I signed up for Instagram on the first day it launched publicly, on October 6th 2010, within the first hour, I think; my user number is 7845. When I downloaded the app, I didn't know what to expect, nor did I know how to use it. I just started taking random pictures of everything around me. There were no comments or likes at the beginning, just simple photo posting.
I started taking Instagram more seriously around the time when it started becoming big, and there were a lot more users subscribing. It wasn't easy; I still remember my first 500 followers and how that encouraged me to continue. Suddenly, when Instagram launched on Android, my growth slowed down for about a year, but then started to grow even more after my arrival in London.
Posting quality and original content; it doesn't matter if it's a photo or illustration or anything else creative. Consistency is important and also proper use of the hashtags, but less is more, so it's also important to not overuse them: keep them relevant to your post. Also, try to post in the "prime time", which in the UK is around 8pm.
I'm trying to post at least one photo a day, more at the weekends. As I have followers all around the world, I'm trying to post when most people are awake.
What I love about Instagram is the community that formed itself at the beginning, that was amazing. Then later, it became a little bit mainstream and Facebook-like. The Facebookification frustrates me, and I miss the old popular page. But still, it's full of creative and inspirational people and super easy to use.
I love when people comment that I’ve inspired them to visit places. Or if it awakens memories that they had with those places. There were times when there was a lot of spam, but it’s better now. I do very rarely delete and block vulgar or abusive comments.
Most of my followers are from Europe, then the United States, Brazil and Asia. I have a lot of followers from Malaysia and Indonesia, too. Lately I'm trying to post photos of places where people would love to be, from my travel and things that I like around me.
It’s not a hard thing to keep up with, but last week I was in Paris for two days shooting, and I had walked over 70km, so it's a bit of exercise, but I do love photography, so it’s passion more than effort.
MY BEST POST
My most successful photo is obviously Big Ben posted at Christmas with the snow effect, in hopes for a white Christmas in London!