Instagram & Photography

I have had a mixed experience with social media with regards to sharing my photography. My photography & my initial website was born long before the creation of the social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) that we know today.

When I first began to use Instagram (October 2010) it appeared to be a platform for photographers & photography lovers (which is what I liked about it), sharing mobile-phone-photography shots. Trying to make creative mobile photography shots. Although I loved this new style of photography I have to admit I was a bit snobbish back then and didn’t deem mobile phone photography as “real photography”, strange how the world & your opinions change.

One of my first shots on Instagram

In my early days of using Instagram I wouldn’t include any of my Insta shots on my website/portfolio. As I’ve mentioned although I liked the medium of mobile phone photography there was a snobbish feeling that if it wasn’t taken by a “proper camera” then it wasn’t “real photography”. I’m sure I was not alone in this mindset. I’m also sure that there are many people who felt the same way about the switch from analogue to digital cameras. As people we are always suspicious of change.

Another early Insta shot (Nov’ 2010)

My generation are probably in a bit of weird time, born in between the analogue & the digital age, but hopefully are able to appreciate both. It’s safe to say I have definitely embraced digital photography and over time I have left behind the idea that mobile photography is not “real photography”. Although I do still prefer my DSLR over my phone camera.

Alcohol Art (Jan 2011)

I tend to save Instagram for my mobile photography, although I have been known from time to share some of my DSLR work on Instagram or even edit them with Instagram filters.

A more recent Instagram shot (2020)

In 2020 it feels as though Instagram has evolved more in to a platform that is open to anyone who wishes to photo-blog their day to day life (which is now a trap that I have fell in to after recently creating a personal account separate from my photography) rather than sharing the art of photography. I do feel it has lost some of the artistic flair as it’s now been diluted by life bloggers photo blogging their day to day.

That being said there are still some amazing photographers who use the service to share their work. I think my biggest bug bear of Instagram is the multitude of accounts that seem to exist purely to share other people’s work. This frustrates me, I want to follow the original creator. Although I guess they have led me to find some amazing creatives, so maybe they have their place and my point is a mute point.

Winter frost (Jan 2021)

I have come to realise that art is in the eye of the beholder, it’s open to interpretation. We can all see the same thing differently, it’s about creating something that we as the creator love, and hopefully others will like as well. How we all share and view art is also changing.

If there are any other photographers reading my post I’d be interested in your views on Instagram? Do you have accounts? If anyone wants to check out my Instagram photography account you can find it at:


8 thoughts on “Instagram & Photography

  1. Ryan, it doesn’t even feel alien anymore as the flood of collectivism is huge and popular that the phrase everyone’s a photographer does not bother me anymore. For a long time it was hard for me to photograph looking at the LCD screen instead through world of a viewfinder. But as time passed, and i felt slow in adapting to mediums i had to say f* it and make images on a whim.

    Even though i enjoyed it and still do but one conclusion came out to be the difference that i was seeing in my final images. It has given my work depth for sure and more than depth the variety may be it needed.

    Anyways, enjoyed reading this essay of yours. I hope to communicate more on image making. I will be along. Thanks


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  2. Yes, I use Instagram but spasmodically. Like you I tend only to use it for mobile shots – I would use it more for my camera images if it were easier to upload from a laptop I think, but then that’s not in the spirit of ‘Insta’gram! When it first started I got caught up in the use of filters but I do that much less now, preferring to edit any shots that need it in other photo editing apps before sharing. I’m also experimenting with using it to promote my blog with only very limited success – I get very few ‘hits’ that way. Mostly I just see it as a fun way to connect with my friends around the world and share day to day images as you say – but ten, I do that much more on Facebook 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I connect with my friends & family more through Facebook. Instagram I use more for my photography. Lately I feel I struggle with Social Media, sometimes I feel the more social media we have the less we actually connect with each other.


      1. Maybe that’s true to some extent, but it’s been a blessing for sure during this lockdowns. I have a network of friends all over the world through my involvement with Virtual Tourist, and normally I would see quite a few of them each year, either on their trips to London or at the various meetings we organise. It’s been great to be able to stay connected 🙂

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