Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Add some glitter to your 'Gram

I've been getting a lot of questions about Instagram lately so I thought it was time to invite y'all back to Madame Sunday's School of Social Media and Sauce-itude (now accepting applications for Spring 2013).  I happen to love Instagram because I'm mildly creative and a terrible picture taker and that's their target user.

Essentially, you take pictures (smartphone only, cheaters) then jazz them up with some effects to give it personality and emotion which are the things we are all lacking.  Filters make the worst shit - like your face, your breakfast and you totally fucking boring life - somewhat consumable by others.  To be completely consumed by the Matrix is what we all dream of after all.

So here are my tips to guarantee INSTAnt success (that'll never get old) on Instagram.  Judging by my tens and tens of followers you can see I'm not only a client, I'm the INSTA-president.  (It just got old.)

InstaTip #1: The most important thing you should take pictures of is you.  Just like this here picture of me:
Can you tell I wrote this whole thing eight months ago?
Did you have a middle class childhood that left you with a fleeting sense of self worth but enough disposable income to buy a smartphone?  Well cheer up, Needy McTearbuckets!  Ernstergerm is a self-aggrandizers wet dream!  

If you're happy, sad or sitting in a car people need to see it because Instagrammers are all illiterate and do not understand the complex arrangement of shapes and lines known as 'words' that you use to create tweets or Facebook status updates.  Got a new shirt?  Me no understand - NEED PICTURE!

If you're a shy self-aggrandizer or just plain donkey butt ugly, don't worry.  You can take pictures of your feet in the popular #fromwhereistand hashtag.  

Bonus points:  "Accidental" cleavage

Demerits: Having a dirty mirror in your self-shot

InstaTip #2:  The only thing better than your face is a small face that lives with you.

But remember, everyone loves cats but not everyone loves your weirdo kid so choose your small faces wisely.  At least your kids are too young to give their consent when you post pictures of them naked and doing terribly embarrassing things.  Capitalize on that while you can before they start asking about a therapist. 

Bonus points:  Naked kids and clothed pets together.

Demerits: Probably cats. Sigh...

InstaTip #3: Your gastrointestinal tract is of utmost importance to the online community.  At every chance you get make sure to photograph what you are putting in your tummy tum tums.

But only if it is foodie-worthy, alcoholic in nature or a cappuccino with artful foam on top. 

Be wary with your filtering here, Instafriends.  Sometimes that greasy vintage filter that's perfect for your mustachioed gentleman friends doesn't always work for your meals.  I don't want to look at food that appears as if has actually been sitting around since the '70s.  

Bonus Points: Sriracha sauce (see noodles). Mentioning the farmer's market you purchased your organic food from. 

Demerits:  Taco Bell (unless you're being ironic).  Fourth meal should only happen in private and gives a whole new definition to food porn.

InstaTip #4:  If you haven't spent all of your money on your iPhone (or even if you have) remind people that you need a break from your hard life by taking a vacation.

I have a whole book of coastline fun here, if you remember.  And thus the reason I needed my financial cleanse.

Can't get to a beach?  Once you finish crying over your pathetic life, get to the mountains or a ditch somewhere and experience some real nature and shit.  I went to the mountains and purposely made my pictures look like a '70s NatGeo spread because I'm so ironic it physically hurts.

It's good to let everyone know that even though you love technology so much you'd prefer to have your corneas replaced with Instagram filters, you DO appreciate the environment.  Before global warming kills us all.  Hello 75 degree December.

Like how I appreciate this creek by my office where I go to pretend I'm a human animal during my lunch break.  It's also an example of filtering gone too far.  It looks like the filter I used was named "Post-Global Warming Unicorn Piss."  Sometimes nature doesn't need your help

Bonus points: "Accidental" bikini shots.

Demerits: Showing the jorts you wore to the creek.  

InstaTip #5:  Irregardless of whether you're going to the beach or a paperclip convention, definitely document your travels so all your loser, non-travelling followers can be jealous.  If they can't see the plane wing out your window, you never left home.

It's really high up and lonely and you get to feel almost like Felix Baumgartner.  We're all daredevils of the sky on Instagram.

You'd have to be a monster to not enjoy looking at clouds.  They are the kittens of the atmosphere.

Bonus points:  Making Fight Club references 

Demerits: Taking pictures of other passengers sleeping.  Please stop. Seriously.  It's not 'reality art,' it's fucking creepy.

InstaTip #6:  All people on the interwebz love exactly what you love so document your hobbies in detail.  I'm pretend to be a design blogger so it's important that I post random and inconsequential pictures of the ModSauce Ranch.

If you're a design blogger and don't own a Bertoia-ish chair then you should drown yourself and iPhone in a vat of eggnog.  Might not be a bad way to go.

But my design skillz don't stop at my front door!  Nay!  I like to appear worldly and smartier by taking pictures of famous buildings I visit.  

That's only about once a year for me so really milk it by name dropping.  For instance, this is the interior of the Westin hotel in Atlanta by John Portman whose firm totally followed me on Twitter after this.  And then immediately unfollowed me.  Guess they don't 'get' my art.

