cam Pro. Basically, what this does, is it's going to take a series of images and it's going to average them out. On the settings here, you can name the amount of images that you want to take. In this case, I'm going to take 64 exposures. You can change the interval. I'm going to have it take one every one second. Then we're going to start, and it's going to count down. Then basically, it's just going to start taking the images. So, you can see here it's counting down. We're done. We got it. So, we can just save that image to the library. All right. So this is the finish results. You can see here that the water effect here. All the ripples have been smoothed out and kind of makes this cool effects with the water. All right. So, there's there's one more camera App that I want to show you that's really good especially in low light situations. It's called Cortex Cam. What Cortex Cam does, is it does what Average Cam Pro does, but you don't have to hold it in a tripod. Actually what it does is it takes a look at the image and it's going to- I think it takes something like 12 exposures of it and then it figures out what the appropriate exposure should be, and then it captures the image. So, it's really great in a low light situation. So, for an iPhone, I think this is pretty great. Pretty good quality. You can tell that the lighting it's not so bright outside right now. So Cortex Cam is really great. 5. Snapseed: Alright, so you've taken a bunch of photos now hopefully, and you've got some good things that you want to work with. Next thing we're going to talk about is the next steps that are like we how do we take these images that we've captured now and make them beautiful? Hopefully, we're going to do that. We're going to start with Snapseed. Alright, so snap seed is kind of an amazing all around app, for editing. It lets you do a lot of things, I'm not going to touch on everything that it does, in fact I'm not going to touch on everything that all of these apps I show you do, instead I'm just going to focus on some of the specific things that I think make them really special, and talk a little bit about my own process. So I've pasted my photo into Snapseed, and now we're going to look at some of the tools that I think are really important about Snapseed. You can see there's actually quite a few things you can do. It's a really versatile tool, you can make it black and white, you can make it HDR, you can do a tilt-shift, on and on and on add frames, straighten everything, etc. We're going to ignore all those things and focus on what I think that are essential, or the coolest aspects of Snapseed. We're going to start with details, details is a really important tool. You'll notice that throughout Snapseed, it's basically the motions are either left or right or up or down. In this case, you'll see that you can adjust for sharpening and you can adjust for structure. I don't recommend sharpening an image for Instagram, I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense given the format and I think if you add a little too much sharpening the image ends up coming out kind of like grainy, when you post to Instagram. But I do like this feature here called structure, and so what does that do? I'm just basically going to go from again, I'm going to be moving from left to right to adjust the level of it, so you can get in a sense of what that's doing. It kind of adds as comic HDR effect and as a little bit of depth to the image, and I think it's pretty cool. I typically will don't add a whole lot to that and I will come normally come in somewhere around like the 20 range, depending on the image. So, I normally don't blow it out too much bigger than that, but that's because I kind of like clean look, but you know I don't know to each their own. Play around with it and see what feels good for you. Alright, so I'm going to save that. So the next thing I want to show you is basically just tune an image. So again, tune image, you can adjust by going up and down, right. You can select between brightness, ambiance, contrast, saturation, shadows and warmth, and if you want to adjust any of these things, you basically move from left to right and you can bring, you'll notice that the whole image now is being brightened, and we can also bring that down. You can actually go and make it super dark, if you wanted to. So, I normally don't mess with brightness too much and I'm going to get into that in just a little bit. With Ambiance typically, I normally like bringing that down a little bit. With contrast, I like to bring that up. I just make minor adjustments and with then the shadows, I like to normally bring the shadows up pretty big like that, but you'll notice here how by doing that, by lifting the shadows and coming down like by lowering the saturation just a little bit, you'll notice that the sky here in particular has gone from blue to gray. For me, what I've noticed on Instagram is that typically people don't like blue skies, and this is a good way to sort of desaturate that. The next part I want to show you is selective adjust, selective adjust in my opinion is the best tool inside of Snapseed and actually makes it so worth getting, and so what does it do? It basically allows you to make adjustments to just a certain part of the image. So if you push this plus button and you scroll over the image, you'll notice that here around