“Every man dies; not every man truly lives.” What William Wallace was asserting with this deft aphorism is that due to the finite nature of life, we must seize every day and make it the best that it can possibly be; well, say a big hello to Instagram, the free photo-sharing app that can enhance your life, little by little and bit by bit.
Now, anyone who paid attention during GCSE History classes or who has stuck with Braveheart until the end will know that this Scottish freeeeeedddooommm fighter met his maker in a rather gruesome but utterly heroic fashion; not that many of us run the risk of being hung, drawn and quartered, yet should we piss off the English monarchy enough for the worst to happen, wouldn’t we like to look back on our lives saying that we have truly lived?
Some may scoff at the idea that a smartphone app could really transform our lives, but you’d be surprised at what a difference this social media photography program can make to our day-to-day existence and how much joy it can bring, should you let yourself in to its vast, multi-faceted and exciting world.
1. Document Your Day
With a plethora of innovative and impressive filters to put on your photographs, Instagram can brighten up even the dullest of days; from your standard coffee cup shot at a jaunty angle to a cheeky picture of your boss asleep at their desk, the possibilities for instant and constant entertainment are endless, especially when you consider the fact that you can share these pictures with all of your followers. Sharing a photo on Instagram isn’t the same as sharing it on Facebook or Twitter, as people use the app solely for the appreciation of photography; instead of just giving someone a bit of a titter, you can get people rating your photography on its own merit and bonding with you over your mutual passion for your favourite pastime. (Still, if you do snap your boss napping, share it EVERYWHERE…)
Photo by @michicaggi
2. Make Memories
Memory is a strange concept; once you’ve forgotten one, you can’t really miss it. However, you can be left with a sense of frustrated displacement, one in which you can remember that you ought to remember having a good time but you simply can’t put your finger on when, where or with whom it happened. Obviate any future worries of forgetting with Inkifi’s unique printing process in which Instagram users upload their photos directly onto the website and then print them on to a variety of canvases, greeting cards or picture frames. Decorate your future with the best bits of your past.
Photo by @annahardyphoto
3. Be Part Of A Positive Community
If you take a look at random online chat rooms, blogs or YouTube comments you’ll probably notice a common trend: there’s a lot of hating. So many people seem to use these forums in which to vent their frustrations and anger (I literally have no idea what these people did before the internet was invented – I’m guessing a lot of pillow-punching and Barbie-disfiguring…), which seems like such a negative way to spend your time. What I’ve noticed about Instagram is that there is a strong predominance of positivity in almost all comments made on photos shared via their medium; whether this is because Instagram is based singularly around beautiful, everyday art that anyone can participate in or whether it’s due to the gorgeous, washed-out filters that are applied to the photographs that put everybody in a ‘hippy haze’ is up for debate, but if you want to engage in some pleasurable, fulfilling and ultimately useful downtime then just spend a little while perusing the reams and reams of Instagram photographs. Alternatively, you could watch that clip of Justin Bieber getting nailed by a bottle whilst onstage. Again. Your choice, but which do you think is going to get you into heaven?
Photo by @heysp
4. Find Your Heroes
The great thing about Instagram is that it creates a forum for anybody who is interested in photography to fully immerse themselves within, meeting likeminded people and sharing ideas, concepts and theories about photography. Follow users whose photos you admire and pick up tips on which angles to take your next photo from, how to use shadows to your advantage, etc. Once you’ve built up a portfolio that you are proud of, you may start becoming a cult hero yourself…
Photo by @jakerscakers
This article was originally published on Inkifi, a unique website that allows users to print their Instagram photos onto a variety of canvases, frames and greeting cards; users can also sell their art via the website.