Instagram Obsession and Insights + IG Tips App

For the past several months my husband and I have been going out on Instagram photo walks together around Oakland. It’s been fun to develop a shared hobby, explore new locations, and play with a different creative medium.

We were both sick for awhile, but this weekend was the first time we were out and about again. And the weather is absolutely amazing (it’s sunny and in the high 70s today!).

Here’s a shot from yesterday when we visited Lake Temescal for a bit after eating lunch. There were even people going for a dip in the lake it was such a nice day!

I’ve been enjoying exercising my photography muscles with this fun app and I’ve appreciated the new insights I’ve had into my creative process.

  • An unfamiliar medium encourages you to look at things differently. When I do intuitive painting I’m used to diving deeply into my own internal world but with photography, I’m more focused on my external world. I’m paying attention to the environment, to the details, to who and what is around me.
  • You have to try many different angles to get the shot. As a newbie photographer, I’ve learned one of the best things to do is to approach the subject from different angles. Shoot from above, below, move to the left, to the right. Experiment with where you are in relation to what you’re shooting. It’s a great metaphor for seeing how you can turn a situation on it’s side to discover new insight.
  • Indeed, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s been fun to follow fellow IG’ers from across the globe. We may speak a different language and I may not be able to read their captions or comments, but I can still see the world through their eyes when I look at their photos. It’s inspiring.

Join in the fun!

You can see a feed of some of my Instagram photos here or on flickr. Or if you’ve got an iPhone, get the app. You’ll love it! It’s got the social media connection aspect of Twitter and cool photo filters like the Hipstamatic app. You can follow me on Instagram at “jennlee.”

Instagram Tips App

If you want an orientation to Instagram and some tips on how to best use it, check out the pet project my hubby and I have been working on: the free Instagram Tips iPhone app. We’re doing an update this week that will talk about the new hashtag feature and more. Enjoy!

What’s on Your iPhone?


My husband is the tech-geek of the family, however, I must say that I love my iPhone.  I’m lusting after the new one with video and voice command, but will be patient for our next upgrade.  In the meantime, there are several apps that make my life so much easier and more fun.

I’ve highlighted some of my favorites here:


  • Vision Board Delux – The awesome Carla White just launched her new Vision Board app today.  Yay, Carla!  I’ve been having fun playing around with it.  Since I’m a big believer in vision boards (I’ve created my own portable vision board kit), I love that I now have a digital version that allows me to easily move things around.  I can create boards for very specific goals and also add my own positive affirmations.  Plus, Carla’s got inspiring images from a featured artist that you can add to your board.
  • Gratitude – Another one of Carla’s creations.  This was one of the first apps that I downloaded because it’s right up my alley.  I love what Carla has created with this simple way of noting what you’re grateful for each day.  Plus the icon is just plain cute!
  • iMantra – This app is loaded with lots of mantra options to help you meditate or feel more grounded.  You can also move the virtual mala beads for an even more meditative experience.
  • SUZU Meditate – A simple app that let’s you set a singing bowl to chime after a set period of time.
  • TED – Love TED videos and love that I can watch them easily on my iPhone!


  • To Do which I sync with Toodledo – It’s easy for me to organize and keep track of my tasks on my laptop and also access them on my iPhone.
  • Calendar synced with Google Calendar – I love using my Google calendar, so I was thrilled when I was finally able to sync it to the iPhone Calendar.
  • Kindle for iPhone – Originally I wasn’t into reading books on my phone.  I did used to have the Rocket eBook when my husband worked for Nuvomedia, so I’m not opposed to electronic books.  It’s just the iPhone screen is pretty darn small for reading.  However, I must admit that when I finished reading my library copy of Twilight for my book club, I just had to immediately download the next title in the series.  I was hooked (on both Kindle for iPhone and yes, the Twilight series!).  I love having multiple books to choose from at the touch of the screen and that I can read easily in the dark.
  • MileBug – I was more than happy to say goodbye to stuffing a pen and notebook in the car door pocket and having to enter all the data into a spreadsheet.  Now I just plug my trips in my iPhone, run a report at the end of the month and e-mail it to my bookkeeper.
  • HopStop – Helped me get around NYC by subway during my last trip.


  • Wurdle and Tangram Pro – The games I use to kill time or if I’m being a total insomniac.

Social Media

I also love to upload photos of my collaged vision boards, values cards, art and other inspiring pictures so I can access them for inspiration on-the-go and even rotate them as my screensaver for visual reminders.



I’d love to hear what apps you find useful, fun and inspiring.  What are your favorites?