Looking back over the past year I was thinking about how my photography changed, what inspired me, and what I’m going to do in the new year to keep the creative juices flowing. One thing I kept coming back to is my favorite hashtags on Instagram. If you’re not sure what I am talking about, a hashtag (this symbol #) is a way to label your photos (or tweets, etc.) so that they are grouped together with other like-tagged items in social media. So for example, if you use the Mortal Muses hashtag #instamuse and then you click on the tag #instamuse, you’re going to find your photo, plus hundreds of others with the same tag. The idea is to browse through the images to find other people with similar interests or ideas, those who inspire you, common themes, etc.

Now I know there’s been an awful lot of hoopla surrounding Instagram over the past couple of weeks, and I am sure there are many of you still angry about the whole “terms of service” debacle. Some of you may have even left Instagram in protest, or are planning to leave when the new TOS are launched later this month. Me? I’m sticking around. Please know that I completely respect those of you who up and left, and I too have lost some faith and trust in the Instagram brand. But for me, when I balance what I get from being on Instagram (community, creativity, inspiration, friends, and more!) against what I would lose if I left, staying seemed to be the right path for me, at least for the time being.


The main reason I decided to stay on IG is my love for the creative communities that I discovered in 2012. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without my go-to places for daily inspiration. I’d like to share a couple of them, and some of the amazing artists I met there, with you today…

The first one is Sunday Blues, found at #sundaybluesedit. They refer to themselves as “the Sunday tag that’s about the blues” where anyone can tag their interpretation of blue. Sometimes they will announce a special theme @sundaybluesedit calling out to see your blue self-portraits, your winter blues or your favorite blue place to go. Whether it’s a literal translation with a blue-tinted photo, or an emotional one dripping with sadness or loneliness, the images tagged in this community never cease to inspire me. The creative handlers of this tag are below in these beautifully moving self-portraits: Rebecca aka @repinsk (left) and Izzy aka @elvisandme (right).

My creation

Let me also introduce you to Mobile Artistry. Their hashtag is #mobileartistry and they describe theirs as a place for “creative edits, beautiful images, unique perspectives, stellar shots and happy accidents.” I can get lost in the collection of images submitted here each day, and I especially love their daily feature @mobileartistry where a chosen photographer explains the step-by-step apping process for their image. Below we have some madly creative selfies from the Instagrammers behind Mobile Artistry: Will aka @computerjones (left), Lanie aka @momma2maxh (center) and John aka @wolfeaugen (right). Thank you guys for this incredible community of powerful images that tell stories, start conversations and constantly inspire me to try something new.

My creation

I really encourage you to check out these hashtags on Instagram and the personal feeds of the artists who created them–I learn something every time I visit their worlds and I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

And before we go, here are just a few more examples of the images you’ll find at #mobileartistry and #sundaybluesedit. They are from some of the incredible people I “met” there over the past year (I’ve provided a link to their IG feeds below each image–if you’d like to visit them, each photo is better than the last!). Thanks to you ladies for letting me share your work here today, I look forward to seeing more in the new year…

glenda2by Glenda @butterflyblue

veronicaby Veronica @by_the_twilight

shannonby Shannon @lady_sleeman

palomaby Paloma @thewhitedove

Do you have any favorite tags or communities on Instagram? Please share them in the comments today. Happy New Year to all. Here’s to a creative and inspirational 2013!!

Christy | Urban Muser