Top 10 Most Liked Instagram Photos – 2013

Here are the top 10 photos that I shot and posted to Instagram in 2013, according to how many likes each received. The list does not reflect what I think are my best photos. Still, it is interesting and surprising to see what people like. Perhaps I’ll create a list of my favorites in another post.



The list is very skewed. After an Instagram event in late summer, I became a suggested user on the service. That ballooned my number of followers from about 200 to over 20,000. The photos posted closest to that time have the most likes. Slowly the number fell off, although new viewers tend to keep the number high.

Of course, although the photos were all posted to Instagram, they were all edited with PicTapGo.

Interesting People on Instagram – f8kym

Since the release of PicTapGo, I’ve been looking at a lot of the photos from people using the app. The easiest way to do this is by searching for the #PicTapGo or #PicTapGo_App hash tags in Instagram. Our social media maven, Jeremiah, regularly reposts photos and writes up blog articles about some of these interesting photographers. Someone who caught my eye very quickly is f8kym.


I really enjoy her play with structure. I’m a big fan of freeway photography. But I also enjoy her playing with time. It is obvious to me that not only is the photographer exploring what she can do and wants to do with the techniques, but that she is also having fun. Her photos please me to no end for all these reasons.


I’ve been on Instagram for a long time. My involvement slowed during the dark times, but I seem to have been assimilated and am back to enjoying the community. There are a lot of good photographers on Instagram. There are some great ones, too. I hope to spread the word, um pixels, a bit about those inspiring me.

#lexusinstafilm – Making a Car Commercial One Instagram Frame at a Time

A few weeks ago, the Totally Rad team showed up to a special event as a sponsor and to support a friend of ours from previous Instameets. @mollymgrubbs invited us to help to create a commercial for the new vehicle coming out from Lexus. The commercial would be shot, frame-by-frame by volunteers using mobile phones, processed however the photographer decided, and published on Instagram. How could we refuse?

Step 1 – Go to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

The Big AStadium

Step 2 – Pick the frame you want to shoot.

Volunteer Putting Up Frame ChoicesMy Frame

Step 3 – Wait for your group to be called, enjoy provided meal from food truck vendors, check out custom cars from the local Lexus car club, and hang out with friends.

Chenin & Jeremiah Clown AroundPeople Talking and Waiting
Cloudy Sky on the HoodTasty Grub

Step 4 – Go with the group over to the location where your frame is set up.

At the Edge of the Parking LotThe Setup

Step 5 – Hand your iPhone over to the grip, who locks it in place to get the exact frame from the storyboard.
Step 6 – Press the button to take the photo. Allow the grip to take a second one just in case.

Grip Lining Up the ShotMy Frame Unprocessed

Step 7 – Go to the post-production tent to process your frame, using whatever photo app you want, however you want. Just remember not to mess with the crop.

Do Not Mess With The CropUpload to Instagram

Step 8 – Upload the frame to Instagram and tag it with the correct event and frame number.

Version 1Version 2Version 3

I knew before the event how I wanted to process my frame. PicTapGo has an unsung filter called “Paperboy.” I’m probably the only one that ever uses it. The filter creates a half-tone effect as if the photo had been published in a newspaper or old comic book. What is not to love? And I was certain that my frame would stand out. Of course I did play with the frame later on to create a few other version, but I’m happiest with the Paperboy version.

Click here to see all the processed frames.

The day was long and hot. My group got pushed back eventually to the very end of the day, so unfortunately I only got the chance to shoot one frame. I would’ve enjoyed doing more. Easy come, easy go. It was still a fun event. And I got to help create a car commercial. Cooper, Sterling, Draper, Pryce would be jealous.

My First Instameet #lajollameet

Over the weekend, Totally Rad was one of the sponsors for an Instameet in La Jolla at the cove. We had sponsored a previous meet in Santa Monica, but I couldn’t get to that one. La Jolla Cove is nearby and I had the time and the inclination to do some photography, so I went.

La Jolla Meet #1La Jolla Meet #2

What I found was surprising in a good way. Here were a bunch of mostly young people using digital tools in an interesting way. Instagram is part of the world of social media. But I use it just for photography and sharing photos and looking at photos. These people use it to be social. They meet new friends online via Instagram and then meet them in person at events like Instameets. For them, it is Facebook with cameras.

La Jolla Meet #3La Jolla Meet #4

It’s hard not to get caught up in the enthusiasm. Mostly people are exploring fun ways to take photos of each other and document the whole event. This is lifestyle photography as a social interaction. So cool. So not what I had been expecting. As a maker of tools, I had been waiting for the time when I’d find out what new and different things the next generation did that was their own thing. This was a peek into that. People just being creative with what they have at their fingertips.

La Jolla Meet #5La Jolla Meet #6La Jolla Meet #7

Of course, at the end of the day, I am more photographer than socializer. So my focus shifted back to what I wanted to do with my digital tools. The tide pools in La Jolla are a familiar place. So it was not too inspiring and was hard to find photos that I wanted. Even still, it is hard to beat a day of creativity and new experiences.