the rim of this circle, it's showing me what colors that could be affected. So you see how it goes from black to white. What I'm going to do here is I'm going to make an adjustment to the sky. So once you've selected an area, you can actually adjust by moving your fingers, by pinching in your fingers in and out. You can actually adjust the area that you want to affect, see how that red is now touching all the whites. I'm going to bring that down though, basically you can bring it way down if you just want to focus on a tiny little part, or bring it up to adjust the larger part. You can work with brightness, contrast, and saturation. With saturation, just to illustrate how this works, I'm going to bring that way up and you'll notice that the blue now is returning to the sky, or you can go the opposite way and you can really like blow that back, like you can just flatten that completely. You'll notice how the cars here in front are pretty dark in this image and I like them that way, but if I wanted to, I could just go, with selected adjust, I can just highlight that car right there. I'm going to make it to the red is just on the car itself, and I'm going to brighten that up, and you'll see here how the car now which was completely in the shadows now, we're bringing that image of the dawn and specifically that occur. Especially in a landscape photo, if you have dark trees or anything dark that you want to bring attention to, selective adjust is like the killer tool for like going in and highlighting a certain part of the image that is very dark. 6. VSCO Cam: Now, we're going to talk about VSCO Cam. It's probably the app that I use most and, I think, a lot of Instagrammers I know consider it to be the best app in terms of editing. So, let's go in to VSCO Cam and we'll show you why. So, with VSCO Cam you open up your library and you can import your image. Already did that with the one here. This is basically the same photo that we just saved in Snapseed and then we're going to bring it into the VSCO Cam editor. So, the cool thing about the VSCO Cam presets, so we'll start with those, is that VSCO Cam, which stands for Visual Supply Company, and what they've done with these presets, is they basically tried to recreate a film effect when you're scrolling through these presets. So, out of the box it comes with a good starter kit and then there's all these additional presets that you can purchase on top of them. You can get them for $0.99 or something like that, a lot of these additional presets. So, typically what I'll do is I'll start here, and I'll start to go through them all, and we'll start to think about which of these presets are basically highlighting the tones and the colors that I want to bring forth in my image. There's quite a few here that I like to use a lot. I think, one of my favorites is M5 and I'm going to start there. What M5 does is typically it will brighten the image. Remember in Snapseed that I made some initial adjustments and actually darken the image, with M5, it's going to kind of counterbalance that. So, with all of the presets, you can actually adjust the opacity. I was talking to someone at VSCO once and actually they told me that you're not actually adjusting the opacity, these are actually like 12 different filters within that preset, but you can see that there are different levels of severity. You'll notice down here at the bottom is a little arrow. I'm going to click on that and it's goning to show me a new set of tools. I'm going to hit that little tool button and now it's gonna show me a set of tools that are not dissimilar from Snapseed, because, again, I can adjust now my exposure or brightness, right? I can adjust the warmth or temperature. They have different names for the things, but they're essential the same. I can rotate the image. I can flip it around by hitting this little button. But, again rather than talk about all of the things that you can do with VSCO, I'm just going to focus on a few. Typically, what I like to do after I've added a preset is like to come over here to the shadows, and I'm going to bring the shadows up, and that's going to brighten the image down considerably. What I'm going to do though is, that's a little too bright for me, I'm going to counteract that by adjusting the contrast. I liked my photos really contrasty and I like my skies white not blue. Again, this is my thing, don't feel like it's the gospel of what you should be doing. Do whatever makes you feel good. I typically will bring the highlights up a little bit, and let's see what else. Normally, with the temperature, I like to bring that down. If you find that your image is a little too blue or too purply, you can come over to the tint and you can adjust that. If it's like too green, if I go that way it becomes really green like that and if I go this way it's going to become kind of purple, violet I guess. I don't always adjust the tint, but I don't really like to do that. So, that's VSCO. 7. SKWRT, Photoshop Express, TouchRetouch, and Afterlight: So, you notice here, we haven't cropped the image, we haven't actually adjusted the straightness, and the reason I want to do that was, I wanted to show this app. It's kind of relatively new. Basically, this is an app for adjusting the straight, it's like a straightening tool basically. It allows you to make some important adjustments to the perspective that