• Sue Puetz

Get Started on Instagram

Instagram (IG) is the only online community with the emphasis on posting photos and interacting with other creators and viewers. You create an account (free), add and edit photos, add a catchy caption, tell a story and tag a brand, location, product and/or other accounts of interest in your story.

Hashtags allow IG users to find and discover interesting content that’s usually centered around a particular idea, topic or trend. Hashtags are nothing more than words with a # symbol in front of them. They are used to turn a word or a phrase (no spaces allowed) into a discoverable term that other IG users can follow.

For example, a post about a photo adventure to Yellowstone NP might include the following hashtags: #nikonz6, #bison, #moose, #geyser, #nationalparkservice and #yellowstonenationalpark. Your IG post would then appear in the universal list for each of these tags and be visible to everyone else who follows these tags. This is the quickest and simplest way to attract viewers. It is the nearest thing to free advertising for you art.

Other types of IG tags are mentions and account tags. Use the @ symbol followed by an IG username to mention another account in a comment or in a caption.

If you want to credit another account in your post, you might tag their account, e.g. @nikonz6, @nationalparkservice, @yellowstonenps, etc.

If you do not have an Instagram account but want one, you may create one on a Mac or PC ( or via the app on a smart phone. Here is the HOW-TO help from Instagram:

What’s Trending

Signing Up for an Account

Creating an Account & Username

How do I create an Instagram account?

Note: Instagram is designed to be used on mobile devices. Although you can view IG posts on a PC or Mac, as of this writing, there is no easy way to post IG activity via a computer.

Note: Your IG account

USERNAME must be unique and cannot be changed ever

• Displayed NAME can be changed

Instagram is designed for photographers interacting with others, sharing creativity and building awareness of your photography skills. Select a DISPLAY NAME that includes some part of your name and facilitates a direct personal response, e.g. “Great shot Sue Puetz” is more personal than “Great shot Camera Whisperer”.

Suggestions to get active:

• Follow at least 3 other IG accounts. Some suggestions:

@BestOfThe_USA @inspire_nature_now @suespuetz

• Make note of at least 3 hashtags (max 31) to incorporate in your posts that might drive traffic to you IG account. Suggestions:

#photooftheday #visittheusa #texastodo

Getting the most out of Instagram

The goal is to connect with your followers:

Post an image with a caption, a story, links and hashtags. Photos DO NOT need to be square as in the past. Use the available tool to preserve your perspective.

Engage by responding to comments and commenting on posts by the IG accounts you follow.

• and if you have a product or service to sell, Convert followers to buyers.

The process of a post:

Select an image

Upload it to your IG FEED

Preserve its perspective (Note: 4x5 takes best advantage of viewing space)

Edit if necessary

Add a caption

Tell the story

Tag the photo

Add hashtags

Tag the location

and repeat ~3 times a week

The most popular IG options for engagements:

• FEED with one image or video. A post to your FEED lives forever on your account.

• CAROUSEL is similar to a FEED but includes multiple images and/or videos.

• STORY only lasts 24 hours and can only be created by using a photo or video created in the last 24 hours.

Steps to create a post and share:

Open Instagram and select an image

Preserve the image perspective if other than IG’s default 1x1

Review IG filters and apply if appropriate

Apply HDR via Lux filter if appropriate

Add your content and share

Click on the images below for visuals of the 5 steps to create and share an Instagram post.

Sue Puetz Gallery

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