With the increasing popularity of social media, posting pictures has become a daily ritual for some people. Most popular social media today has some feature where you can upload pictures, but there are only a few that only have features to post pictures. The most popular one of these few is called Instagram. Instagram has a wide range of users, and amongst them there are professional photographers who built their profile on Instagram. Instagram has many distinctive features that allow pictures to be shared easily which can help many aspiring photographers to get noticed. With over 300 million active users, Instagram is not only a place where people upload interesting things happening in their lives, but also a place where amateur photographers can gain noteriety and become one step closer to becoming a professional photographer.
Instagram is an easily accessible application which incorporates sharing as a main feature and helps photographs to be seen worldwide. Instagram can be easily downloaded by anyone from any of the application stores on your phone. You do not need to be a photographer or have any knowledge of photography at all so it is easily accessible to anyone. In an article, “Here’s How an Amateur Used Instagram to Become a Successful Pro Photographer”, Michael Price interviews Chris Ozer who was once just an amateur photographer on Instagram but is now a professional photographer. In this article, Price states, “what started out as a casual app he used to snap pictures here and there, turned into a passion that was unintended” (Price). For many users on Instagram, this story may not even matter, but to a fraction of users this is the dream which they hope to achieve someday. Gaining notoriety is an important step in becoming a professional photographer because fame will eventually lead you to companies giving you job offers. This app helps anyone who wants to share their photography and gain notoriety by implementing many sharing features.
On top of that, Instagram has a very effective and systematic way for more people to see your photos. When writing captions, users can use “hashtags” or # signs to place that picture in a category. In a Huffingtonpost article, “The 100 Most Popular Hashtags on Instagram”, Brian Honigman writes about the usage of hashtags and their effectiveness. He states “using hashtags on Instagram helps users tag content of a particular subject with the # symbol to organize and categorize messages or photos” (Honigman). For example if you used #ootd, which is an acronym for outfit of the day, that picture will be placed in that category and when people search up #ootd your picture will be in there. Then he states, “This is one way of gaining more engagement for your photos and more followers for your account” (Honigman). In this way, there are many hashtags that people use and many people scroll through to look for nice pictures. Once they start to take notice to your pictures and more and more people follow you, you become “insta-famous,” which just means you are a popular Instagramer.
Keeping a consistent feed of quality pictures will always get noticed to help your fame to become Instagram Famous. Ozer tells Price in the interview, “I went up to about 45,000 followers and at that time I was lucky enough to be placed on Instagram’s suggested users list.” (Price). In another article, Abe Foreman-Greenwald interviews Euenie, an avid Instagram user who has two-hundred fifty-four thousand followers. She says, “Because I had consistent quality content, Instagram featured me on the suggested users list too so that helped boosted my numbers by a quarter of what you see now.” (Forman-Greenwald). Just like Chris Ozer and Eugenie, once you reach a certain level of fame, Instagram takes notice of your account and will give you a boost if they like your work. Consistent quality is just referring to how many times you post a picture of quality content. For example many of the more popular Instagramers post every day and they are all quality based photographs. A lot of these people are people who no one knew about until Instagram, and they are now the “top” instagramers on Instagram with followers amounting to the same or even more than the actual celebrities of our world. The daily lives of these “top” instagramers are a little different and almost religious in a sense of what they do.
Someone who is an avid user of Instagram and post daily photos go through their everyday lives with a little different duty in mind. The duty to bring their followers a daily dose of what that user has to offer. This may be different for what type of pictures you post, such as fashion, food, scenery, and blog based. but many of the followers expect something from that person they are following or else they might “unfollow” them. This is a term not many people on Instagram like to hear because people think they are telling you, “You’re not what I’m into”. With the vast diversity of styles and purposes on Instagram, this shouldn’t really mean much. But for people who actually put an effort into the pictures they post, this is a big deal. That’s why in their everyday life they have to find a time to take that nice shot, edit it, and post it. While some may think anyone can post pictures on Instagram, it actually takes a lot of time and dedication to capture that right shot and make it look astonishing for the viewers.
Because of the increasing popularity of Instagram, many companies own Instagram accounts to post pictures for advertisement and follow the social trend. Phil Gonzalez, who is one of the founders of the Instagram network, had an interview with Steve McCurry, an American editorial photographer. In this interview, he tells us how his followers on Instagram widen his audience, helping him sell more books and gather a larger audience at his exhibitions (Gonzalez). Amongst such companies that have Instagram accounts, local companies or small up and coming brands like to sponsor avid Instagramers. There are local small time companies that like to use submissions from other Instagramers and share those pictures with their followers allowing that sponsored photographer gain more notoriety and help the business to gain attention as well. An avid Instagram user with forty-four thousand followers, Liz, or better known by YoungAdventuress, states that “getting featured by bigger profiles will help you gain a lot of notoriety” (Liz). She was once featured by an account called wonderful_places which is an account which features pictures from other users and they have a follower base of more than three million followers.
User accounts such as, venturehawaii, hawaiiunchained, hvnapparel, redlabelclothing, and many more accounts like to advertise by having others take pictures for them and once they take a liking to a certain persons pictures they can sponsor them officially. This will help increase your fame and followers on Instagram because many people like to follow these local Hawaii based Instagram accounts. Through these users who share your pictures you will slowly start to gain notoriety and as you get more and more into photography you will know what your audience wants and you will sharpen your skills of photography and or editing to produce a satisfying piece.
Some people may think Instagram is a place solely for socially active people but there are actual photographers that use Instagram as a main platform to share their creative works and build up a portfolio. In this diverse community consisting of avid users along with the casual users, there are people who are starting to make a name for themselves as photographers with the help of this social media platform. Some have already gotten to a level where they are making a living out of Instagram or they were offered jobs as professional photographers. Instagram makes it easy for photographers to share their photographs in which companies with Instagram accounts may find an interest in and give job offers. Instagram has a diverse community and networking on Instagram is very easy with all the different companies and hashtags for such companies. If you wanted to work toward becoming a professional photographer you need to gain notoriety and what better way than on a platform which makes sharing easy and many companies are already a part of.
Brooks, Katherine. "27 Highly Talented Instagram Photographers You Should Follow Right
Now." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 14 Apr. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.
Forman-Greenwald, Abe. "What It's Like To Be Instagram Famous." BuzzFeed. N.p., 18 Jan.