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Capturing the holidays with Instagram

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In an earlier article I gave a few tips about how to approach making meaningful holiday photos. In tip #3, “Share the Story with Everyone”, I mentioned using Instagram. In that tip I said to assign a second shooter to create a live photo feed on Instagram. Since then I’ve thought about how to use Instagram as the main system to documenting a holiday gathering and creating a unique gift for everyone at the event. In my previous article I spoke to the idea that great holiday photos are about collecting meaning memories that are not necessarily influenced on their technical or artistic clout. Here’s how.

First, don’t use your current personal account, but create a new Instagram user account just for the event. Next, enlist fellow holiday event participants to be part of your team and giving them access to this account. Once everyone has access to this account, go over Tips #1, Creating Photo Ops and #2, Creating a Storyboard, from my other article. Remember to keep it light and fun. If you want the other photographers can hashtag their photos.

Now the reason for this unique user account is that you’ll have your team taking pictures from different points of view all at the same time. This will create an engaging and immersive experience of that event in a painlessly. With all of these images in one user account, you have a couple of options. You can use a service like Instaport to download all of the images easily to your hard drive as a zipped folder file and pass that file to the other photographers and event attendees.

You can use a service like to make a print book and/or an e-pub of the event. The minimum is 20 pages, but you can make it as long as you want. Blurb Books has an online tool that will allow you to create either a 7 x7 inch print book or e-pub directly from your Instagram user account. Another service, Ink361, offers the making of unique gifts from the pictures from your Instagram user account, from prints and cards to phone cases. Keep in mind that someone needs to be responsible for editing all those photos, but that in itself will be a fun activity for you and members of the team.

So consider this approach to collective image capture, editing, and sharing for your holiday events and other important group activites in the coming new year. Give it a try.


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