you're wanting to show. The reason I'm showing is because it's a really, really powerful tool. You notice here that the grid is a lot more detailed and it's pretty intuitive. You can just swipe this way, and that, and it provides you a really good tool for basically straightening your image. So, I'm just going to do this to show you the extreme but it shows you where you begun. This is basically to account for those little imperfections just like you may have been holding the camera when you took the photo, or in the case of this, it's probably these buildings, they weren't built exactly perpendicular to each other. So, again you can just save it to your camera roll, and we can keep rolling. All right, so next on our exciting tour of editing apps, Photoshop Express. Photoshop Express is another one of those apps that is really diverse, it's really well-rounded. You can do all sorts of things, you can adjust contrast, and brightness. This basically has filters that you can go through. I don't use any of that. We're not even going to talk about that stuff. The thing that I like to use is, I like to use their noise reduction tool. What I really like about that, is that you can get really granular. You can go in here and look at the detail. With reduced noise basically, what we're going to do is, we're going to make a slight adjustment to that. Often this adjustment is pretty subtle, but it's just going to completely smooth out. It's going to reduce any of that grain that you might have in an image. I don't know, it basically make your photo look like you captured it with like a DSLR, and not an iPhone. So, this is my favorite editing app, and the reason it's my favorite is because it's really fun to use. So, this is Touch Retouch. What you want Touch Retouch for, is basically to get rid of blemishes. So, let see. Let's take a look at the photo that we've been working with. Now, let's take a look and see if there's any blemishes in here. Let's just say that there's something in your image that is distracting you, right? Maybe it's this, I don't know, maybe it's this little streetlamp right here. I don't like that street lamp. I don't like that little glowy streetlamp. So, I want to get rid of it. So, if I come over here, this little paintbrush tool. You can adjust the size of that paintbrush to affect the area that you want to do. Basically, I'm going I bring it about the size of that right there, and then I'm going to go over it. Then I'm going to highlight the area that I want to effect, which is basically just a little streetlamp dot. I'm going to go ahead and just get rid of the black post that it's sitting on too. See what I've done there? Then you get the little play button, and that little guy is going to vanish. I don't really know how it does it, I just know that it's really cool, and I like to use it. So, we're going to go to the next app. You don't have to go through six apps every time that you want to post to Instagram. I'm just kind of showing you. I think with each of these, basically, they're good enough that you can do everything all in one. They can all crop. They can all do a lot of things. I just wanted to highlight some of my favorite apps. So, this is AfterLight. The reason I wanted to show you this app, actually, it was just for this one purpose. You notice that I haven't cropped the image into a square yet. You obviously need to post something that's square on Instagram. But if you have a wider shot, either that you've taken with your iPhone, and you want to, if you basically want to turn that into a square photo, you can do that by coming over to this tool here on the far right. That little square icon, and then going to hitting that button original. Then if I hit this thing right here in the middle, this little guy which looks like an 11. I don't know how to describe all these. I've now added like white background to my image. You can also adjust that and make it a black background if you wanted to. But why am I choosing white? I'm choosing white because when you post to Instagram, it's like a white background, so if you have a black background, it's going to look really weird on your feed. But if you put a white background, it'll look kind of seamless. It will sort of maintain the integrity the photo. So, I'm going to come back into this Go Cam for one second because I'm going to go to the image that we had had last saved. I'm going to use this actually to make a square crop. So, I'm going to come back to the tools, I'm going to come to the Cropping Tool, and basically I'm going to crop it. So, cropping is basically the last step. My recommendation is, you should do all your editing before you crop it. It's not necessary, whatever feels good for you. Sometimes when you crop it into a square you might realize, "You know what, now I want to adjust the straightening a little bit again." You've come a little closer, you might notice something that feels like you might want to make a little bit of an adjustment. But I would say wait, hold off on the adjustment because the straightening tool in Instagram is actually really good, and that will be our last stop. 8. Sharing Strategy: Most of the work is already done but we're not finished yet because, there are some other things that we want to think about. Most notably, we want to think about the caption. There's no right or wrong way of doing this but