Instagram’s new hashtag policy–and what you should do about it

Last weekend, Instagram changed the way they handle hashtags. Previously, photos were displayed in the order the hashtag was applied to the photo. Now, photos are displayed in the order the photo was posted–regardless of when you apply the hashtag. This means that you can no longer go back and apply a new hashtag to an old photo and have that photo appear at the top of the hashtag list. Instead, your photo will appear after every photo posted more recently than yours.

Instagram made this change to prevent spammers from adding popular new hashtags to their old spam posts. But the change has negative effects for us non-spammers too. For example, if you want to hashtag an old photo for a contest, your photo might appear several pages down in the hashtag list and no one will ever see it. Also, if you post a photo, and then go back a few minutes later to add your hashtags, it might be too late. For popular hashtags, your photo will already be several screens down and people may not scroll that far to see it.

So, what can you do about it? One thing you can do is add your hashtags to your photo before you publish it. That way, as soon as your photo uploads, the hashtags are active and your photo is the first one in the list.

I recently discovered an iOS app that makes it very easy to add saved snippets of text. It’s called Ditto Keyboard. It stores text for you that you can insert into any text field with just a few taps. I’m using it to store my commonly used hashtags. The app makes it a breeze to add them. You just tap the globe key on your keyboard twice to get to the Ditto keyboard, tap the text you want to insert, and you’re done.

Another thing you might need to do is repost photos if you want to hashtag them for contests. Check the hashtag you’re using to see how many photos are already tagged. If a lot of photos are already tagged and you don’t want your post to show up after them, repost and tag the image.

Posted in Instagram

2015 Mobile Photography Awards

I am very excited to have two photos selected for honorable mention in the 2015 Mobile Photography awards!

Leaf Close-up was selected for honorable mention in the Macro and Details category.


Elder’s Fern was selected for honorable mention in the Nature and Wildlife category.

Posted in Black and White, Exhibits

iPhoneography Master Class January 30-February 1, 2015

I will be assisting the always-amazing Meri Walker in a 2.5-day iPhoneography class January 30-February 1, 2015. The class will be held at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas, just outside Austin.

This will be the second time I’ve attended Meri’s iPhoneography class, and I’m really looking forward to it. Meri is so inspiring. She is a very skilled and experienced photographer. She has a deep knowledge of photo apps, editing techniques, and photo sharing. But the biggest benefit I get from her workshops is inspiration. Meri’s creative passion is infectious. My creativity really took off after her last workshop, and several months later I’m still benefiting from that momentum.

Please join us! You can sign up here:



Posted in Classes

The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur

For better or worse, the creative world is going through a massive shift, driven by technology and changing attitudes. An article in The Atlantic describes it well:

Pronounce the word artist, to conjure up the image of a solitary genius. A sacred aura still attaches to the word, a sense of one in contact with the numinous. “He’s an artist,” we’ll say in tones of reverence about an actor or musician or director. “A true artist,” we’ll solemnly proclaim our favorite singer or photographer, meaning someone who appears to dwell upon a higher plane. Vision, inspiration, mysterious gifts as from above: such are some of the associations that continue to adorn the word.

Yet the notion of the artist as a solitary genius—so potent a cultural force, so determinative, still, of the way we think of creativity in general—is decades out of date. So out of date, in fact, that the model that replaced it is itself already out of date. A new paradigm is emerging, and has been since about the turn of the millennium, one that’s in the process of reshaping what artists are: how they work, train, trade, collaborate, think of themselves and are thought of—even what art is—just as the solitary-genius model did two centuries ago. The new paradigm may finally destroy the very notion of “art” as such—that sacred spiritual substance—which the older one created.

Read the full article here.


Posted in Uncategorized

Apps Uncovered for January 2, 2015

Every weekend, Iphoneography Central posts Apps Uncovered, a collection of iPhone art and photography and the backstory behind each image. The theme for the first Apps Uncovered for 2015 is Hope and Joy. Thank you, Nicki Fitz-Gerald, for including my image Ivy!

Posted in Exhibits

Markham Vineyards show

My photograph “Autumn” will be exhibited at Markham Vineyards in St. Helena, California, as part of an iPhotographer Magazine show. The show starts January 2015 and will be on display throughout 2015.

Posted in Exhibits