If you’re not already addicted to Instagram, you might think that it’s only used to share pictures of pop-up burger joints or poolside selfies. However, the photo-sharing cell-phone app is actually a pretty handy way of staying social with the Mazda community and snapping some super-cool pictures of your beloved Mazda.
To get involved, all you need to do is download the Instagram app onto your smartphone, pick a username, and start populating your profile with pictures of your Mazda. Check out our handy guide (see right) to taking the very best pictures to post.
There’s a range of filters and editing options available to make your pictures look (almost) professional. Plus, you can tag up your images using the hashtag symbol (#) to ensure as many people as possible see your snaps. And with over 300 million active users on the app alone, that’s a lot of eyes.
If that’s not enough, you can search and follow like-minded Instagrammers to see pictures of their cars, and search existing hashtags to get involved in the community. So, get snapping and sharing.
Frame your subject
Take time to square things up. Getting your horizon level really makes a difference and adds to a sense of balance. If you’re struggling to keep things straight, either edit your picture after it’s been taken using the free leveling tool in Instagram before uploading it or use your camera’s grid setting.
Check the background
When taking pictures and/or selfies with your Mazda, keep an eye on the background. You don’t want a tree or any other object sprouting out of your sunroof.
A camera can’t see light as well as your eyes can. Using an iPhone makes it easier to adjust to the focal point of your picture. Just tap on the screen as you’re about to take your shot. If you’re taking a picture of a dark or light car this helps the smartphone camera to adjust. This may mean other parts of the image are too bright or too dark, but your pride and joy will always be perfectly exposed.
Try to avoid shooting in the middle of the day as the sun can cast hard shadows on your image. The best time to photograph your car is the so-called “Golden Hour,” those precious 60 minutes before sundown. After that, the artificial light on streets and in parking lots can be used to great effect.
There are hundreds of apps you can use before you upload images to your Instagram gallery. You can combine or stitch two or more photos together, add pretty frames, add colors and filters, sharpen, and even add words to your favorite shots.
Keep it fun and try a different take on the same theme. When you’re shooting your car, try a close-up of a certain design feature. Or totally change the look and feel of the photo by converting it to black and white. And don’t forget to tag the image!
Hashtags: A Beginner’s Guide
If you’re not entirely sure where to start tagging your pictures and how to get them out in front of thousands of fellow Mazda fans, here are some suggestions to get you started.
#LongLiveTheRoadster (for all you Miata owners)
#ClassicMazda (for Mazda heritage fans)