I think if you think about the caption as an opportunity to tell a story, it really helps your overall approach to Instagram. The way I think about it is, it's a story telling platform. What are the elements of a good caption? For me I think it's something that's a little personal. You don't have to go into great detail. I don't need to know what you ate for lunch today and what shirt you put on. Don't get carried away. But, if you're posting for instance if I was going to post this photo of the Brooklyn Bridge, I might say, "Hey, I was hanging out with some friends today and they were helping me shoot this skill show video." I might try humorous approach which is like, "Hey has anyone ever seen this photo before?" Maybe you're in New York for the weekend and you're going to chronicle all the places that you go to and why they're so special to you. But think about being descriptive. I think for me as a consumer, if I'm looking at these images I always read the captions and I like to read something that tells me a little bit about the location or a little bit about the person that's taking the photo. Hashtags. When do you use hashtags and when don't you use hashtags? If you've been on Instagram at all even a little bit you've obviously noticed that a lot of people are using hashtags and in my opinion hashtags are really good when they're very specific and because then they have more meaning. What do I mean by that? Well, you might see a bunch of hashtags that are basically instagood or just hashtag love which is actually the most popular hashtag on Instagram. If you're going to use a hashtag like that it's just pointless because you are just going to get lost in a sea of millions of other hashtags. I find that the best ones work when they are very specific towards something whether it's a instame or it's a group of friends or it's a style of photo. My favorites are the ones when it's like a style of photo. My good friend Garret, came up with a hashtag "wethepeephole" and it's a style of photograph where he finds a natural people in the wild and shoots through it and it's kind of a perspective shot. I feel like with hashtag it's an opportunity to be really creative and I think that's part of what makes Instagram such a special community is that people are being really creative and trying new things. Rather than use a bland, dull waterfall hashtag you either come up with your own or go and scroll through and see what your friends are using and find something cool that you can then also contribute to. I think that's really important. A little bit about tagging the places and people and things. I think tagging people is really important. I think it's really cool. It's part of the culture at Instagram. If you're with a friend and you know their Instagram handle and they're in your image you should absolutely tag them. A couple things to think about when you're tagging. Don't tag someone on the lower left corner, because when you post the Instagram that little person icon is going to show up and you won't be able to actually read the name. I try to tag it above where the person is so people can clearly identify who the person is. But I think in addition to tagging a person you might want to consider at replying their Instagram handle in your caption. "I was hanging out with Covey Graham today." I'll give him a mention in that. I think that's just good Instagram etiquette. It's a great way to share not just the places in the images that you're capturing but the people that you're experiencing it with. So much of Instagram is like a personal experience that you share with other people. I think it's really natural to mention people in your captions and show them some love. It's a good way also that your followers will then connect with the other person that you're hanging out with. What about Geo-tagging? Well, I think Geo-tagging is an awesome way to pinpoint on a map like where you took that certain photo. I'm a big fan of Geo-tagging. Now, some people and people who I'm friends with and people who I follow on Instagram and have a lot of respect for, some people do not Geo-tag their photos and there's reasons that you may not want to. One is that you have discovered a really amazing spot and as a photographer, you just don't want everybody flooding and going there and taking the same exact photo. I totally respect that and so you got a secret spot that's just special for you don't Geo-tag it. The other obvious reason for why you might want to Geo-tag is just privacy. If you've taken a photo from your home and you don't want anybody to know exactly where you live then that's another reason not to Geo-tag it. But other than that, I think Geo-tagging is really good, it's really fun, it's a great way to keep track of where you've been and the places that you go and it also encourages people to go to the same places and I'm all for it. Anyway that's my [inaudible] Geo-tagging. 