Instagram, Twitter, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Pintrest – these are words social media ‘connoisseurs’ are more than familiar with. Ever wondered how people make money off these? Did you even know that these platforms form the basis of some people’s full time income? A whole new world isn’t it? A whole new, digital world. I’d like to think that I’m more social media savvy than most, but until last week, I didn’t have an Instagram account. Now I’m having fun. At first I was a bit hesitant (I feel like a bit of a fraud/try hard walking around with those big cameras) but as a fellow 101 local human so wisely said, “The best camera is the one in your hand”. The focus of this walking workshop with Lauren Bath was Instagram. We had the pleasure of her company, and her pearls of wisdom, as we strolled through the beautiful Sculpture Gardens which are a part of the National Gallery of Australia.
Lauren Bath is Australia’s first professional Instagrammer. Prior to her Instagram fame, Lauren was a chef. However she followed her passion for photography (combined with some common sense marketing skills) and added that to the then ‘up and coming’ Instgram, to build a following that today numbers over 355 000 followers! Today she shared her secrets to increasing the profile of our Instagram accounts. Which for someone like me, who has only just begun… well you can say I have a lot to learn!
I’ve heard a lot of chatter about how Instagrammers are a friendly bunch. If Lauren is anything to go by, they certainly are. You’d think that if you were the star attraction, you might be a little full of self importance. Yet she is nothing of the sort. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her experiences. The teacher in me particularly warmed to her when she talked about the importance of having good grammar and spelling, especially considering she estimates that 90% of her business comes through emails. After all, how on earth will people take you seriously if you don’t capitalise properly? (And I am not mocking. This is a battle had by teachers everywhere, who teach a generation that think texting ‘language’ is the language of the future.)
Some of her pearls of wisdom – different platforms for different purposes. Instagram is great for sharing ‘a’ photo, Facebook is great for sharing albums, Google+ for higher resolution images. If people ‘follow’ you on multiple platforms, share different content on each, rather than bombarding them with the same photos over several different mediums. Do your research & give credit where it’s due – such as when photographing artwork or sculptures, be sure to tell your audience who/what it is…. And her other pearls of wisdom?? Well you’ll just have to get yourself into one of her workshops, won’t you!
For those of you who’d like to experiment with your photography skills, or who’d just love a leisurely walk, the Sculpture Gardens are definitely worth the visit. The sculptures vary from traditional sculptures from around the world, through to the modern and contemporary things I struggle to understand (but thoroughly appreciate). Even just the location is pretty in itself as the gardens are situated on the foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin. I even managed to snap a couple of pictures myself. Although you need to be kind to my efforts at trying to be all arty and creative!