A photographer’s take on Instagram + a collage tutorial!

My husband and I often talk about Instagram. He loves it. I was sort of late to the party because I have an Android phone, but I recently joined and I am hooked. My husband had been telling me about how amazing it was several months ago, and I agree now. But funny enough, I keep seeing photographers speaking negatively of the smartphone app, even making snarky remarks about the users; “Instagram doesn’t make you a photographer”,”Your Instagram photos are terrible quality”. But I think these people are missing the point.

So why do I like it, despite its bad reputation in the photography world? It allows me to see my dear friends experiment with photography. People who wouldn’t otherwise do it. Even my husband! I get to see images of my son, from his perspective. It’s easy, and fun. Truth is, while I love my DSLR, it doesn’t follow me everywhere. It gets in the way, sometimes. Snapping a quick picture doesn’t interfere with our moment. There are not many buttons to fiddle with to get the right shot. It takes away the pressure of trying to create a perfect image when I’m just trying to capture our family.

There is also the element of sharing those little everyday moments that I love. Just recently, I noticed a friend I hadn’t seen in several months was posting several images of her boys in beautiful locations, just exploring the outdoors. Because most images are tagged or geo-tagged, it prompted me to check out one of the places she went to. We visited Cox Reservation today and absolutely loved it.



A tutorial: Make an Instagram collage

After my husband had been using the application for a full year, I decided to print up a collage of all his images for his birthday. I loved seeing so many of his accomplishments, hobbies and interests in one collage. Here is the finished product:

1.  Download all your Instagram images using Instaport.me

2. Count how many images you have by going into your Finder/Folder. Decide how many rows and how many columns you will want. For the amount of images I had, I decided to go with a square format of 11×11 rows.

3. Open Photoshop.

4. In Photoshop, go to File > Automate > Contact Sheet. For my images, I created a 20×20 inches file in order to print in that size. Make sure that the resolution is 300 pixels/inch if you will be printing this collage and that you are using “folder” as your source. Because Instaport.me names your image by date, they will be placed in order in your collage.


5. Save the resulting image and print! I printed on a mounted 20×20 print and the finished product resides in my husband’s office at work. Makes me think It would be a perfect father’s day gift!

Even though I do love Instagram and everyday snapshots, I still think that nothing replaces having a photo session done with a photographer. There is just nothing like hanging a quality portrait on the wall. Instagram won’t replace professional quality portraits, of course, but I still see nothing wrong with having fun with it!

Follow me on Instagram!  search for esthermathieu


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