Read about my essential tips and tricks on how to succeed with your Instagram project
I never thought that daily or weekly Instagram projects, like 365 Project or 52 Project, were my cup of tea. I never thought I had enough patience to fulfill them and I didn’t want to feel like a failure if I drop it three days in. I never saw a point in taking a picture a day until last summer I recognized that I am already doing that. With my iPhone. Of my kids. I took *at least* one picture a day of my kids and posted them on Instagram. So all I had to do is put a hash tag to it and there you go on July 1st I started my #365daysofmytwowildones project.
More than a half way through I had come to several important conclusions. If you are still in doubt than I have a plenty of reasons why you should try it yourself. Especially if you are a parent. My final goal is to make a poster with all the pictures from the project, so my two wild ones can remember all the fun things they did. As a mom I see my kids every day, which makes me blind for small everyday improvements and tiny developments. This projects helps me catch those changes and recognize them. I see this project as my visual diary. I don’t have time and patience to sit down and write but as a photographer I truly believe that picture says more than words.
263 days into this project I realized I made up some rules and routines of my own to help me stay focused. So here are my secrets:
First of all find a good hash tag and make sure that noone is using it. This hash tag will help you find all the pictures from your project if you intend to make an album or a poster or use those pictures in any other cool and creative way.
Don’t wait until your kid’s birthday, new year or any other milestone to start your project. Just start it right away. As my mom used to say “time is a relative unit, so pick you starting point and go!
I usually take several pictures through the day if I can and I tend to post my project picture when the kids are tucked in and snoring. So I can choose the one that reflects that day or makes it memorable. This is a huge challenge when the kids are at the day care or I have a late meetings and I see them only to kiss goodnight.
I do admit that I miss a couple of days now and then, but I am focusing on how far I have walked. My project – my rules!
Very fast, after posting a couple of days in a row under the same day number, I realized that I needed a good tool to keep track of the day number. I used several iPhone apps for that but the one that I find the easiest and most helpful is Big Day Lite.
I keep the signature and the hash tag in the Notes and copy and paste it in the Instagram post every day. I increase the day number right after I post – this is my routine to keep track of the day number.
I often try to explain why I chose this particular picture, but sometimes the pictures says it all.
As a photographer I am always searching light. Since I started the project in the summer I didn’t realize that light, or the lack of it, was a problem up until dark fall. So make sure that you have enough light if you mostly shoot inside and during the dark evening hours. You won’t believe, but during the last six months I convinced my husband that we needed, bought and hang up three new lamps in the living room and in the kitchen, almost entirely to make more light for the pictures. Tssssss, just don’t tell him! I am still struggling with the way picture turns out in the low light situations but I guess I just have to live with that. However I have to admit that all the challenges of photographing with iPhone made me a better photographer and I did discovered some helpful tricks. But I think they deserve a post of their own.
I hope I convinced and inspired you to start an Instagram project of you own and start taking pictures of your kids, your dog, your husband or your goldfish. :) Whatever makes you smile when you wake up every morning!