Instagram prides itself on its ability to offer the community advanced tools in an easy-to-use format, starting with basic photo filters, expanding to a short video format, then adding individual toning tools. Now, the company has taken another large step in mobile multimedia with the Hyperlapse app. The standalone app makes it easy to create time-lapse videos, with playback speeds from 1x to 12x, using built-in image-stabilization technology that allows you to shoot smooth video handheld without concern for camera shake. The time-lapse videos are saved to your camera roll for quick and easy sharing.


There’s some debate about the use of filters. Instagram offers several filters to add style to your images and recently added limited global editing tools. But, of course, some images don’t need a filter at all. Among those included in the Instagram app, you may find your perfect "go-to" Insta-filter for your signature look, or simply know where to turn for Insta-nostalgia, Insta-contrast or Insta-grain when you’re in a hurry. If you desire more control over your image, check out more advanced editing apps for your smartphone such as Snapseed, VSCO Cam, and Adobe’s new mobile Lightroom and Photoshop options.


Hashtags are a crucial way to expand your image’s audience. Just like Twitter, hashtags filter images to match a search subject, making it easier for people to find, like and comment on your image. Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to each post. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Don’t abuse the hashtag. Hashtags need to be relevant to your image—place, subject, activity, photo technique, camera gear. Five or fewer hashtags is usually sufficient. Hashtags work if you integrate them into your description or list them at the end, so make your style your own. As a promotional tool, some studios create their own hashtag and encourage their clients to tag their own photos to create a searchable profile with satisfied customers.


Currently, Instagram’s guidelines explicitly state that each user is not to share any photo or video that isn’t their own, or which they don’t have permission to share. Doing so may result in the account being disabled. Also, Instagram doesn’t claim ownership for any content that’s posted using the service. This being said, you’re sharing your images electronically, and just as you would with any online image, you make personal decisions about how you protect your photos. Watermarks can be applied using mobile apps like Marksta or iWatermark—keep it subtle though, as watermarks can seriously detract from the impact of your image. You may also choose to provide a link to your website or other social network in each photo caption. This integration creates a strong association between your images and your personal brand.

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