9. Storytelling Strategy: Let's talk a little bit about strategy and being a good member of the Instagram community. Let's start with strategy. I know I've mentioned this before already in class, but it's really important that you think about what the story is that you want to tell, what's the theme that I'm showing. So, a couple like real-life examples, some of my favorite Instagrammers. We'll start with Drew Kelly. Drew Kelly is an American Instagrammer and he, for part of the year, teaches inside North Korea. He's a professor who teaches in Pyongyang and he has access to part of the world that very few of us get to see. So, his images and the story that he's telling is obviously it's very much based on the part of the world that he's at but he's taking us inside. So, not only are his images interesting, but his story is really compelling and he's bringing us along and he's giving us access to this part of the world that very, very few people get to experience. That's why he's one of my favorite Instagrammers. But it doesn't necessarily have to be the place. You can think about it in terms of location, is that the story that I want to tell? So, Drew is a great example of that. But there's also, what is it about what you do or who you are? So, maybe it's your job, and so the example I'm going to use is a guy named Gregg Boydston. So, Greg Boydston, he's a wildlands firefighter. So, he has a very dangerous job, he has a very interesting job, and part of his job takes him to parts of the country where they're battling these amazing forest fires. These people that he works with, they go through excruciating training and they have these crazy long days. His images run the gamut, they tell the story. Some of it's like the training, some of it is like fire safety, some of his images are these eerily beautiful photos of a recently destroyed forest. But I find that it's his life, but the story comes through the images and the words that he's using, and I think it's a great example of how to tell a story in Instagram. The third example is my good friend, Emily Blincoe, whose Instagram handle is thuglifeforevs. I want to bring up Emily because her theme is really about creativity and lifestyle and her own life. I mean, she's incredibly talented. She does a lot of good things, like a lot of things amazingly well. But she's one of the most creative people that I follow on Instagram. She's trying to do interesting themes onside of Instagram that relate to her personality and creativity, and she takes really fun and amazing images. So, if you don't live in an amazing part of the world or you don't have the most amazing profession, think about what it is that you can contribute to this creative nature inside of Instagram. What Emily likes to say that she doesn't just take photos, she makes photos, and I think that's a really interesting way to apply how you might think about contributing to Instagram. 10. Editing in Instagram: We have now in the camera roll, you got the square option, and we have the wide option. So, the last stop on our journey is we're going to go into Instagram. There is a difference in opinions like some people will say, ''Only always use square meters,'' but I think whatever. If you want to show more of the image, I think that's fine, whatever feels good for you. If you're taking this class, and hopefully like you already use Instagram and you know that it kind of has these like built-in filters. The filters on their own tend to be really, really harsh. So, if you're going to use a filter, I would say make the adjustments by double-clicking on that and then swiping that and again sort of toning that down. The Instagram filters at their full strength tend to be a little too vignettey for me and they also tend to sort of blow out the image. If you're going to use it, maybe bring that down a little bit. I like that one. I like the rise filter a lot. It can really brighten an image and adds a little bit of warmth. I think it's a really good one, looks good. So, again, not too strong and not too little. Just right. So, the other thing to show you is the adjusting tool. So, this in my opinion is really a fantastic. Again, it's a very sensitive tool when you're adjusting, if you want to straighten it and you can hit that little button and rotate it. Here's something that you may not know, a little Easter egg is if you double tap on that screen, it brings up more grids and if you hit it again, it'll bring up even more grids. So, this will just help you get really granular get down for the detail that you want, will help you get your image exactly how you want it, so that's the adjust tool. Right before you post, I recommend going through and making any last-minute adjustments. There are some that you can make, again similar to some to a lot of the other apps that we've seen. You can adjust highlights for instance in saturation and warmth in contrast. So, maybe on one last, if you look and see if there's anything else you want to adjust. Again, it'll make adjustments for the entire image. So, just keep that in mind and then you're ready to Instagram. 