I hate to say it but Instagram has defauted my mind into 9x16 and thinking "mobile first" is this what photography has come to, or do I need to disconnect and get off ig?

  1. I think it’s good to remember (if you’re old enough) that photography existed as a hobby before social media existed. You can still join a photo club. You can still print zines or self-publish books. You can still have your own photography website. You can still display your work at a gallery or your local coffee shop.

  2. Instagram ruined my passion for photography in multiple ways, I even considered selling most of my gear because it's so expensive. But I've managed to get back into it.

  3. Please don’t report me as a spammer. I’m simply sharing what kinds of messages I get on Instagram:

  4. Instagram is where I've met some of the most talented and creative photographers. The platform has shifted to more video (b/c of TikTok) forcing the photographers to create both stills and videos. Some accepted this and were able to pivot, but some kind of just refused and as a result are seen by fewer people. But yeah, the average IG photographer is no good but the top 5% are pretty talented..

  5. Unfortunately that's where the vast majority of photography social media is though until something better comes along.

  6. And IG still holds too big of a value in photography world, which is sad in term of what it can offer. The photos are so small there you simply cannot enjoy watching em. I wouldnt mind if IG would be gone some day, but at the moment it way to involved in our world.

  7. Exactly. The fact that it was photo-centric before was simply due to that being the medium available to mobile users at the time. It was never intended to be for “photographers”.

  8. This exactly. And you should always remember that tHe AlGoRiThM tailors your experience to the content you engage with. Want more photography and less crap? Stop engaging in the crap and report it as “not interested” whenever it appears. Instagram feeds of your engagement, that’s why it wants to propose you stuff you “might” like. It is therefore very easy to tailor it to what you do like by telling it. My instagram is mainly coffee, photography and one or two training videos, because those are what I engage with and when cancer strikes I tell them I don’t wanna see it.

  9. A lot of anti-IG views on here, so I'm one of the few old pros who is a fan of Instagram (teaches others importance of good images, engages people in photography, etc)...but I also think it's important to remember that clients will have many avenues for their photos, so shooting strictly for IG strikes me as unwise and as something that will soon be dated. Some clients prefer horizontal for their website layout, some prefer vertical for phone viewing, and magazines need verticals for covers and horizontals for spreads.

  10. Though not an old pro, I like IG for photos. Twitter is pure garbage in my opinion. Too much unrelated content and too much content in general always cluttering my feed. Back to IG, almost all of my followers are people I’ve actually met and that small group is far more important to me than 1,000s of randos on the internet. People complain about the lack of free advertising available on IG anymore and don’t realize that almost no one does advertising for free. The gravy train on IG has just ended in that respect as far as I can tell and people don’t like their free stuff taken away.

  11. If you think of Instagram as a promotional platform to give your "product" (here, your skills as a photographer) a display, you should be ok

  12. Unfortunately though, if Twitter is the town square, Instagram does seem to be the art gallery of the internet. The good thing is art galleries still exist in real life. We just need to convince more of our photographer friends to revert to using brick and mortar displays. The idea of "pop up" art galleries has always entertained my thoughts.

  13. My opinion is Instagram has always been terrible for photography, it just managed to get even worse.

  14. Ehh... Flickr started out well but most of the forum users came here, and the rest of us now just use it to dump our crap, and ignore the community. Also Yahoo bought it. Then Smug Mug wrecked it by trying to monetise it through subscription.

  15. Social media made art worthless if it’s not viewed. It may make you feel good, but the majority of great art online is out-viewed because of the overwhelming access to more dopamine driven content sources.

  16. That’s exactly right. As a commercial photographer, I can’t afford not to have an active instagram presence. I hate everything about the platform though, so I pay someone to maintain my IG for me.

  17. I'm a niche within a niche as I shoot street photography on film. I have my loyal followers in my (small) film community in my city who all support each other, but I don't seem to be able to break out of that niche.

  18. Unfortunately IG has favoured ads and promoting influencers, when they really had the chance years ago to create a great photo-first platform.

  19. There were plenty of attempts at this but the business model rarely every works out in a way that keeps the business sustainable: 500px, Flickr, Smugmug, photoshelter, etc.

  20. The company aside, Instagram isn't inherently good or bad. The technical decisions, the rules and the userbase together define a certain kind of approach to and style of photography. This style is, again, not good or bad. If you like it then great, use Instagram. If not then also great, go somewhere else.

  21. You have to ask yourself if the platform is more important than the restrictions it imposes. Personally, Instagram has nothing for me, there is no social interaction about photography, it’s all thinly veiled interactions to boost likes, views, engagement, etc. As a mobile app originally designed only for mobile phone photography, it’s become some weird thing that’s kind of fascinating to see from the outside as someone that’s literally never engaged in the platform after about a week when it first launched.

