It's been almost a year since my wonderful friend Ash first introduced me to Instagram, and in that time, I'll admit to becoming one of its most loyally devoted fans. Not a day goes by when I don't take an Instagram photo (or several dozen) - leading me to clock up thousands and thousands of Instagrammed photos in next to no time at all, and also creating a fantastic visual record of my life and loves.
If you haven't already heard about it, Instagram is an amazing (and hugely popular) photography app for iPhones (presently it's only available for iPhones/iPads, although they keep promising to bring out a version for Android...)
What makes IG so special is that it allows you to take photos, put artistic filter effects on them, and then instantly post them up into a 'live feed' to share them with your friends and followers, much like Twitter, but with photos. Plus it encourages social networking and interactivity by allowing your viewers to 'Like' your images, or comment on them, as well as enabling hashtags and tagging via usernames for direct conversations. Effectively it's a photo-taking / photo-filtering / photo-sharing app all-in-one.
Beyond being just an iPhone app, IG has spawned a massive global community of Instagrammers (about 5 million to date), and what has been referred to as an entire 'ecosystem of Instagram related iPhone, Web, and Mac apps, as well as print services and other products' (www.macworld.com.au/10-cool-things-to-do-with-instagram).
Something else it has spawned is a worldwide proliferation of real-life meetups for Instagrammers, known affectionately as 'Instameets', whereby a location is chosen and everyone meets at a designated start point and then you all head off on a 'photography walk' taking Instagram photos along the way, labelling your photos with a specific hashtag (so you're able to see everyone else's photos from the same Instameet).
For those of us in Brisbane, I'm super excited to announce that we have our very own local community of Instagrammers who get together once a month at a different Instameet location. Previously I have been to two Brisbane Instameets (with Little D in his baby carrier!), the first at Toowong Cemetery and the second at the West End Markets.
Our next Brisbane Instameet is coming up this Sunday the 5th February, beginning in New Farm Park at 10am, and all are welcome to come along! If you're on Instagram, you'll need to 'follow' instameet_brisbane in order to receive further details about this and future Instameets.
Fingers crossed for a day drier than the weather we're currently experiencing..!
Oh, and one last thing - if you're interested to see/follow Shelbyville's Instagram photo stream, please feel free to look me up - my IG username (not too surprisingly) is shelbyville.
Love to see you on Instagram soon!