Shooting Challenge: Give Us Your Best Instagram

Illustration for article titled Shooting Challenge: Give Us Your Best Instagram

We all heard: Instagram sold to Facebook for $1 billion. And good for them; it's a great product. To celebrate, let's all bust out Instagram. For this week's Shooting Challenge, we want your best Instagram shot.


The Challenge

Take a photo (on your cellphone) using Instagram (and only Instagram!). Make it great.

The Technique

So here's the deal. You can't use any SLR photos. And you can't use other apps, like Camera+, to import a higher quality photo into Instagram. Take a photo in Instagram, apply any filters you like, and that's it. (Here's a guide to the best filters by situation.)

Why the limitations? Think of this post as a little time capsule, a place and time where Instagram was a thing and you used crummy phone camera to take most of your shots. Imagine that this post will be shared in the Smithsonian—and it probably will—and your task is to document the tools of the trade, as much as showcase your own unique viewpoint when all else is basically equal.


The Example

Our lead shot is from my own Instagram stream. It was from the days before I used Camera+ before sharing. And boy did it look better on my tiny iPhone's screen in a loud bar than it does here on my computer in my silent, judging office.


The Rules

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced (read more on that above).
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to, not me.
5. Give us the shot in native Instagram resolution. NO LINKS.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.


Send your best photo by Monday, April 16th at 10AM Eastern to with "Instagram" in the subject line. Save your file as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameInstagram.jpg naming convention. Include your shooting summary in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!

Mark Wilson is the founder of Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.



Lana, Lana,...LANAAAAAA!!!

I love the shooting challenges, but I hate the ones that tell us what to use, because I don't have an iPad and I don't use Instagram. I prefer the ones that give us a theme or a technique to use.