I don’t want to be another Instagram photographer because your images are only seen in the context of a social media feed. The images on Instagram are pathetic when compared to the printed equivalent. Even seeing a photo essay on a website or blog is better than Instagram. So why am I against the grain with this so called platform for photography?
I’m not against all the benefits and exposure Instagram gives photographers or the income or clients it has created for most people. It’s where the masses attention is, and It’s what the general public consume on a daily bases.
When it comes to social norms and groups there are highbrow and lowbrow (popular) social groups. This analogy comes to mind “If you feed the kings you eat with the masses. And if you feed the masses you eat with the kings.”
Think about this for a second. Are your photos not getting the attention or the time they deserve? Do you really want your photos to be seen for less than 3 seconds? Do you want to cater your photography practice, to fit into how this social media platform consumes your work? Or is there a bigger picture to your art. Is there a better way to get your message or story across.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Distribute your images wisely and widely. Don’t just put your singular (or multiple) images up on one media outlet, viewing platform, website, app, gallery wall, book, zine, harddrive. Your images need to be shared.
If you are or aspire to be an Instagram only photographer, great. The more power to you. I just encourage you to open your eyes up because there is more out there than just what is on your phone. The same goes for where your photos can be seen.
Your right, who really cares. The world is full of crap, copiers and mediocre work. And I can’t argue with that, but if people did more than just use one platform to share their work, the chance or possibility of more people seeing it goes up. Think of it like a book. Writing and publishing a book and placing it in one bookshop would be nuts if you wanted to get on the New Yorkers best sellers list. You need multiple bookshops, even online would be better. In fact, instead of just hard copies make ebooks as well and audio books. Do you get the point?
I want more for my photography
What I’m getting at is Instagram is not the be all end all for photographers. This platform is a good social media feed to get eyes on your work. But remember its also a great way to lower your self-esteem and question if you’re a good photographer because you’re not getting the likes so and so is getting. First off it probably just means your not an Instagram photographer, your images might be better received in a gallery or publication.
Remember not to put all your eggs in one basket. Think to yourself am I taking this photo for me, a series, a body of work or story, or am I just taking it because it will get good interaction on Instagram. It is where the masses eyes are, but do you want to be feeding this Lord Instagram and eating with the masses, or do you want to be your own media platform (blog) and eat like a King. Don’t hold up Instagram as your Lord and saver.
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- The Zen Photographer – Leica.com
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