A Little Social Media Goes a Long Way: Why Instagram is for Squares

Shooting for Instagram
Shooting for Instagram.

Social media, especially Instagram ‘likes’, is not your measure of success. There are incredible photographers with small followings. There are professional, well paid, highly regarded photographers with a few thousand followers. Followers and ‘likes’ is not a measure of success- it is a measure of popularity.

Don’t fall into the trap of linking followers to success.

A great example is Bill Henson, undoubtedly one of Australia’s most famous photographers, has less than 10K followers. A friend of mine, a leading Australian food, product and portrait photographer, Tanya Zouev, has just over three thousand followers. Tanya has worked with the biggest brands in Australia. Numbers mean nothing.

Horseshoe Bend

Instagram is addictive. It was designed that way. Nothing is free. You pay for Instagram with your time.

Even if you go on Instagram twice a day for half an hour (sounds pretty reasonable), that makes seven hours a week. What can you achieve in seven hours? How many photos can you take in seven hours? How many blog posts can you write? How many new techniques for shooting or editing can you achieve?

#camping

There is something else as well. There is an Instagram ‘look’. Photographers are now aiming for this particular look and are becoming generic in their image-making. A quick scroll on Instagram’s main page will show a repetition of center-framed, highly saturated ‘epic’ images. There is no room for calm or thoughtful photography. Those images are there, but it’s not what a most of Instagrammers want. They want at high-energy fizzy drink. They want ‘Red Bull Photography’. So people shoot more of the same. The same locations, the same poses, the same filters and the same presets.

Insta_repeat

Myspace was big. Now it is dead. Flickr was huge and was great for storing and sharing images. Now, almost dead. 500px? Dead. Facebook was huge for photographers. Not any more. You gotta pay to get any traction on they platforms. It is one of the ways they make money. Nothing is free.

Insta_repeat

I am not anti-Instagram. I am on Instagram and I enjoy it as much as the next person, but I do know that it will never make me rich or famous. I do know followers are not my currency to being a good photographer.

Small doses go a long way.

I also know it was designed to keep me, and you, on there as much as possible. And that, above all, makes me very concerned.

Until next time,

Don

Just Make The (Photographic) Effort!

My partner and I are on holidays on the South Coast- three hours south of Sydney in the sleepy town of Culburra Beach. It has become a twice-yearly ritual to get away from the city and relax.

Bruce gets to bark at the birds, we get to make a roaring open fire and eat hot chips and drink champagne. 

It is also a wonderful opportunity to photograph the beautiful landscape and spectacular sunsets. Even more amazingly, I videoed the process too- please check out the video. This  is my first video. 

In the video I touch on making the effort to just go out and shoot. But really, that principle could apply to one hundred different things. I have a list (on Asana-a great app) and the thing at the top of the list that I don’t do is usually the most important thing to do. 

Moving To WordPress

Thanks for joining me!

Moving to WordPress from Format for several reasons. WordPress has better templates (even this free one is better than the Format one), WordPress is 1/4 of the price, I have more control over the layout with WordPress, the widgets and embedding tools are way better and WordPress has better SEO integration. Another reason, and this is important, is my partner uses WordPress. We can now share knowledge. If you want to know what a cake-eating Clairvoyant does, check out her page here: Denise Litchfield.

Here is what to expect: Bi-monthly photography blog posts with tips and budget-pinching techniques, inspiration and motivation stories and ideas, creativity tips and a few good rants thrown in.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Don

Welcome to my new blog! Why I moved away from Format web-builder.
Kings Cross, Sydney.