My 'art' being old JCPenney's stores at the mall.

Bonus points: Pictures of every package you receive.

Demerits: Your recliner.

InstaTip #7: Just like Jeezy said, y'all: put on for your city.  As this past election proved, only people that live in dense populations matter so don't let anyone forget how important you are by merely existing there.

I cheated - that's Atlanta.  Chattanooga barely counts as a city but we do have a few old buildings that TOTALLY COUNT AND DON'T YOU SAY OTHERWISE.

I'm urban.  Also we have about twelve bridges so your city better redneckognize.

Bonus points: Graffiti and pictures from the ghetto. Dumpsters.

Demerits:  Your happy hour at Applebee's.

InstaTip #8:  If you've done all of the above tips and still can't fake a personality it's time for drastic measures.  You'll have to find a niche.   Mine is all manner of Southern Gothic mediocrity and trailers.  
Path to a serial killer's house or a entrance to the gnome park?  Who knows?!!!!  Let's have Instagram decide!

If there is an abandoned building within 200 miles that is being eaten by kudzu, I will find it and document it for your mild enjoyment.

And because I live in the magical South, I have a ghost orb that follows me around and lives in my iPhone.  There's not an app for that.  It just comes with being saucy.  And haunted?

Bonus Points: Handmade Confederate signs 

Demerits: Not having a niche, you fucking loser.

InstaTip #9: When it doubt, just take pictures of sunsets.
Can you spot the sunset ghost orb?!
Or the sunset THROUGH autumn leaves.

Autumn leaves should probably be InstaRule #23893827878.

Bonus points: Sunsets WHILE doing extreme sports like rock climbing or beach volleyball.

Demerits: All sunsets are like kittens laughing lasers out of their mouths so you really can't go wrong.

InstaTip #10: Go big or go home.  Maybe you don't have a super saucy orb and sunsets just aren't enough for you.  Kick your 'gram to the next level with these advanced techniques.

Try the Diptic app when you want to combine shit together to tell a story.  About bricks.

Blender is a good app for layering and makes you seem mysterious and arty.  BECAUSE YOU ARE, YOU INSTA-STAR.

My favorite thing to do is be all poetic and shit and add the complex arrangement of shapes and lines known as 'words' to my pictures through apps like easyTITLER and Phonto.

Looks like Bill Compton went Hard As a Motherfucker on this trailer.
Preferably by pairing hip hop references with pictures of all the best white trash places my childhood home state has to offer.

LL Cool J ain't got nothin' on the this junkyard.  Ok it was someone's front yard..  Welcome to my world.

My personal favorite is the Soulja Boy/Savior juxtaposition which practically NO ONE ON INSTAGRAM LIKES which makes me like it even more.  Now I'm a misunderstood Insta-artist and there is no greater creative satisfaction than being too cool for social media.  

But you can feel free to rely on 'likes' and supportive comments to feel special by using the basic filtering apps like Picfx, Snapseed, Camera+, Afterglow and my favorite VSCO Cam.

Those apps will make any terrible picture look marginally better.  Feel free to verify my statement through my Instagram page or my tumblr.  It's all the same shit. 

So when it doubt, go for the shot no matter how terrible you might think it is.  It's like Drake told us:
Because a tree might fall on you at any second and we'll only remember you through your Instagram pictures.


  1. I love that my house made your list...even if it's in a 'does this belong to a serial killer' sort of way. The path that leads to the forest that has lost the battle with ivy is creepy.

    1. Your house is decidedly NOT serial killer-y but I do love to edit it that way. It's my art! Creepy ivy is my favorite kind! ; )

  2. Ok this is totally the shiz. And not just because I'm the random person that will totally post twelve instagrams (in that particular moment I shall refer to it as "insta-cram") all at once thereby making my app say "fail" over and over again like Facebook and High school all over again.
    *disclaimer - I wrote this comment after having a very fattening coma inducing lunch*

    1. I'm totally stealing Insta-cram. That's genius. I just thought it failed all the time because of the awesomeness of what I was posting.

      Disclaimer noted, friend. I hope it was delicious.

  3. "School of Social Media and Sauce-itude"

    I call it the SoSMaS for short, and pronounce the first syllable like "Sauce." Obviously.

    1. Sauce-MaS as in Spanish for 'More Sauce' is our school motto. We're global, baby!

  4. Ok, you totally saw this, yes? I finally have something relevant (probably not original) to contribute.

    1. Oooh lawwwddd that's hysterical! I hadn't seen it but obviously we have the same ideas about feet pictures and plane wings! Aahahahahaha *sob*

  5. Your secrets are revealed! I will now become a instagram goddess! Instead of the 10 pictures I currently have I'll tots have...12. Toddler Flails-a-lot generally uses any picture taking as an opportunity to scowl at the camera Sopranos style or, if the photo isn't of her, run like hell to roll in dirt. I swear she's worse than a puppy.

    1. Run! Run, my children and 'gram like the wind!

      Bonus points if you can get a puppy to make a Sopranos face.