It may sound cliche, but the iPhone has changed the face of point and shoot photography. As a photographer, I made the change from Android to the iPhone largely due to the quality of its camera.
There are dozens of apps for the iPhone related to photography, but not one has taken the iPhone world by storm like Instagram. This free app is very easy to use. You snap a photo (or get one from your library) and upload it as is, or use one of fifteen different filters.
Where Instagram excels however, is that it has become its own community. Like Twitter, you can follow fellow Instagram users, use hashtags and also post images to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc. Some Instagram users have really stood out with their work, producing images that could easily be turned into a book. Instagram has over 2.2 million users and upload 3.6 million new images a week.
Peter Kim is one of those users. I connected with Pete on Twitter, but noticed after some time his time on Twitter was greatly reduced. It’s only when I got an iPhone and joined the Instagram community myself that I saw Pete had turned much of his attention to it as opposed to Twitter. On Twitter, Pete has about 1500 followers. On Instagram, he has 45,000.
Here are a few reasons why:
I caught up with Pete and he was gracious enough to answer a few questions:
1. What attracted you to the Instagram community?
The short answer is that I like to take pictures and it’s a great creative outlet for me.
The long answer is that I was looking for something new and different to engage in and with. I hadn’t heard anything about Instagram until I went looking in the iPhone app store for a camera app that was a little more “sophisticated” than the iPhone’s native camera app. While searching for an app, I was intrigued by this Instagram app I saw touting itself as a new and different way to share photos socially. I downloaded the app, signed up, and posted by first pic on Oct. 7, 2010 — the day after Instagram launched. It was only after my first comment from @prudychick, and a few likes started trickling in regularly, when I was hooked.
2. You use quite a few apps to produce some images. This one for instance. I read how you did it and you used about 5 different apps to get the final result. What are 5 of your favorite iPhone apps?
Five of my favorite photo related apps are: QuickPix (captures successive hi-res shots at 2 shots/sec), Camera+, PhotoToaster, PhotoShake (pic collages), and ColorBlast (isolates colors against black and white).
3. Have you thought about developing your own app for iPhone photography or partnering with somebody to do it?
I have thought about it, but my ideas are quite fleeting against an investigation of a plethora of “solutions” already available. Maybe, one day, the inspiration for a solution will become available to me for the taking!
4. What was your first “big” Instagram image in terms of “likes”?
That’s kind of a tough question to answer because the bar is perpetually being raised as new images are posted, and as followership increases. Your milestones evolve from 10 likes to 50 likes to 100 to 200 to 500 to 900 and so on, all the while looking for consistency. I never expected to become what some have labeled an “InstaCeleb” — I think I was just in the right place at the right time as Instagram increased in popularity.
First 10 Likes:
First 500 Likes:
First 900 Likes:
In a lot of ways, the amount of “likes” and followers is what most people are after on Instagram, and I’d be lying if I didn’t find some gratification in garnering so many likes and followers. But, what I really appreciate is the affirmation from others with their likes as sort of validation of my creative and artistic “talent” that God has deposited in me that I hadn’t really cultivated in my life before.
5. Do you use the iPhone for all of your images?
I do occasionally set up some pics in Photoshop, but I use my iPhone 4 for 98% of my posts — it’s the only camera I have. I have an old point-and-shoot that’s sitting in the back of a drawer somewhere, and I don’t own any “professional” cameras or gear.
Follow Peter Kim
Many thanks to Pete for taking time out to ask some questions. If you use Instagram, you will definitely want to follow him. If you don’t have an iPhone or iPad, you can still check out Pete’s work using Instagrid or Followgram. You can also follow Pete on Twitter.