I Heart Instagram!



So this week was my first Instagram birthday, and I could still spend hours a day on there ( and sometimes do!  ; )) .

It has a very real family feel about it and although my first love will always, always be twitter I think IG beats it for genuine friendships and community right now.  Twitter has become more of a place for *selling* stuff,  your products,  your blog,  your views…  It just sometimes feels more hard going, although I have made and continue to make real lasting friendships on there, its just harder.  I think anybody who has been part of twitter for a long time will agree, its just got slightly jaded with time.

Instagram on the other hand is just people sharing their memories, loves and art, I may sound like a bit of a Pollyanna but I honestly feel it there.  I think it helps too that a lot of times you are seeing captures of peoples lives which you make instant  connection’s too. They do say a pictures says a thousand words, that’s a lot more than you get on twitter ; ) .

Im not sure what the new FaceBook buy out means for us or the new influx of Android users, but I really hope it doesn’t change things too much. Not that I don’t welcome new people, its lovely getting new Twitter friends popping up on my Instagram feed,  its just that Instagram felt like a great up and coming neighbourhood  that nobody knew about.  Now its really *out there* I just hope it remains the same.

Any how, the real purpose of this post is a few tips and tricks ive learnt along the way, freinds often ask about apps and stuff so I thought it would be nice to put it down on *paper* here.  Not that I am in any way an expert but I do edit a lot and ask a lot of ( maybe cheeky) questions from others so I have some really good apps to share…

Here goes..

The Basics – The very best for basic edits that look like a natural (none edited) picture are from the photo shop app PS Express.  I don’t think its more than a few pounds from app store but its fabulous for sharpening things up, and blending things out.  The Reduce Noise is great for portrait shots ( evens out skin tone, makes you look younger , like touche eclat for your entire face *wink ) and the basic shapen and exposure features are perfect for food or product shots. Or for when you just want to make a candid natural shot more striking.

Also Camera+ is perfect for basic editing like cropping, but it also has a lovely selection of filters, my fave’s are Depth of field,  Tailfins, Ansel, Sunkiss’ed and Nostalgia. 

My friend ( @sheckamecka) recently told me about another one called PhotoStudio too, I haven’t had chance to properly discover that one yet, but if you already have the others it might be worth a look for a change up. Filter Mania is also good for certain shots but the effects are sometimes a bit to obvious looking to me, still fun to play around with though.

{ The food shot above was edited in PS Express and then  *tear drop* framed using the plop frame on the Pixlromatic app, both super easy and found on app store }


Fun for Effects – when you want to add a little twinkle or a rainbow flare or two, both  LensLight and Xiamen App ( look for the red dragon icon at app store search) are brilliant! And great to play around with.

{ The above shot of Milly was edited with Camera+ and LensLight app, spectrum ring and text was added using a great app called easyTITLER

{ Above montage of Milly was made with picframe,  camera+ and Xiamen apps }

Frames and Lettering –  You can get a photo montage picture that’s great for all kinds of shots from nature to cute kids pictures with an app called PicFrame, this lets you add lots of pictures to one square, creating pretty collage’s.  Two great apps for adding text ( in many different fonts and colours) to your pictures are Phonto and easyTITLER , text gives an extra dimension and character to your pictures. If every picture tells a story, the text can help to give it personality !

The Square Ready app is for creating a perfect sqaure ready for Instagram and also great for making a square picture ready for frameing like this circle frame below, made using Super Retro ( if you don’t start with a perfect square you wont get a circle )

Other great apps for  when you get more accomplished are ColorSplash ( for adding dramatic splashes of colour to your black and white shots), Juxtaposer  ( for laying multi pictures on top of each other ) and SigNote ( for adding your cute doodles and writing right on top of your pictures )



And finally, Instagram itself of course has its own filters, my favorite are Rise and the new Sierra, both add a nice glow and light to your edited or none edited pictures.

Also If your just starting out on IG and you want to make instant connections (and follows)  with people you can always try entering other popular  ( and super nice) IG’ers challenges. I  like @OwlBolt’s weekly challenge ( she has a new one every Tuesday) , @thisisjules rolling weekly Collage challenge and @joshjohnson’s nightly and weekly challenges.  All will get you out there and seen by like minded folk and will make you instant friends.  All you do is add the challenge hash tag to your pictures and you will appear on Instagram searches of each challenge : ) Oh, and don’t forget to like and comment on lots of other peoples pictures too, that really helps.

A few more random IG pictures….


Finally… If your already an IG addict like me, Ive found some fun products to feed your adiction too.

Like this , make your own pillows out of your instagram pictures, a little bit naff maybe, but also a lot fun! Great for wedding or baby photo’s perhaps too?

Or how about this? for your next phone case?

So that’s it, I’m off to get dressed now ( yes it is nealy 11 am, oh the joys of school hols ! hehe )

Anyway, its pretty fair to say,  I Heart Instagram ! … don’t you? ; ) xxx

9 Responses to “I Heart Instagram!”

  1. Amy Mitchell says:

    Such a lovely post Helen. And thank you for all the amazing tips and for sharing your secrets. Xx

  2. Emma MacNeil says:

    Iadore Instagram! im not very goot at editing etc so usially pretty plain photos from me but i luv looking at all the stunning photos! as u say it also gives snippits of peoples everyday life that u can relate to and it is better than twitter for community feel.
    i really hope facebook dont start makin changes cos thats one of the reasons i prefer instagram & twitter at the moment. xxx

  3. Jules says:

    Every time I read your wonderful blog it just makes me want to do my own blog, which I haven’t gotten around to yet – it’s so lovely and inspiring doll!

    Thanks so much for the mention as well!!! So sweet of you and such a treat :) Plus you’ve mentioned a godd few apps here which I’ve never used so am going to go on a little app shopping spree later…

    Keep up the beautiful work gorgeous gal! xoxoxoxox

  4. Love this post Helen – thanks so much for sharing! You’re fantastic with Instagram and I’ll definitely be trying out a few of these new apps and tricks! I adore Instagram and hope that Facebook don’t do anything horrid with it. Am sure they won’t but I feel very protective of it somehow! xxx

  5. Kate says:

    What a fantastic post! I’ve just downloaded some new apps, love instagram sooo much!


  6. Susan Mann says:

    What gorgeous pictures. And such an informative and useful post. I love instagram but now off to download some new app xx

  7. Claire says:

    Okay you know how much I heart instagram!! All I need to say is that without IG I would not have met you!!!!! I heart instagram!!!!! Xxxxx

  8. Kara says:

    Beautiful post and very informative, some great apps there I do not have and as always stunning pictures.
    I love IG for many reasons you have stated above, but mostly for meeting you xxx

  9. Great list of Aps; I have just downloaded a couple. Thanks Helen and get your address to me and I will send you a change the world note book

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