With 58 photos uploaded every second and nearing a user population of almost 100 million – including our President – Instagram is growing at speeds that have already surpassed that of LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr, and even Facebook (and of course, Facebook took note of that and purchased the app, so let’s hope it doesn’t change too much).
The Value of Sharing Photos
Instagram is quite the catch for those of you who love photos, those of you who love to travel, those of you who love to cook, those of you who love to eat, those of you who love being a parent, those of you who love to take self portraits, those of you who love going to concerts, those of you who love nature, those of you who like to see what’s going on in the world — (okay you see where this is going……). Pretty much anyone can reap the benefits of becoming an Instagram user. I pushed it onto two of my clients last week during a child session and by the end of it the child’s father was posting behind the scenes images. Of course, it really is not important to put photos of new fingernail polish online for the world to see (and what’s up with the ring finger trend where it is being painted differently than the others?!). However, from a philosophical standpoint, Instagram is making its mark in history since the stream of real-time photo sharing is changing the way we communicate, almost as if to have a conversation without saying anything. For photographers, the essence of growing your vision is to allow your photos to speak. Instagram users are doing that everyday.
I recently had car window bashed in and some photography gear stolen. It was a considerable loss and (without going into detail) made me realize something significant about photography, its current trends, how much value we place on our gear, and what is considered to be “great work” by the vast majority. In conclusion: simplify. But of course, try to avoid having it stolen in order to simplify *insert scoff* My 15mm f/2.8, 105mm f/2.8 macro, 24mm f/1.8, and 85mm f/1.4 Nikkor were stolen. Honestly, I rarely used the 85mm; I have 2 manual (vintage) 135mm f/2.0 lenses that I found on ebay for $50 and prefer the image quality over the 85mm. In conclusion: I feel like spending $1600 on the “pro-grade” lens was a waste (sorry, Nikon). The other three lenses I rotated 90% of the time, and the 15mm was my wedding-go-to. However, switching 3 lenses around was a pain in the you-know-what. Miraculously, I found a lens that combines those three into one, and only cost $250 — the glorious Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 macro. So now when I go out to take photos, I’ll have a whopping 2 lenses in my bag (18-50mm, and my beloved 35mm f/1.4 that was safely at home on my desk when the thievery occured). OH – and my camera phone.
Do you realize how much more mobility this allows?!
Photograph What You Love, with Whatever You Have
With devices like phone cameras that have been added as a new medium for art-making, anything is possible. And sharing the photos is a bonus, now more efficient without having to sit at your desk, download, touch up, resize, login to your online account, upload, and then share to a social network. I’m pretty sure the day will come when dslr cameras can connect to the internet and upload directly from a session. But until then… thanks to Instagram for bringing us all back down to earth, serving as a reminder that perfecting skin and smoothing and cloning only takes away from the realness of a scene or an individual. While those things serve a different purpose, to be one with a moment and get to share that feeling with the world is a gift. Yes, I just got sentimental over a phone app.
Some of my Instagram Photos from this Year:
**Find me on Instagram: escapetolight