How to Look Good and Make Friends on Instagram

Instagram is a new photo application for the iPhone that all your tech hipster friends totally knew about before everyone else did. Actually about 100,000 people (not all hipsters) snagged the free app the week it debuted.

The idea is simple: take nice photos, quickly apply an array of filters, and share away. It’s really the best way to tell the world, ”I’M HAVING NEW AGE FUN…with a VINTAGE FEEL.”

But how do you get started? And more importantly, how do you get lots of friends to lovingly stare at your work through a bright hand? Let’s find out.

1) Give Good Instagram

As with any content-based service, the best thing you can do is make good shit. Don’t just throw up any junk on there. Oh no, you save the good stuff for Instagram.

2) Safety Net Photos

OK so you’re not as hip as some of your Instagram friends. Maybe you live in some place where NOTHING looks cool, even with filters. Well, here are some instant classics you can fall back on to guarantee a well-liked photo. Be sure to include:

  • Just about any type of sign (the older the better)
  • Anything baby or kid related
  • Anything kitty related
  • Something written on a wall
  • Flowers
  • Cute girl looking dramatic

3) Try Every Filter and Take Lots of Photos


First, you need to take a lot of photos of your subject. Also, you’re going to want to do this outside of Instagram (for speediness). Take these photos in rapid succession so you have a few focus levels and angles to work with.

Next, take the time to try every damn filter. Let’s face it, you’ve got nothing better to do, so enjoy the filter opulence. Make your way through them all before selecting the best.

4) Find Friends

Instagram makes it really easy to find friends. Connect both your Twitter and Facebook accounts and follow everyone it matches you up with. As your friends do the same you’ll quickly build a nice little social graph.

And then let’s say maybe, just maybe, you want more friends because you’re greedy. Well, you should probably hit ”Find Friends” under the profile tab of the app and start to enter other people’s Twitter names. Prominent Silicon Valley folks, for example, might return even more friends to follow.

5) Understand Lomography

Instagram not hipster enough for you? Well, you’ll really want to learn about Lomography then. As it turns out many of the techniques of Lomography work well for Instagram as well.

Roll the tape…

If you managed to make it through that video, congratulations! You have a strong tolerance of men in V-neck shirts. If you couldn’t make it, just know the 10 rules of Lomography:

  1. Take your camera everywhere you go
  2. Use it any time – day or night
  3. Lomography is not an interference in your life but a part of it
  4. Try the shot from the hip
  5. Get as close as possible to the objects of your lomographic desire
  6. Don’t think
  7. Be fast
  8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
  9. You don’t have to know afterwards either
  10. Don’t worry about any rules

Happy Instagraming!



Comments Closed

5 Comments about “How to Look Good and Make Friends on Instagram”

  1. Alaia Says:

    Is that video for real? Or some kind of parody about hipster kids who like to think they are super unique and mold breaking?

    Just curious, I couldn’t tell.

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  3. Jo Naylor Says:

    Ha ha! those 10 rules sound like the way I photograph, and here I thought I was just being shoddy – now I know I’m cool ;)

  4. Matt Auckland Says:

    Sounds like the way I take pictures, only I use a Nikon D200, and the fisheye is my lens of choice, even though I have 3 others.

    Can’t help but think that forgetting putting film in your camera is not hipster cool, but just plain stupid.

    I can’t show off many of my shots, as I’ve been too busy to upload them to Flickr, but check out my about.me profile (link above) as the picture used as the background is one of mine taken this month.

  5. Kelby Says:

    HAHAHA, that was funny and thanks for the tips.

Published: October 25th, 2010 | 3,238 views