Tips to 'Tell' Better Photo Stories on Instagram
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
July 18 2012 04:57 PM ET
CREDIT: Instagram: @jwcanic
Sometimes a single photo is not enough to tell your story on Instagram. But flooding your friends' feeds with photos is just bad form. By setting some guidelines before you start shooting, using a collage app and adding special hashtags (keywords), you can tell a story in a single post.
Instagram encourages users to get together for photowalks and has learned that by following a few recommendations, the group can end up with a much better photo pool. You can apply these same tips for your own photo stories.
For instance, Instagram asks that people choose a theme on a photowalk, such as taking pictures of all tall buildings, front doors or people wearing hats. A theme like "morning, noon and night" could work on a vacation to create a story a day, so your followers would be primed to expect a series.
Instagram also urges its photowalk participants to stick with a single filter and decide whether to use a border. "While this can be a huge challenge," Instagram said on its blog. "Having a visually cohesive theme will result in a beautiful hashtag pool and a beautiful personal photo feed."
Once you've taken your pictures, bring your best ones into a collage app via your camera roll. Three good ones to choose from are PicFrame ($1), Diptic (now free in the app store, but may soon return to $1) and PhotoShake!($2). All three are available for both iOS and Android.
To choose a layout, consider your story. If it's a fast action piece, choose a vertical series of boxes and start your story on the left to mirror the way most people read.
If you want to tell the story of your latest getaway, a layout that has a larger box along with smaller ones would be your best choice. Make the big box a photo of you and your friends — your protagonists — or an instantly recognizable location shot to establish the scene. Smaller boxes can show things you did on your trip to round out your story.
Use hashtag shorthand
Instagram users have created some pretty useful hashtags that can help get your message across without using a lengthy description. In addition to tagging your stories with #location, try a "from where I stand" collage with the appropriate hashtags. Take a picture of your feet and then a view from your position. Combine the two in a double-box collage, add the hashtag #fromwhereistand and then another one like #lookingup.
You could use this pair as part of a larger collage. Keep your eyes out for more popular hashtags that fit your stories — try #whatimwearingtoday or #jumpstagram — and share them with us on Facebook. And if you're interested, the 5th Worldwide Instameet is scheduled for the weekend of July 26. Photowalks are planned for close to 400 cities. Check for your location here.