So tell me, has Instagram surpassed your love of Facebook and Twitter? It has for me!
I think Instagram is great because you have the opportunity to see a variety of behind-the-scenes of your favorite businesses, artists, designers and friends. Today, I’m sharing an overview of the social media tool and some of my favorite people to follow! Speaking of which, you can follow along with me on Instagram at @AmberHousley.
If you’re not familiar with Instagram, or you’re just jumping in, here is my “Instagram 101″ overview:
Instagram is a mobile-based app (that is the decidedly cooler version of Facebook) and marries up some of the same features of both Facebook and Twitter. Essentially, the service allows you to post a picture taken with your phone, add a filter to it to make it look better in most cases, and a caption. Where the Twitter part comes in, you have usernames or “handles” that are like Twitter that start with an “@” symbol, and you can follow or subscribe to users to see their photo updates in your own subscribed stream when you open Instagram. You can also tag other people in your photo by including their @ and username in the caption so they are alerted. In addition, you can add “#” hashtags which are basically keywords, that when added to an image, allow you to click on it and it brings up other images that have been tagged with that same topic. (Whew! Got all that? There will be a quiz later…just kidding!)
For the most part, people post photos taken from their phone (the “purists” of Instagram prefer that), but you’ll see many professional photographers also post some of their work. I’m okay with this since those that do usually are sharing a truly gorgeous shot, but I tend not to follow too many that do this. I’d rather go to their website or other media streams if I want to see that. I’m here for the good behind the curtain or everyday life stuff.
You’ll also find some will post graphics with inspirational messages or even promote their business with shots of products and sales. Once again, I’m okay with this – and I’m even one who does it for my own business – and I think it’s a good thing (it works!) — when done in small doses. Those who follow me are essentially wanting to know and hear more about me — whether I’m working on a project or I’m having a sale in my Esty shop – and if they are turned off by it, they will simply unfollow like they can in any other social media.
Here is a list of 13 inspiring creatives, designers and photographers on Instagram that I really enjoy following on Instagram right now (all in no particular order). Naturally, I follow a lot of wedding-related artists for a daily dose of inspiration. I’ve added their usernames so you can follow them too:
Designers / Bloggers to Follow on Instagram :
Lara Casey / @laraacasey : My friend Lara puts out a heaping spoonful of inspiration through her encouraging message postings. She is also a mom of little Grace, so expect cute candids of Grace, who never ceases to smile. As Editor in Chief of Southern Weddings, there are lots of behind-the-scenes of the magazine and she is one of my favorite stylists of everyday life images. During the summer she had a #southerndoin series that encouraged her editorial team and others to get out and have some Southern fun like visiting farms, picking berries, etc. It was a really fun movement and concept.
Aedriel / @aedriel : I came upon her feed only in the last few months and I feel like we already have a cyber-friendship going! :) She is a powerful mix of talent and authenticity, creating ceramic tableware and decor out of New Mexico. You’ll see behind-the-scenes of new designs that will be added to her Etsy shop, cute pics of her family, life in New Mexico, previews of free downloads on her blog, as well as positive and encouraging messages. She replies often/well to comments, hence why I feel like I know her already!
Sara Kate Studios / @sarakatestudios: Sara Kate is a stylist and collector of curiousities (that she sells in her online shop), so you can always expect interesting objects and very well styled photos. I’m in love with her branding as well (including a gorgeous big rubber stamp she uses on her client packages that are shipping out!)
Sara Bacon / @glitterandgrace : Sara is a fashion and beauty blogger in Southern California. Lots of images of Southern California lifestyle and of course, lots of clothing and accessory shots. Perfect for any girly girl and Southern California native like me!
Jacin Fitzgerald of Lovely Little Details / @lovelydetails : My friend Jacin is a wedding planner extraordinaire out of Northern California. She posts gorgeous behind the scenes images of things such as putting together florals for her next wedding, site visits to swoon-worthy locations like Napa vineyards, and everyday style. She has a great fashion sense, can craft and style with the best of them, and I just all-around love her. She is a great with business and social media and Sage Wedding Pro’s highlighted her efforts in this blog series here. Check it out, it’s a great read!
Valley & Co. / @valleyandco : Seattle based husband + wife wedding and party planners. They always have great styled images with lots of photos of table settings, entertaining and decor that are from real events or for print!
Photographers to Follow on Instagram :
Elizabeth Messina / @elizabethmessina : A well known wedding and portrait photographer, Elizabeth tends to post images that are “real” photographs vs. those taken from a phone. However, they are so dreamy, soft and perfect that I gladly love seeing them daily.
Allan Zepeda / @allanzepeda : My friend Allan is a NYC based photographer and I believe most photos are all taken from his phone. Which can be hard to believe at times when they are perfectly composed and contrasted as if they weren’t. I have a long-time obsession with NYC, so I enjoy the moody images of bridges, streets and buildings. He is also quite the traveller, and I’m always green with envy of the next tropical destination or adventure he is posting from.
Melanie Mauer / @melaniemauer : Melanie is a photographer just north of me in Lexington, Kentucky. Her images vary among family, southern living, and travel but all have the same sense of warmth and optimism that I’ve really come to enjoy. She just makes you feel good!
Annabella Charles / @annabellacharles : Now this girl, she can style like nobody’s business! Seriously, she is an amazing photographer and stylist. You’ll see images from recent weddings she’s shot, everyday life objects and food (styled gorgeously), and her cute little family. My favorite images of hers are florals…they are always perfection!
Brands / Retailers to Follow on Instagram :
Lilly Pulitzer / @lillypulitzer : In my opinion, this brand rocks out Instagram like no other. A wide variety of “real” images and behind the scenes. They share a lot of original art prints and patterns of Lilly’s signature style. Combined with pictures of real Lilly consumers wearing product, Lilly parties and special events, and peeks into the various retail stores before they open (if you’ve never been in a Lilly store, they’re amazing!), I think every big brand retailer could learn a thing or two from them!
Kate Spade NY / @katespadeny : A close second behind Lilly is the Kate Spade brand. Many of the pictures are shared by women who really “live” the Kate Spade brand, so expect lots of fun everyday life shots around NYC, high heels and champagne bottles. They also do a good job of showing company gatherings and product being worn in everyday life.
Home Goods / @homegoods : What can I say, this is one of my favorite stores! Naturally, I love the images they share of styled rooms, patterned rugs and pillows. They do a good job of re-sharing content from followers and host contests and giveaways from time to time.
So there you have it! My round up of some of the people that are inspiring me daily on Instagram. Are any of these new to you or do you have some favorites that I should know about? Please share in the comments below!