Instagram is an online social media photo sharing site. The idea behind Instagram is that you can instantly upload pictures from your smartphone and post them to your Instagram account, sharing them with your followers like a telegram. Thus the name Instagram.  Now Instagram is not a new technology service, in fact, it has been around a while now.

Unlike other social media type sites, Instagram is a mobile-only app. This means that although you can view your photo stream from a computer, you can only upload photos from your smartphone app. At first, I thought this was limiting, but the idea is that the photos are snapshots of your daily life, not professional photographs taken on a high-end camera. But if you want to share those photos you could always email them to yourself, open the message on your phone, save the image and then upload the picture. Though, that’s not the point.

When I had first heard of Instagram a few years ago, I was like who’d want to see daily pictures of my boring world. But despite how insignificant you feel your existence is, it’s the world around you that’s beautiful, everything from nature to the smile of a child. I at first felt that it would be odd to see pictures of other people as well, but as the web has evolved over the years, more and more websites are moving to be more photographic in nature.

Ten years ago, the web was only starting to really be able to handle high-resolution photos, unlike back in the 90’s when it was safer to save everything as a 256 color gif image. Though photos were becoming commonplace on the web, mobile devices still had limited abilities when it came to viewing web photographs and the photos taken with these devices couldn’t compare to that of a nice point and shoot digital camera.

Today, however, photography and the web go hand in hand. The most successful bloggers out there all have excellent photography on their website. I myself encourage students to take as many photography electives as they can since it is a skill that web developers can really benefit from.

Bakerellal and the Pioneer Woman are just two examples of bloggers who have gone on to national notoriety for their sites, why? Because their photography is amazing. They make their average life, of food, look incredible. If you read up on these folks you’ll also discover that they have had some photography training.

Okay, so good photography can make your blog stand out, but what about Instagram. We’ll just like a blog our social media stream can be much more captivating if told in pictures. However, most social media updates are just random spur of the moment thoughts or comments, how do you achieve that if you have to lug around a heavy camera, and then edit them with Photoshop? In comes Instagram, taking advantage of the every improving camera on smartphones, and including a few quick editing effects, one can quickly shoot and upload their images and share their world with you.

Going back with what I said earlier I thought why would I want to see the world of others or share mine with them. Because sometimes a photo can say a lot. There are times we come across a picture moment and thought I’d like to share this as inspiration or just share with friends. Recently I myself found that I’d taken photos that at first, I thought about blogging, but then resized I had nothing to say about the photo just that it was a nice photo or perhaps give someone some inspiration. My sisters use Instagram, and I signed up to follow them. Their photos were lovely and as a blogger, I realized the main selling point of Instagram, it’s a quick way to post a preview or update between blog posts.

Perhaps I hadn’t really thought of it before, but it makes sense as to why so many companies and organizations now have Instagram accounts now. After doing some research I found that there are many articles related to the topic of marketing through Instagram.

Here are some tips I would recommend if you do plan to use Instagram as a design professional.

  1. Don’t post crowded pictures, where too much is going on that the audience doesn’t know what the central focus is.
  2. Don’t over edit, if the photo looks good the way it was shot, upload it that way. No reason to go overboard with borders and frames, it will take away from your message.
  3. Add a caption, perhaps even a link to your blog or related topic
  4. Take a good photo. Sure you can edit the image, but a good photo is still essential to getting your message across.
  5. Tell a story. Don’t just take random photos without a purpose, the success of Instagram is telling a story in photos.
  6. Change angles, this one my husband lives by in his photography, that is to take the same photo from different angles, it creates a different look and effect
  7. Try other photo editing apps. Although there is some good, quick and easy editing tools inside the Instagram app, there are many other photo editing tools that can change-up the look of your image. One such app is PhotoCollage, a free app that allows you to create collages of your photos.
  8. Share with other social networks. When it comes to marketing, sharing content between all our social networks is a must. Instagram makes it easy by allowing you to upload to both Facebook and Twitter from inside the app.

So in the end after considering all these factors and following others on Instagram, I too have decided to jump on the bandwagon. Feel free to check out my Instagram and follow me at

Akram Taghavi-Burris

Akram Taghavi-Burris is an award winning designer, an educator with over 15 years of experience in graphic arts and web design. Akram has an M.Ed. with an emphasis on Design Education and has been awarded several prestigious awards for her work such as the American Advertising Federation (AAF) Award and, the Davinci Fellows Award for innovation in teaching. Currently, Akram teaches Computer Simulation and Gaming (Video Game Design) at the University of Tulsa. to life.

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