Let's face it, unless you shut yourself off from all social media (in which case, what's it like living in a cave? And how are you reading this blog post? Sounds like someone doesn't stick to the principles that I've admittedly fabricated for them), you've probably encountered Instagram in some form or another. Possibly because of the wealth of outraged status updates of people convinced that their food photos would be used without their permission when Facebook bought Instagram, or because you're friends with people who really enjoy filling your Twitter feed with a snapshot or twelve of their daily lives.

Or, yes, there's the possibility that you, gentle reader, are a user of Instagram yourself. And for that I do not blame you. The rise of quality mobile phone cameras combined with easy photo editing apps has led to a certain sweet spot being hit as far as phone snapshots are concerned. Not only do you get to take artfully angled photos, you get to imbue them with the exact je ne sais quois of whatever feeling or mood you wish to evoke, by way of various filters. A lone coffee cup beside a plate of macaroons is all very well to look at, but what does it mean? What are you saying? Are you content? Nostalgic? Melancholic? What does, in fact, your go-to Instagram filter say about you?

Look at you, all vintage – except in your choice of smart phone, obviously. You probably take pictures of your record player or old bookshops, making full use of the yellow and beige tones to pretend you're in a Wes Anderson movie. You fantasize about learning how to swing dance in between knitting your own scarves, and either actually shop at charity shops or just buy clothes that make you look like you shop at charity shops.

Nothing like some emphasis on yellow and gold to make even the most mundane items seem more vibrant. It's likely your poolside and picnic shots benefit from this a lot, brightening up the fun you're having and making it seem a touch more dreamlike with the fuzzy sides. You enjoy poetry, daydreaming, and floral things, and you may or may not describe yourself as a 'dreamer'. 

Moody, much? Making your photos look colder and flatter just emphasizes isolation of the pictures you take on your solitary walks, or of your book collection…or of your shoe-clad feet, alone in a bustling world. You like being self-deprecating but get super irritated whenever someone else points out your flaws. You like posting waist-down pictures of yourself about to watch a film, but not too frequently, especially not on weekend nights.

Why so blue? The washed-out filter and color so beloved by horror movie auteurs is another more melancholy tinge for pictures of childhood toys, or solitary items, or other everyday things that hint, obscurely, at solitude – whether desired or otherwise.  Excellent for taking a picture of the book  you're reading by the rain-spattered window. And other such setups.

Lord Kelvin
Perfect for the in-your-face retro feel you want for late-night pictures, or lazy weekend brunches, or anything that wouldn't look out of place on a road trip photo album. You take lots of action shots of people who are laughing or moving, and pass off the blurry effect as artsy and indicative of the transience of life.

Excellent for dramatic nature and self-shots, with the black-and-white effect adding instant class and the contrast disguising poor lighting. You either take a lot of party pictures or incredibly flattering sad pictures of yourself. You yearn for more excitement in your life but find melodramatic people incredibly annoying in a way you can't quite fully articulate to yourself.

You want your life to look like a movie. So badly. But you'd never, like, admit that to anyone. God, no. You might not even be planning on going into show business, but damn if you don't want to glamourise the hell out of every single night out you have. And for some reason you love taking photos of people's drinks – better still if there's a drinks table at any given party that twinkles under the dim lights.

Your go-to filter for playing up bright colors and accessories in your Outfit Of The Day pictures. You love music festivals, blowing bubbles, plastic sunglasses with neon frames, and summer fashion. Your friends would probably describe you as quirky. Your enemies probably describe you as annoying.

No way would you be caught posting a filter-less photo…but no way would you be caught trying to noticeably jazz up your photos like some people, either. Or maybe you're just not that bothered about Instagram. Whatever, Amaro makes your skin look great and gives your photos a better light, so who cares? Ooh, you're totally going to make this your profile picture…

What's your favourite Instagram filter? Do you agree with the above characterizations? Share your opinions in the comments!

Author Bio
Elise Lévêque enjoys any opportunity to share her thoughts (and pictures!) on social media. She blogs for Cartridge Shop.

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