Sometimes it feels like using Instagram is cheating on my camera. Why not take a "real" picture with a "real" camera and process it with "real" software? The short answer is, becasue Instagram is easier, and sometimes taking a photo is less important than capturing a momentary scene, really quickly and without disturbing it, then enjoying said scene sans camera. It might feel like cheating a little, but it makes life more enjoyable. For instance, take standing at a train platform:
I had bags in one hand and a ticket and iPhone in the other and we were about to go through the door to board, but dang the way that the light patterns were making the floor a grid, with the guy's reflective bag mirroring it was too much to pass up. There's no way I'd have time to get out my camera without the moment changing. But the iPhone was there. And so was Instagram, and voila! Something interesting, that is almost as much a surprise to me as anyone else since I didn't put effort into capturing and processing it. And, I boarded the train without being all stressed out that I was leaving something behind or droppign anything.
There's also the lovely ability of being sly. There's always someone using their iPhone at a bus stop. No one really pays attention to that. They pay attention to a camera aimed directly at them from four feet away. But not an iPhone aimed directly at them. So you can get some spontaneous and lovely street photos:
And then there's spur of the moment captures with family and friends. "Oh wait, lemme get a photo" works a lot better when the person doesn't have to wait for you to get your camera, turn it on, check the settings, aim, focus, fire. They're a lot more joyful about being captured if it happens in about .5 seconds, which is possible with an iPhone. And a quick filter from Instagram turns it into something fun:
That goes for delicate moments, too, when you know it's not possible to get your camera without ruining it:
But mostly, I love Instagram because it satisfies both the photographer part of me as well as the enjoy-this-time part of me. I can capture that incredible sunset, make it look rad in Instagram, and share it with friends in under a minute. Then I can enjoy said sunset until it fades to dark...