  22. If Facebook had a place where you could meaningfully post to the world… I mean… you can but that runs the risk of having a public account or having a page… if there was a public stream you could opt into like IG or Twitter Facebook would be much better… but I guess that’s where Meta will eventually go…

  23. Yeah flickr is great imo, there's plenty of good photographers to follow and there's tons of very specific groups covering all areas of photography. It's a bit dead in my area but there's still enough people to keep it interesting.

  24. I’m Flickr school of 2004 and still use it every single day. I dunno I get more engagement on my photos now than I ever used to. I’ve built up friendships and always comment on as many photos from people I follow as I can. I get tremendous enjoyment out of Flickr.

  25. I very much agree with this sentiment and its how I use Flickr currently. I definitely miss how active the communities on Flickr used to be, but at the core of it, it was always about the photos for me. And those are still there, still being posted, still as many sources of inspiration as there used to be - if not more than a decade ago. There is so much utterly astounding and inspiring work on Flickr, its ridiculous!

  26. I wish IG was 9x16...it's actually 4:5, which is a god awful aspect ratio. I mean at least give us 2:3, you know...the aspect ratio that all cameras come with by default.

  27. It has to do with your intended audience. If you take photos for money, having your own portfolio website sounds like the way to go. If you are mostly to share with your friends, and family that use IG, well stay in IG. At the end of the day, you want out there only photos you are comfortable with. If cropping makes your work more distance from your own taste, dont crop.

  28. I've unironically been considering removing everything but my 6x6 Hasselblad work from IG, and only posting the same going into the future. Who cares. Square format is divisive, but at least it fits on IG smoothly! In any event, all of my "branding" practically begs people to look at my photography on either my website or Flickr, not IG. This would be a way to keep a presence on Instagram without worrying about content, since the 6x6 is a pretty small portion of what I shoot overall.

  29. I'm mostly posting my work to Twitter also links from my Behance to my Twitter. Works better for me than instagram actually... I still post to IG but the very last (I'm also on VERO True Social) sometimes I even forgot to post to IG since my interaction there is generally low.

  30. I've never really liked Twitter tbh as it seems to be far to impersonal. Kinda like yelling into the void and hoping to get a response back. Also, it's algorithm is based on viral nonsense.

  31. No. Don’t ever think low res, compressed af, no color rendering control, etc as your first medium of choice. Program your shit for how you want your viewers to see it. Then make derivative versions for social.

  32. A 16x9 vertical….if you shoot a photo with that intention and composition, sure it can work but really it is a pretty horrible vertical aspect ratio I think. I have a hard enough time not butchering photos to fit the 5x4 ration in vertical. Maybe some people can make it work I sure as hell don’t think I can. And when I want to hang a print on my wall, oops I shot it in this dumb-ass format. I would have been much happier if they made some meaningful changes to their UI and allowed, god forbid, the phone to be used sideways. But they are really just catering to rip-off Tik-Tok videos (reels) and will force more and more of them into your feed - and have already. IG doesn’t give a crap about photography, they want to sell advertising and get eyeballs on there. If it means turning IG into Tik-Tok that’s what they will do.

  33. The same rules apply regardless of the aspect ratio.you just need to shoot more tall things or find other ways to consume the vertical width.

  34. Instagram was only independent for a year and a half before FB bought them. That was over a decade ago now. There’s no guarantee that IG wouldn’t have gone down this path anyway, ended up worse, or ended up belly up at this point. You can say FB was the worst, but we have no way to know what the alternative outcome could have been.

  35. Yeah, this is why I hate Instagram. It confines and restricts creativity of the artist by forcing everyone into using the same aspect ratios. It's terrible for photography and art in general.

  36. About 30% of my feed uses 1:1 - and the white background isn't the best idea as lots of people are using dark mode. I prefer the blurred edges look.

  37. I just post them on 3:2, I don't care if that's not good for the Instagram algorithm, but that's just me tho

  38. For IG posts, it's square or nothing for me. But in the past few years I've stepped back from posting there and am really only there to chat with a few friends on occasion.

  39. I use it strategically. I follow only people that seem to have a personality I appreciate and I actually make conversation with them. I've made actual now-IRL friends because I curate my experience toward talking to people who seem nice and not toward trying to get a lot of people following me (though of course I wouldn't complain). Not to get -controversial- but I wonder if there is a gender aspect here too - maybe women are more social and less uptight about chatting with each other?

  40. Women get more likes because they're women, especially if they're average looking or better and have a profile picture. It sucks but sexism and misogyny and getting into their pants is a thing. Some of the most attractive female photography friends I have, have private accounts for this reason...

  41. Not gonna lie photos do look better on IG at 1x1. They’ve Zucked us into using perhaps some of the weirdest ratios there are because of these things called phones and rather than getting with the point and doing what every other app does in having a vertical and horizontal layout they force vertical on us.

