Saturday, January 25, 2014

Instagram: Why the Wait and Why I Changed My Mind

Did you see today's Facebook page announcement? Flotsam of the Mind is now on Instagram (user name: flotsamofthemind).

Instagram--photography, social media, and the opportunity for pithy commentary--and I should have been an instant match made in heaven, but I'm late to the Instagram party. The reason is two-fold.

First, I already spend a lot of time online. I'm on Facebook constantly. I blog, I read blogs, I have a Flickr account, I browse Pinterest, I use Goodreads, and I play Words with Friends. I love all these things, but I feared that getting sucked into one more thing would be one thing too many.

The second reason I held out is admittedly a little crotchety on my part. The only Instagram photos I ever saw were those posted to Facebook pages. Photos of food, pets, and kids were all edited with the same Instagram filters. What once seemed novel about Instagram only made all Instagram photos seem exactly the same to me--average photos with the same handful of filters applied to make them seem artistic. Every photo had the same feel.

I follow some photography communities that feature Instagram photos, and the results often are beautiful and better than what I can do with a DSLR. They look nothing like the sepia-toned dinner plates I'd been seeing. I began to wonder if more could be done with Instagram than I realized.

When I began tinkering with it, I learned that you can post a photo to Instagram that was taken and edited outside of the Instagram app. This likely is old news to Instagram users but was a game-changer to me. It meant that I could be more creative. Maybe my photos could look different.

With this newly optimistic outlook, I'd like to use Instagram to supplement the blog and the Facebook page. It is a good fit between the blog and my growing interest in photography. I won't link every Instagram photo to Facebook, so you rarely will see the same photo in both places. My photos might utilize the Instagram filters you've come to recognize, but I hope they will do something more.

If you are an Instagram user, I'd love for you to follow flotsamofthemind. In the comments here or on Facebook, please share any tips or tricks you think a newbie like me might not yet know. I'm excited to expand Flotsam of the Mind into a whole new social media realm and look forward to another photography challenge.

Hope to see you on Instagram!



  1. Welcome to IG. I fear that IG killed my blog as it is a perfect mix for me. My favorite way to post IG pics is through pic tap go (app). I seldom use the filters that I used to love (unless I'm in one of those dreamy vintage moods).

  2. Well I sort of feel like you just condemned all of the photos I've posted to Instagram so far. Oh well, I plan to continue using it to share photos of food, pets and my child and other shots -- artistic or not -- that I take with my iPhone while out walking, waiting for the bus or whatever.

    1. I don't remember your photos specifically. I was just talking about what I like. They're your photos; if you like how they look, than that's all that matters!