Last weeks task was to implement an Instagram account plan. In the 6 days since I started to think about my Instagram account I have come to realise a few things.
Firstly this week I have gained 22 followers. This has mainly been through following, commenting and liking other peoples images. But what was the point of this? To add more of other peoples work to my feed so that I compare what I'm doing/ or not doing as the case maybe because of constant comparison to the work of photographers I aspire to be.
I haven't really had much I have wanted to post on my page. Maybe this is because I am thinking too much about what I should post or that I haven't really taken many photographs that I feel are either good enough quality or are in line with the presence and style of image I am trying to portray on Instagram. Whilst thinking about it throughout the week I have come to realise that actually the amount of images I see on Instagram have in a way blindfolded me to how I would like to make work and because of this constant worry about how my images should look I have gone down the route of not taking any at all.
I can see the definite positives of Instagram and that all these images can be seen so quickly and by mass audiences, however, there is also the negative points of Instagram. For example there are some celebrities in recent months who have been given the title of "Photographer" and have shot fashion campaigns for big brands such as Burberry solely because they have 1 Million + Instagram followers. I feel this is something that is damaging the photography industry. There are so many highly skilled photographers who could have done a far better job on such campaigns. I don't think its fair that a celebrity who has never shown an interest in photography until their publicist suggests they maybe able to shoot a Burberry campaign can be given a photography crew who do all the work and take the credit for shooting a fashion story.
I have spoken to a few people who were involved in a recent shoot with a "celebrity photographer" who was told he needed to order the lighting, find assistants and make the lighting look amazing so that this person can turn up with their iPhone and shoot the campaign. There were retouchers on set to retouch the images straight away so that they could be then posted on Instagram as if they were just taken on the phone and posted instantly.
This kind of thing is happening more and more often, and in thinking about this and how the amount of imagery on Instagram has clouded my own judgement and personal development, I am in the process of deciding whether or not to delete my Instagram page altogether and to focus on my images rather than the constant comparing myself to other photographers.
More on the Burberry example can be found here.