11. Instameets: So, this amazing thing happens all the time very organically on Instagram, and that is, people on Instagram will meet in real life and they will go take photos together. I remember just a few months into using Instagram, I was thinking, Oh, I want to get together with people and go shoot, because I was noticing that this was happening, and I have to admit, I have to say, even three and a half years ago, the thought of that, going out and meeting a complete stranger on the Internet, was maybe just a little bit scary. I think just speaking for me personally, I've met hundreds of Instagrammers since then and outside of that I've met first on Instagram and in met and real-life, and each and every time it has been a really good experience. It's just a great great experience because you get a sense when you're looking at someone's Instagram feed, you get a sense of who they are and do they do you share similar aesthetic. Now, it's not foolproof, you can't look at someone's Instagram and necessarily know if they're like a crazy person. So, I'm not saying don't take precautions, I'm not saying go out meet a stranger on the internet, what I'm saying is don't be afraid to make real connection, real life friendships on Instagram and connect with them because I have, and it's been the most rewarding experience about Instagram and some of my best friends now I've made through this app. The same people that inspired me everyday are now friends of mine and will go out shooting together and I've learned so much through that process. So, don't be afraid of that. Now, how do you go about doing that? Well, part of it's just what we just talked about by leaving comments and following people and inspiring you and trying to take better photos and interacting with people. I think part of it just naturally happens, people will show up and they'll be in your part of the world and they'll say, "Hey! Do you want to get together and go shoot?" If you get that opportunity, you should absolutely go and do it. If you're worried about meeting a stranger, bring your friend, go to a neutral place to meet but go and take cool photos together. It will be an amazing experience. You'll love it. Second, is you can go to what's called Instameets which happened all the time. Instameet it can be really small thing. It can just be a gathering of four or five Instagrammers, or they can be these big huge events where there's 200 or 300 people showing up in one area and shooting together. So, I think both experiences are really fun and you should definitely try to go to Instameet. I encourage you because it's actually the best place to meet new people, people that you haven't already connected through Instagram, that share a similar interest which is Instagram. So, if you're going to host an Instameet or go to Instameet, there's a few crucial things that you need to remember. We're going to go through that list right now. One, if you're going to have an Instameet, you got to have nametags, so that people can put down their Instagram user handles because you're going to go, you're going to be a lot of people and you're going to forget what that Instagram handle was. Actually, I've been to a couple of Instameets where I couldn't recognize the face or even know that person was but then I saw the Instagram handle and I was like, "Oh my gosh! I know you. I follow you. I didn't realize it was you but as soon as you put that name tag on, it's like oh my gosh it's you". So, do that. Second, you want to have a very specific hashtag for that specific Instameet. Why do you want to do that? Well, because when everyone post those images, they'll be collected together but it's a great way to go back and see, not just the images that everybody posted, but it's another great way to connect with the other people. So, if you miss that username or you didn't write it down or you forgot who that person was you were talking to that was awesome, if they posted something to Instagram and they use that hashtag, you can go back and find them really easily and then connect and be like, "Hey! It's me. I'm the one that we were talking to. I'm the guy with the beard and the ice cream." So, anyway have a very specific hashtag. What else? Group photo. Don't forget to have a group photo if you can. If it's 200 people, good luck doing that. I would recommend for an Instameet no more than 30 35 people. Honestly, it just gets a little too crazy. You want to have some time to actually have conversations with people. But definitely, take a group photo, do something fun, get really creative, that's just a really fun way to memorialize the moment and people love them and they're fun and then tag everybody so that again, people can connect. It's all about the connecting. You should pick a good location. So, it's really important that you pick a cool location. Cool meaning pick a place where you can take a bunch of good photos and that you can take a variety of photos and pick a place that people feel comfortable coming to. How do you go about finding Instameets or setting them up? There's been different a lot of different ways. Facebook is a good platform. There's typically an Instagram community that might be on Facebook for instance, like in San Francisco there's the Bay Area Photo Walks Community. You can go to, there's Instagrams that are organized there. But really the best way to do it is to either post right to your Instagram feed and let people know that you're going to do an Instameet or you can use direct message, you can tag up to 15 people and just say, "Hey, who wants to have an Instameet, do that and then people started bringing friends and before you know it you've got 40 people showing up on a bridge to shoot and you're going to have a great time. So, thank you for taking this class. I guess the next step is you're going to be given a project and basically you're going to go out and pick a bunch of photos and we're going to try something around storytelling. So, I'm really looking forward to the photos that you post and I'll see you guys on Instagram. 12. Explore Photo Classes on Skillshare: