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Getting Started on Instagram

Yes yes, we’ve been talking a lot about Instagram lately, and we’ve also recently launched our Go-To Guide for Instagram eBook. But we’re not stopping there! Very soon we’ll be launching the Instagram Hidden Gems eBook, which is filled to the brim with awesome tips for boosting your likes and followers, so watch this space. But in the meantime we want to give those of you who perhaps haven’t taken the leap as yet into the fun (and frankly, addictive) world of Instagram a little encouraging shove to take the leap.


If you are looking for an in-depth guide covering getting started, shooting, and other great tips & tricks, why not download our Instagram Uncovered guide?

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Let’s dive in together. Maybe you’ve downloaded the Instagram app, but haven’t set up your account… or you’ve set it up but can’t quite seem to make Instagram part of your iPhoneography process? Don’t fret, we’ve got a few easy tips to help you make Instagram work for you. Starting on Instagram may seem a little bit daunting, and the first few hours may feel unrewarding. Approximately 55% of people who downloaded the app have uploaded less than 3 photos! A clear sign that these users didn’t move beyond the initial interest that made them decide to download the app. The remaining 45% (which still represents over 5 million users!) have jumped onboard quite readily and they’re reaping the rewards of their time investment in the Instagram social network. So how can we bridge the gap? And what exactly are people getting out of Instagram? More importantly…why should you get involved?

Instagram Popular


There are essentially 3 main reasons Instagram is such a success: first, it’s fun. Next it provides great opportunities to learn, and finally it’s a huge source of inspiration for photography!

Let’s start with the fun stuff. If you love photography (which is why we’re all here, right?) Instagram is fun because it gives you a pocket-sized photographic gallery at your fingertips, whenever, wherever. That’s not to say every photograph on Instagram is amazing…there plenty of “bad” photos on IG, but once you become part of the culture you’ll be able to quickly weed out the photos that are of no importance to you. The other reason Instagram is big fun is the social interaction. The community feel of Instagram gives you a great opportunity to interact with other motivated photographers, many of whom are there to share and connect with other photographers. It’s the human connection that makes Instagram a unique and FUN sharing opportunity.

This brings us to the second point: Instagram is a nice place to learn, especially if you are into iPhoneography. The community on the whole is very friendly…and many photographers are willing to help, they are there to learn, just as you are. If you’re drawn to a photo but are not sure how it was taken or edited…just ask in the comments and more often than not you’ll get a response! This sense of community creates a great learning environment for photographers of all levels

Instagram Popular


As a source of inspiration, Instagram is a phenomenal tool. We can think of 3 ways of getting inspired through the app, but you may find endless ways of getting inspired so this is by no means an exhaustive list. Of course, first and foremost you’re likely to be inspired as you review the photos from the popular tab. Next, start following inspirational Instagramers as you browse the app…here’s a few names to get you started Cole Rise (@colerise), Jack Hollignsworth (@jackhollingsworth) or Jussi Ulkuniemi (@skwii), but there are literally thousands of others. Finally, start reviewing photos via meaningful hashtag searches. What is inspiring will depend on what is meaningful to you, but #texture, #design, #photooftheday, #bw (for black and white photos), #architecture, and #hdr will surely get the inspiration going!

Instagram Hashtags


So you might be wondering who is on Instagram, who will you be interacting with? There are a few photo pros, but the vast majority of Instagramers are amateurs and photo enthusiasts who are keen on improving their photography skills. So if you fall into any of those categories and you are looking to get more out of your hobby, Instagram is the place for you.

Let’s look at how you can be sure to start off on the right foot after signing up for an Instagram account. The first and most important thing to consider is that what you get out of IG – as with most things in life – is directly related to what you give. So to get the most out of Instagram you’ll need to be generous in giving likes and comments to other users. It’s as simple as that. Quite often, new users upload a bunch of photos and just stop there, hoping for their images to be seen as if by magic. Unfortunately the magic just won’t be there if you don’t give it a helping hand…and that means reaching out to other users. As soon as you start liking other photographer’s photos and commenting on their work, they are far more likely to check out your photos too. If they like what they see, the momentum will start to pick up, and you’ll find it much easier to get likes and follows.

That’s not to say that the quality of your photos is not directly related to the number of followers you get, it most certainly is. So to give yourself the best chance of getting followers, always upload your best photos to Instagram!! Post your best photos, one at a time, over the course of several days, and spend some time reaching out. Try to avoid following hundreds of users in the hopes that you’ll get follows back, it does nothing for the quality of your feed and doesn’t speak to the quality of your photos either. Simply get involved in the community, upload your best, and the likes and follows will come naturally!

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64 Responses to “Getting Started on Instagram”

  1. Good

    • I think Instagram is better than twitter and facebook.

  2. I love twiter and I’m trying out instagram!!!

    • 1D luver
    • Reply
  3. How to put Rock Bands in different color?

    • Joe
    • Reply
    • Could you be a bit more specific? Where in the app do you want the color to be different?

      • Guy Yang
  4. this is cool

  5. Like it a lot

  6. instagram is cool

    • pretty_brown_eyed_girl
    • Reply
  7. i am britneyz and i love this website so much

  8. this is awesome

    • Adreanna
    • Reply
  9. hi im leah gilner WHOOOOOOOOOOO! I GOT INSTAGRAM!!!!!

  10. Can I download intagram on my Samsung Wave y? The software is Bada if that helps. Thanks x

    • Selma
    • Reply
    • To my knowledge, Instagram is not available for Bada yet.

