Hello everyone Today I’m going to talk about instagram, some love it, and some hate it. I was a “serious” photographer (as in I took taking photographs seriously and did it regularly) for about 2 years before I ever really got into instagram. Why? Because I HATED like it. I didn’t like any social media for a long time (I still don’t use Facebook for personal use). I thought it was a shallow way to present a photograph, a platform that would surely do nothing but create half-second views by people that just want to see the next cool thing presented to them and nobody on the service really cares about the artistic merit of the photographs. looking back this is the absolute definition of cynicism, I wasn’t on Instagram and I heard other people praise how wonderful of a service it is, but I didn't listen (quick side note this makes me wonder that perhaps language isn’t the best means of trying to convince someone of the fault in their logic, but actual experience is the best way to get someone to achieve understanding)
When I was in school for photography we had a social media class and were required to create accounts for all the big social media platforms, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, Linkedin, Pinterest. I did my student duties and posted onto the platforms and when the course was over I may have posted once or twice again but I never had any real passion for it. I didn’t care enough to put in the required effort to really build a following or contribute to any community. But then my viewpoint changed. I A few months ago I got this idea, why not try something different? Why just use social media as a platform to show images? There has to be some other, more creative way to use these platforms to create more good in the world. The idea I came up with was pretty simple, I combined my love for showing the beauty in the people of the world with my love for other content creators. So I decided that for EVERY photograph I post onto Instagram I am going to add a quote from a content creator whose work has influenced my life. Whether that be a musician, an author, or an actor. I want to help spread the ideas of the people that influence me (that aren’t photographers) because I feel as though that’s one thing that’s often underappreciated on instagram, it’s all about images and image-makers, but why not make it into a platform that helps promote all sorts of awesome content? I want to spread the ideas of people like David Foster Wallace and Nina Simone because their work fills my soul with love and gratitude and if I can help other people discover an awesome artist then I will be ecstatic.
I had nothing unique to contribute to instagram, so I just decided to do nothing at all, now I have all these people whose work I want to show to the world because what they make helps my soul feel more complete. I believe artists should take inspiration from the widest array of genres, in order to better understand the benefits and shortcomings of the medium that they choose to use. For example photography can’t show you the sound of someone singing, it never will, and that is one thing that really sucks about it. Photography is a silent medium, but through that silence it lends itself to quiet reading, to sitting alone in a quiet space where you can truly think about the thing that’s in front of you.
I love posting on Instagram, I love commenting on other people's work. Not just “hey cool photo” but actually taking the time out to mention why you think the photograph they made was good. I’ve found that at least 90% of the photos that I comment on get some kind of comment back because people notice when you actually take the time out to really write down your thoughts about their work. I finally feel like Instagram is a platform that can foster a community of people and that this community can help artists get their work into the world and positively influence others.
I love Instagram.
Follow me @jeremybrakephoto because I will be posting BTS and updates in the coming days for my exhibition “Find Yourself” hosted at Picture It In A Frame on 51 West St. Corner Brook.