I have been using Facebook for years but never really "got into" Instagram, I always imagined it full of food pictures or more selfies. But in the middle of last year while at the Ekka (Royal Queensland Show) I decided I would join the picture sharing world of Instagram. And I am so glad I did!
In the beginning I was exploring the app and learning all its features. I followed a few people who I am friends with both off and online as well as discovering a few other accounts, mainly horse and pet photographers. As well as being a search feature, Instagram has created a page where you can explore posts that are similar to people you follow or images you like (for example I follow a lot of equine accounts so my explore posts page has many more horse accounts). This is when I really started getting into Instagram, exploring images and seeing which accounts it lead me to. I honestly cannot believe the amount of amazing images on there! I have yet to see a dimly-lit restaurant iPhone snap as my feed is full of either animal or landscape images which I use as inspiration.
Photography is a very hands on profession, there is only so much you can learn, read, study and be taught before you need to get yourself out there and PRACTICE! Honestly you do not become the best photographer in the area overnight it takes weeks, months and years and even then you never stop learning. The beauty of Instagram is you can discover people from all over the globe and view their breathtaking images wherever whenever. Some of my favourite inspirational accounts are from half way across the world. A popular photography style overseas may not have been discovered here in Australia or may not be a popular style just yet, not to mention posting your images to a worldwide population of people who might admire your work.
In the last 6 months I have been amazed in the amount of images I like out there that suit me and my photographic style. It has pushed me to become a better photographer, try new techniques and using anything as test subjects (sorry Archie and friends!). I believe it has changed me as a photographer and has helped me through some tough times a while back where I almost gave up on photographing for good. As Dory in Finding Nemo says, just keep swimming!