      • Guy Yang
    • i know I’m trying out instagram but I’m used to Facebook

      • marie
  11. Cool

    • Cristian del puerto
    • Reply
  12. it is the best thing ever

    • dart
    • Reply
    • Twitter in Instagram is the best

      • Tia
  13. like it

  14. i like instagram because i can see my friends, family and their pictures

    • Melany28
    • Reply
  15. It wa veary good

  16. yh i found this very interesting

    • kalem
    • Reply
  17. hi am neha,could you be a bit more precise about what you want to achieve so that we get the right response to you?apparently Instagram is aware of this issue and is working on it: . I’d suggest you shoot and edit your photos with apps other than Instagram. Then import the final photo in Instagram to share it (without applying filters nor cropping). That should work.i think instagmam is good

    • neha
    • Reply
  18. I downloaded Instagram on my tablet but I can’t find the sign up button I really want to get started soon!help!

    • Hi Mason, hmm… What are you getting if you have no sign up button? What about deleting the app and reinstalling it? BTW Emily, that’s a 4th option for you.

      • Guy Yang
  19. Help me guy.
    My question is under ’emily’ because I clicked reply on accident.
    Please help me.

    • yas
    • Reply
  20. I don’t no how to sign up for it on my kindle

    • Chelsea
    • Reply
  21. My name in instagram is atyab so follow me and dont forget to follow me in instagram

  22. Instagram will not let me sign up for it.

    • Yeah me neither
      Well…. I’ve got one account and when I logged out to make a second account it wouldnt let me even though I made a new email account for itand everything.

      • yas
    • I’ve got one account and when I logged out to make a second account it wouldnt let me even though I made a new email account for it and everything. What is the problem?? Do I need to try another day? Its bugging me badly. And yes, im not silly, the username I tried is not taken, my password is fine and my email is correct. Aaah! What’s wrong?!

      • yas
    • Hi Emily, This is strange. Following up on your comment, I’ve tried and have just created 2 new accounts using my iPhone 4S and Instagram’s latest version. I had no problem. This seems to be specific to your phone. You could try these options:
      – terminate the Instagram app (on iPhone: double tap middle button + long touch on Instagram Icon + red ‘-‘ button).
      – reboot your iPhone or Android phone
      – open an account on a friend’s phone, then log in through your phone.

      • Guy Yang
  23. I love instagram so munch

  24. so i want to create more of an account so i went to the 5th icon to the left on the bottom of the screen but the only thing there is a circle arrow thing and it just says “couldn’t refresh feed” i don’t know what to do!!!

    • kel
    • Reply
    • Hi Kel, not sure I understand what you want to do. Create several Instagram accounts? If so you need to log out and create a new account with another email address. If not, please provide more info.

      • Guy Yang
  25. I’ve been trying to make an instagram account on my tablet..but everytme I hit register it says an erroer has occurred and doesn’t let me make an account.. what do I do?! 😮

    • Alexia
    • Reply
    • Hi Alexia. What kind of error are you getting?

      • Guy Yang
    • I don’t really know. As soon as I hit register it loads for about a minute then says, “Error” and then asks me to dismiss it and I’m back to square one.

      • Alexia
      • Guy Yang
  26. hello im new to instagram!

  27. how do u get instagram?i suck when it comes to computers

    • Hi. You need to get it through your iPhone or Android Phone (AppStore or Google Play Store). Hope that helps.

      • Guy Yang
  28. I have a Samsung galaxy ace and all my pictures turn black after I crop them

    • rory
    • Reply
  29. i wish i have instagram

    • i want download

    • You need to download from the AppStore on an on iPhone or Google Play on an Android phone. Instagram can be accessed on the web only after downloading the app.

      • Guy Yang
  30. How do u use instagram on a regular computer and how do u make a profile???

    • Callie Small
    • Reply
    • Hi Callie, you need a smartphone (iPhone or Android) to create a profile through the Instagram app. You can’t create a profile on the web using a regular computer. Once your profile is created, you can use your account on a regular desktop computer, through account or Webstagram or Statigram. Hope that helps!

      • Guy Yang
  31. hi there, i am using samsung galaxy chat,
    after i took photos when it is in the screen for editing effects , my photos become black photos. is there a problem to solve it ?

    • honyew
    • Reply
    • Hi honeyew, I would love help you on this one, but there’s not much I can do, as I have never used the phone you’ve mentioned.

      • Guy Yang
  32. I still don’t know how 2 get instagram!!!

    • Rosemary
    • Reply
    • Hello Rosemary. Just go to from your smartphone or tablet. Tap on AppSotre if you have an iPhone or Google Play if you have an android phone. That should work!

      • Guy Yang
  33. Yeah latest version just updated it still not working and i have samsung galaxy chat something 😀

    • Anna
    • Reply
  34. I got a new phone and now when i try to download pics to instagram they turn out to be just totally black, what is wrong? :O

    • Anna
    • Reply
    • Hello Anna. There’s been an issue like that with version 2 back in 2011, but at the moment there hasn’t been any complaint about black pictures recently. Are you using the latest version of IG? What iPhone model do you have?

      • Guy Yang
    • Also, you can try downgrading the app if you still have the previous version that worked for you stored in iTunes. I have not tried doing that in a while, but I believe it still works. Marty, over at LifeInLoFi has a post about how to do that:

      • Guy Yang
    • I dont have an iphone i have a samsung

      • Anna
  35. how do i edit pictures

    • kd
    • Reply
    • Hi KD. Instagram does not have in-app editing. It only features filters. To edit your pics, you can use apps such as PhotoForge2 or FilterStorm.

      • Guy Yang
  36. How to put local weather on facebook by instagram?

    • tina
    • Reply
    • Hi tina, could you be a bit more precise about what you want to achieve so that we get the right response to you?

      • Guy Yang

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