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What is Instagram?

Join the Party: Celebrations is now on Instagram! Follow us @Celebrations_com!

Increasingly impressive camera phones with new apps launching daily give us the opportunity to document more and more of our lives.

My favorite app of the moment gives users an incredible amount of creative tools and freedom to help capture the feeling of the moment, beyond what your lens sees on its own.

Instagram is a free app available on iPhones, iPad, and Androids. It is incredibly simple to use, but check out this fantastic instructional on how to create an account and use Instagram by Business Insider. But really, if you can operate your phone, you will likely have no trouble downloading the app and snapping away.  

As you take pictures (or pull from the image library on your phone) you can apply several different filters to adjust lighting to fit the mood. You can also use several built in tools like red eye correction or a blurring/filtering tool that allows you to blur images and emphasize one focal point. 

See what I did with this picture I took over lunch? Granted, it’s a beautiful day in NYC, but isn’t the Flatiron building so much more commanding and romantic once I applied the blurring tool and rise filter?  

Instagram filter example

What’s also great is the web view for sharing online with people who may not be on instagram. Complete with geotagging!

What I like best about the app is how easy it makes it to share a moment with those not there. A few weeks ago, my sister and I were getting drinks at a restaurant suggested by a friend. Instead of texting him thanks for the recommendation, I took a quick picture of Tess enjoying her cocktail and sent it his way.   

Beyond just photo filtering, Instagram is also a social media network.  All images saved in the app are shared by default, but you can opt to have your images remain private if you wish. Other than that, it really works just like a Tumblr or Twitter account just for photos. You follow other users, and their images appear in your photo stream. You can like or comment on other’s photos and the app also makes sharing on other social networks or email as easy as one click.   

Instagram thank you

Then again last weekend, I had the most delicious pancakes I’ve ever had.  I wanted to share with my family (we are all big into cakes) – breakfast never looked so good. 

instagram pancakes
And last, and quite possibly the coolest addition to Instagram came out just in time for Valentine’s Day. Instagram founder, Mike Krieger’s, girlfriend Kaitlyn Trigger, learned to code and created an app to send her beau a personalized V-Day card.

She aptly named the app Lovestagram. The site pulls images from your Instagram account and creates a picture montage Valentine and shares it with your sweet one. All images and users have to be a part of Instagram, which limits it use a bit, but for power users, this is an incredibly cute and not overly lovey way to celebrate this 14th!

Are you using Instagram?  Follow us (@Celebrations_com) and share some happy pics! 

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Becky Hardin
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