I’m a freelance TV producer, photographer, and a Londoner through and through. I was born in this great city, and love the fact that I still see new things on a daily basis.
I first downloaded the app one evening in autumn 2011, but I was so busy with work that I just dismissed it and left the app sitting on my iPhone for a year! It was after I returned from New York in Autumn 2012 that I reopened it and that was it, I was hooked.
Instagram has changed a lot for me. When I first started, I was using the app as a way to express myself creatively through photography, something that I had always loved. As time progressed I began to understand the idea of community and started meeting up with other Instagrammers. I have made many great friends through this app, which still remains my main creative outlet, but with the added bonus of being able to travel and meet up with like-minded friends. Instagram also now acts as my portfolio and I have had the opportunity to shoot for some great brands.
I think most people would agree that the key is consistency - people follow you because they like your style. It's ok to take the occasional risk by posting something you wouldn't normally because I believe diversity is key, but on the whole stay consistent.
In my first year I gained 6000 followers, which I was very proud of! In 2013 I was featured three times by Instagram in the Weekend Hashtag Project #whp, which increased my numbers and then Instagram made me a Suggested User.
I post once a day, very occasionally two and never two shots back to back. I don't want my followers to feel spammed! My most liked photo ever was a shot I took of the Christmas lights on Oxford Street last winter. I was so surprised as it wasn't my most considered shot - I just looked up, pointed and shot! I think it did well because of the time of day I posted, the leading lines, the beautiful buildings on either side and, of course, the pretty lights!
I have been recognised three times on the street by complete strangers which was so very weird! I am known for wearing hats, one or two in particular, and I use the hashtag #zobohat. All three times I was wearing my black trilby!
BEST LONDON INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS
- I absolutely love @dearleila's feed. She creates a beautiful mood in her shots and shows the intimate side of living in the city.
- I would also recommend @josephowen who has a great eye for detail and beauty in the ordinary.
- Finally I would recommend @jenniferelizabeth_ a Canadian living in London whose beautiful feed is indispensable because she knows where all the best coffee shops are!
The Instagram community is very tight knit. With so many within it there will always be people who you get on better with than others, but I like to think that there is support for everyone when they need it. For me, Instagram has become about connecting with other people, some of whom I know will be lifelong friends.
Instagram has led to many opportunities from working with high profile brands including Vogue, J Crew and 7UP to gaining access to some of the most people building and locations in order to shoot.
I have never really experienced any abuse on Instagram and where I have seen it happen Instagram are very quick to protect other users, which is great. I love Instagram so much that I never feel I have to post and never feel it is a chore.
MY BEST POST
My personal favourite would have to be a shot of my dad that I took in June 2013 for the Weekend Hashtag Project #whpthanksdad for Father's Day:
It is a photo of my dad sat amongst this record collection holding a Miles Davis album. The photo was featured by Instagram and it kickstarted a project between me and Dad that is dear to me, @dadsdiscdelights. My dad passed away at the end of last year, and so this photo means more to me now than ever.