Read this...

 Read this if you want to be Instagram Famous

I have spoken highly in the past about books written by Henry Carroll, his series of Read this...

...if you want to take great photographs.
...if you want to take great photographs of people.
...if you want to take great photographs of places.

They are great books, not super technical and full of great advice for the beginner and the accomplished photographer alike. They don't take forever to read (a solid afternoon of reading) and they all cost around £10 / $10.

While I was "screen" shopping on amazon last week I was rather surprised to see "Read this if you want to be instagram famous". My instant thought was how long can it take someone to write about getting famous on Instagram it's easy, you need either:

- to be female and post lots of bikini shots.
- have a great female model and take lots of bikini shots.

This may sound a touch politically incorrect but check the stats, and you'll see I am right, trust me, I'm a data scientist. Needless to say I purchased it and had amazon deliver it on prime because I couldn't wait to see what it had to say.

The book is interesting, introduced by Henry Carroll, it features roughly 65 instagrammers that have influential accounts. Each page has a concept, for example time it right / be straight shooter, then an instagrammers story that fits the concept. Each person featured discusses how and why they started and their experiences in building up a following.

Much to my annoyance the first person featured is @daniellepeazer who appears in most of her posts in a bikini or her underwear or my favourite post of her just out of the shower and has to post a photo because she is dying to tell you that her "hair is washed and smelling amazing" (24,088 likes at time of writing). She has a following of 1.2 million people. So that works out to be about a 2% like rate. I found it annoying because it basically re-inforced my politically incorrect statement above. You can make the obvious conclusion that I am jealous and you would be right, I would love to have 1.2 million people follow me for showing off my body :-)

I am not going to spend the entire post converting like rates on Instagram, I do (possibly) have better things to do. Back to the book review...

In it's 150 pages there are "technical tangent" pages which are very useful for those that are just starting to post on Instagram as well as veterans of the medium. The pages on perfecting your profile, selecting an effective handle, avatar and biography have good little nuggets of information. I also particularly enjoyed the composition pages on what makes an effective Instagram post. Other technical tangents include effective use of #hashtags and why having a caption and commenting on photos can build a following. For those that have high ambitions there is also a technical tangent on becoming a suggested user! Sections on marketing yourself or brands are interesting and it also gives information on what rates people charge for promotions on their accounts.

The book is written in an easily accessible way, it is not technical, but does provide a lot of ideas and should provoke some thoughts for the average user. Priced at £10 / $10 I think it is definitely worth the money if you have some ambition of building a following on Instagram or are in need of some inspiration for your account. One of the things I liked about the book as well, from a purely cosmetic sense, is that it is square just like Instagram posts should be (according to the purists) even though all Henry Carroll's past books have been rectangular. :-)

Your thoughts? I am @willadam or comment below.



Re-visiting the Mirror Man

Satrurday night saw myself and @alycoste taking an impromptu visit to Saint Fillans to take some shots of Rob Mulholland's artpience "Still", commonly known as the mirror man. I have more details about it in my original post from May. The weather turned out better than expected and it appeared that many people had the same idea as we met @espixie @_liam_jardine and @katie_smith80 all there taking photographs as well!

It was really nice to meet some new people that are also keen photographers and instagrammers, one of my favourite aspects of this social media platform. As I have posted about this sculpture and the area before I am just going to post some of my images here, click to enlarge on tablet/desktop.



Lange Voorhout - The Hague

I can almost taste winter in the morning right now, I actually thought for a second that the morning dew on my car windscreen was frozen this morning. I was positively excited by the prospect of having to scrape the windscreen. September has long been my favourite month of the year. In years gone past it has been the month that I returned to University, or at least started to build apprehension of going back. Nowadays it signifies that Winter is Coming, without the White Walkers of course.

I look forward to the nights getting longer and the temperatures dropping. As a photographer it means that light trails become ever present in my photo stream, sunsets are harder to catch but sunrise gets easier (especially in my case) and probably most important, the air gets clearer and the photographs crisper.

Of course Winter has drawbacks that most people like to complain about such as not being able to feel your hands after being outside for ten minutes, but I think that it is a price worth paying.

I have added my favourite winter shot from my favourite place to this post, I may have posted it in here at some other point but it is worth posting again. I hope you are as excited by the prospect of winter as I am.