Instagram, at its core, is a photo-sharing platform. When you post a photo to your feed, you can tag friends and locations, use filters, and even do some minor editing of the photo itself. There’s more than one benefit to posting and following on this platform over others.
A quick intro to Instagram for beginners
A couple of quick things before we start because your enjoyment of the app might waver if you don’t have fun with these from the start.
The infamous #:
This # has nothing to do with weights or numbers-of in the Instagram universe. The hashtag is a way to “tag” a photo so that it joins a collection of other, similar ones. Want to share a photo of a gorgeous blooming flower? Try #beauty, #blooming, or #spring. That way, your flower joins others in a field of Instagram hashtags. If you don’t know what to tag your photo with, start by typing in the “#”, followed by the start of a related idea like #travel. Instagram will pop up suggestions for you to use such as #travelphotography, #traveling, #travelholic, etc.
The @ mention and handle:
The @ symbol is what you use to mention a person or business. It’s also how you tell people what your handle, or Instagram name, is. For example, @grandeuropeantravel is our handle. When someone posts a pic and uses @grandeuropeantravel, it goes onto our feed and we get to share it with them! Which we love because our goal is for our guests to have the best times, make the best memories, and take the best photos. So, when someone asks you what your handle is, you can say @the_best_travel_photographer_ever and they can go find your amazing feed!
Pretty simple really, once you decide on the crop of your photo in the Instagram square (how far in/out you’ve zoomed), choose next and the real fun begins. You are more than welcome to use #nofilter and impress your followers with your sophisticated use of light and shadow. OR…you can alter your picture to look brighter, maybe sharper, perhaps like it’s one your mom took when you were younger. You can change it to have a vignette, make it look as if it’s filtered through a red lens, all kinds of fun. Don’t want the change to be too extreme? Double-tap on the filter and use the button to increase/decrease the level of the effects.
Our top 5 reasons Instagram should be your favorite travel app
Travel photography is top of the list in the Instagram world, "A number one." What better use of a photo-sharing platform than to post incredible shots from around the world? And lucky for us, there are plenty of people who do! Use the magnifying glass in the app menu to search for new favorite accounts. Some of our favorite accounts to follow are @earthpix, @beautifuldestinations, @wonderful_places, and @theslowtraveler. You're guaranteed a little travel-envy but also stunning photographs.
Best yet, search for #grandeuropean (our hashtag), and you'll see all the fun pictures we post of our travels!
The Square Crop
As frustrating as it can be at times to have to adjust your brilliant photo to a perfect square, it’s actually pretty nice as well. It helps you keep in mind how the image will be framed and keeps a balance in your photographs. Also, no idea why, but everything seems to look better in the square crop, and most of the app users agree.
Remember we said you can tag your location? It’s almost the last step before you post a picture. Want to look up everyone’s photos of Seville? Use the search function again and type in a location, then choose to look at Places rather than Top posts or Accounts. Click on Seville, Spain and you can check out the top posts (ones with the most likes) or the most recent ones to be posted. It’s the perfect way to check out a future location or bucket list destination without actually going there! Want to know a pro-traveler tip? Use the search and Places to see what people are wearing where you’re going so you can pack according to the local weather and style.
It’s ONLY Photos
There’re no long posts to read through, no politics, limited memes, and no groups to join. And while there are notifications, they’re mostly who’s liked or commented on a photo, not constant updates on a post or replies to one from months ago. All it involves is scrolling through a standardized feed of pictures with subtext (that you can choose to expand with the more… option, or not) and some hashtags relating the photo to others.
Keeping Your Friends and Family in the Loop
If your friends and family are on Instagram, they can follow along on your travels! It’s a great way to post throughout your journey, whenever you have time, to let your “followers” know what you’re doing and the amazing sites you’re seeing. The filters help you look like a professional, if you choose to use them, and it’s a simple enough process to post. One of the biggest perks of Instagram is that you can take a pic in the app, filter it, tag your location and anyone you’re with, add a comment and a few hashtags, and you’re done. You’ve just shared your day with your friends and family and can go back to enjoying your trip. Because that’s really why we travel, to create memories, not posts.