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Instagram.  Maybe this is obvious but I find Instagram, and the community of people who actively use it, to be one of the most inspirational social media platforms. I love that the presentation is image driven, elegant and simple and I love the idea that a single image can be so expressive and impactful. Yes, a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. Or more!  For the past two years, I have been sharing lots of images on my Instagram (@stacybassphoto). One series, shot on my iphone during my (fairly regular) morning walks is called SKYSCAPES. It has developed through the platform and for me, has become a really meaningful way of sharing something beautiful each day. 

Unlike Facebook, where you “know” your friends, I follow many people on Instagram, from all over the world. These are people I am not likely to ever know or even meet. But yet, through their feed, I gain insight into their visual world. If you are interested in exploring on Instagram, I think you will be amazed at what you can find if you follow the bread crumbs dropped by other Instagrammers that you really love. 

It is this way that I found some of my favorites. Check out @kathyryan1, @taylortippet, @laurenlemon, @alisontravels, @hellpoe, @otherwisehope and @idalaerke for starters.  Inspired and brilliant images.

PicStitch or PicPlayPost.  As much as I love sharing images one at a time, sometimes it just doesn’t cut it– either because you have alot of images you want to share and don’t want to clog up everyone’s feed with 9 images posted in succession or perhaps because you feel each isn’t strong enough on it’s own but in a grouping makes a clearer statement or tells a better story. In these cases, I suggest either PicStitch or PicPlayPost– each of which will provide a seemingly endless number of options to collage your images into a perfect postable square.

Want websites? Photoshelter. Photoshelter. Photoshelter.  This is probably the question I am asked most often and I highly recommend Photoshelter. I have used their archiving and client-facing/sharing modules for many years and have recently converted my front-end website using one of Photoshelter’s easily customizable and great looking templates.  I am LOVING how the images display on the new site and it is so simple to update as needed. Perfect for photographers or really any portfolio-driven business.  And the people there are terrific, too. Check it out at http://www.stacybassphotography.com and go to http://www.photoshelter.com to learn more.

Paper and Printing.  Even in this ever more digital world, for many things, paper still reigns!  I have been (obsessively) making books using My Publisher bookmaking software for many years. Great for trips and vacations or really anything you want to be able to page through.  The product has continually improved  and offers a great variety of cover options as well as special features like lay flat pages and more.  The quality is excellent.  Test drive it at http://www.mypublisher.com. Also, in the paper category, I love (and use often) MOO (http://www.us.moo.com) and more recently Social Print Studio (http://www.printstud.io).  The former offers beautifully designed and image-driven business cards, calling cards, stickers and more. I have two sets of cards. One for interiors and one for gardens/landscapes and each set features 5 images or more.  Such a great idea.  And through the latter, I recently made a poster as a thank you gift for a wonderful weekend away.  Easy to use, great design and well-executed. Check them out!