Inspired by MOTY2013? Here's some do's and don't's from Katherine Davies, a professional photographer who considers herself a fully fledged modern-day motographer

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I love Instagram and find it a constant source of inspiration.  As far as taking pictures are concerned, the same rules apply to subject, light and composition, but you also need to remember to think SQUARE so your pictures work within the Instagram frame!  But here are some of the other things I've learnt which might help you get a bit more out of it...

DO use your phone's camera and choose from your photo stream when you post to Instagram. Handy trick as this way you can take a few shots or try different angles and then choose the best pics before you start adding filters and posting.

DO think SQUARE.  When taking pics try to visualise the square Instagram frame, holding your phone in a portrait position is helpful.  It's best to move closer to the subject to take your shot rather than use the zoom on a phone as you'll get a higher quality image. Tap the subject when you frame your shot to get the correct exposure for the main point of interest in the pic.

DO get creative. The basic instagram filters are great for enhancing your images, you just have to play around to find which ones most appeal to you or work best for the picture you've taken.  Play with adding a vignette too, blurring backgrounds and edges to add focus to your subject and contrast which can add some definition.  If you really love the editing then check out other apps like camera + or vsco which have additional or advanced editing options.

#DO #hashtag #hashtag #hashtag  If you really want to have some fun and explore the Instagram world you need to hashtag your image.  You can hashtag by place #dorsestcoast #dorsetbeach, or theme #stormy #blue, subject #fishingboat #lobsterpots #sandcastles or activity #rockpooling #paddling etc etc Then you can see who else is taking pics of the same thing and vice versa - you'll pick up followers and find others who you'll want follow yourself.

DO think of your feed as your own personal gallery - you can see that really serious instagrammers think about how their 'feed' (flow of images on home screen) appears. They are a carefully curated series of images or archives on their subjects.  Not only do they see squares, they see 3s and even 9s (you'll see what I mean).  Mine is much more of a MESS! I include behind the scenes pics from shoots, pics of my family, little things that I see here and there, it's just a bit of a scrapbook really.  

DON'T be shy.  Find inspiring instagrammers and follow them - search hashtags for places, themes, subjects, colours, ANYTHING that inspires you and you will find others out there sharing beautiful images.  It's a fun, supportive instagramming world out there! Comment and like the pics you like and others will do the same for you. I must confess to having made a couple of new instagramming friends over the last year or so - they are sort of picture pals as opposed to the old fashioned pen pals!

Feel free to say hello and check out my feed - my profile is Katharine_Davies


Published on: Aug. 1, 2013