This week's blog posts are dedicated to Instagram and my struggles with it.
I think it goes without saying, Instagram is the new Flickr. I guess it could be the new Snapchat too (if you think Snapchat has reached the end of its rope, which I don't think it has).
While it might be the best platform to show off pictures, there's a new factor that Flickr didn't really have: The feed. In addition to a photographer posting their best stuff, they have to also keep their feed in mind. If you're photos don't really work together, than it's harder to draw people in. If you post a lot of landscapes (good ones), you may start getting a following, but if you suddenly begin posting portraits, you'll probably start to lose followers. They come to you for the thing you do the most of; the photos that mainly dominate your feed.
That's the basic logic of Instagram.
Cut to me. I've never posted a consistent type of photo, necessarily. In 2015, I posted a portrait every day, and that started growing me a following. In 2016, I started posting drone photos and landscapes, and I started growing a following again. In 2017, well, I think I'm just going back to what I know before all this artsy crap.
Back when I was doing that whole 365 thing, I would basically document what was going on around me. Whatever photo I shot that day was usually totally dependent on where I was and what I was doing that day. I usually didn't go out of my way to create a masterpiece, I documented or vlogged (without the v) whatever was happening that day. I was busy working and doing college at the same time, so if I waited to make an art piece I would never have posted anything.
I had a bit of a post gap at the end of January because I saw myself getting into this whole "post only your art" business with my landscapes. My eyes were re-opened when we went to Asheville, because I just got to finally take photos again documenting our trip, I didn't wait until I "found the shot".
Posting only "art" is cool and I wish I could do that more, but I just don't have the time. I talk all the time about how busy I am, why not just bring my camera(s) along for the ride again? I think the reason I stopped is because documenting turned into groddy snapshots. Is there a middle ground? Is there a way I can take interesting photos that also document what's going on? Is there a way I could potentially capture the movie that is my life and post the stills from it (like I used to)?
I tried documenting via vlogging last year, but honestly, that's just not my jam. Vlogging is fun every once in a while, but photography is my thing. So why not combine the two by posting photos as if they are still from a vlog? Photo-vlogging, or phlogging. (incidentally the first photo in this post of the film crew at my job is actually a still taken out of a video I shot)
The past 9 years of my photography career (can I call it a career?) have been based solely in experimentation and figuring out what I even am. At this point, I can safely say, I've tried it all in an attempt to find out what type of photography is "me". It didn't hit me until later that I realized "me" is documenting my life in fun ways. The fun art stuff is the hobby.
That said, I still want to work on some art projects, I just don't have the luxury of time and I don't want my Instagram or camera to suffer for it. Yesterday however, I came up with a pretty awesome series idea that I really want to pursue, and I say that a lot, but this one made me tear up thinking about it. I want to finish it before the end of the year.
It's actually kind of a bummer I quit carry around my camera to capture everything for a while. There's a lot of fun weirdness I've missed out on. I've spent a bunch of time trying to be other photographers, but I'm just going to go back to being me from now on. With all the stress in life, why get stressed out about what to post next on Instagram?
Alright, so for next week's post. I'm making a video + blog (but not a vlog ELIJAH) post that asks the question: How many Instagram accounts do I need anyway?! (I may have a guest for this one)