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App is a snap for Insta-success

Nina Karnikowski (via SMH) | April 15, 2013
Mr Vella's work, mostly dreamy shots of land and seascapes on the central coast, has led to him becoming one of Australia's most followed Instagrammers.

Pauly Vella, a air conditioner tradesman from Oakville, who has 200,000 instagram followers.

"I'm now trying to get my foot in the door with professional photography, and Instagram's a good start": Paul Vella. Photo: Anthony Johnson

By day he fixes airconditioning units for a living. But by night - and by weekend - Pauly Vella takes arty snapshots and shares them with his 199,000 Instagram followers.

''Where words fail to describe, my camera lense [sic] will shine,'' reads the blurb on the 22-year-old Rouse Hill resident's Instagram account.

Shine it has. Mr Vella's work, mostly dreamy shots of land and seascapes on the central coast, has led to him becoming one of Australia's most followed Instagrammers.

His following has prompted Hamilton Island to fly him to the resort for a weekend ''Instameet'' next month and use his photography in an ad campaign. The island hosted him for the first meeting in November, when select Instagram users captured their experiences on the app to publicise the island.

Instagram, which invites users to take photos, apply retro-style filters and share them with their followers, was launched in 2010 and was sold to Facebook for $US1 billion last April. It has 100 million monthly active users around the world, including more than 1 million in Australia.

Gold Coast pop singer Cody Simpson has Australia's biggest following, with almost 1.5 million followers, then Miranda Kerr, who has close to 1.3 million followers. Other Australian Instagrammers with a large following include fashion bloggers Jessica Stein of Tuula Vintage, and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Vintage, who have both gathered more than 400,000 followers.

 

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