  42. I think 3:2 first, but leave some extra space around the frame. It allows me for easier post production crop for 5:4, 16:9, 1:1, print etc. But with every aspect ratio applied, photo is "different".

  43. Just follow photographers who publish in other formats. I haven't shown a single 16*9 so far, and that's true for the entire stream I get to see, too.

  44. It's really difficult, Image posting wise, Twitter let's you use your own crop and never has any problems rendering the images.

  45. It would be interesting if we had digital sensors with hundreds of megapixels, with square sensors, so we could choose our own aspect ratio....

  46. I don't see anything wrong with it to be honest, every aspect ratio has its pros and cons. It's true that social media has changed photography and other content forever but i think vertical formats have their own beauty too, more if you are consuming these audiovisual products with a phone. I mean that i dont think it's wrong to have your mind in 9x16 if you are being creative with it and taking cool pictures.

  47. It comes down to how you use it, the same rules apply in photog/cinematog/raphy regardless of which aspect ratio you use. I mean, I've adapted to using it, but in some senses, it's such a waste of my wide angle lenses.

  48. I started shooting a lot of video so I ended up slowly moving my visual aesthetics to be 16:9 and in landscape format, but featuring people so I had to fit them into that format in an interesting way. And then into more filmic aspect ratios like 21:9 but lately to change my brain into thinking more about the image than the aspect ratio I have been shooting portraiture in classic 8x10 format. I do however still like shooting portraits in landscape formats, I like the way I can either tell a story with the extra background space, or paint a really nice color field backdrop if I use an f stop that gives me a shallow depth of field.

  49. That depends. Is your goal to get likes and views or Instagram, or is it to be a photographer? Becasue they’re not even remotely the same thing.

  50. As a long time instagram user, I don't understand why questions keep popping up on here about "keeping with the times" and that sort of thing. I shoot film, I follow mostly film accounts and none of us seem to have felt any pull towards 9x16 or weird colour treatments etc etc.

  51. I mean, in order to take full advantage of stories, where most of instagram is these days, you do sort of have to crop to 9x16. I generally get about double the engagement in terms of views of stories vs. likes on ratio.

  52. Suicide Hotline Numbers If you or anyone you know are struggling, please, PLEASE reach out for help. You are worthy, you are loved and you will always be able to find assistance.

  53. As a hobby, shoot and crop however you want. For clients, find out what their need is. Instagram is the main source of my clients needs. So in my case mobile is king. Most of my work is for larger clients and cities who realize their social channels are important and have the budget to support that. Instagram isn’t killing working photography, it’s actually a very profitable side of the business at this point. Now if your just looking to share your work and/or feel better by seeing people “like” your photos as a hobbyist, you might be disappointed.

  54. I feel the same but I personally don't see any alternatives. IG is where I get traction, and unfortunately for me, I do enjoy kudos. I used to post on Tumblr but the platform is largely gutted. And I can't get any traction on Twitter. I'm looking at starting to compile a portfolio together for a book and considering having my personally favorite work printed.

  55. For any reasonable photo portfolio/online presence Instagram is trash of the highest order. So much so that I even prefer uploading stuff to Flickr bc even though it's dead, it gives you 1TB free space, full resolution pictures, and original aspect ratio.

  56. Instagram is not the end all be all of photos. Flickr is NOT a ghost town. DM your account and I'll engage with you over there...but stop shooting just to impress or fill the proper aspect ratio for IG which cares more about reels than stills.

  57. I honestly thought I was the only one to think like this, social media has this way of making you think it’s the only avenue for a career or to be successful. I just want to make cool things with cool people. Glad there are still people that want to do that. 😊

  58. As an artist (but mine is digital painting rather than photography) I really hate the prevalence of video and I liked Instagram because it was more focused on the images. I agree there is a lot of crap on there now though. And yanno what? Even the stuff that isn’t crap, that is actually pretty good, it kind of suffers from being shoulder to shoulder with so much similar stuff. There are artists out there producing stuff that’s technically shit-hot and it can still look ‘meh’ when it’s surrounded by the same kind of thing but not quite as good. It’s like everyone goes for the same ‘look’.

  59. Just stop worrying about posting at all. Take photos for yourself, and make the images you want to make, however you want to make. If then you want to post them, go for it, but who cares how well they do.

  60. I view instagram as a way to advertise your work and share your portfolio easy to other people. It's almost like a business card - you just give them your IG name, they follow and you follow back and now you have a connection to your work. I only really use it so people can see my portfolio really easily - I create a 1x1 crop in photoshop with extended white borders to make the images more appealing.

  61. It is, sadly, a glorified forum, lol. Do not post your work here. Or maybe, do it, you might be surprised.

  62. I agree, we need a better platform for posting images. I really like unsplash for sharing images, but it is definitely lacking the community aspect. As somebody mentioned before, printing your work is also a good idea, but that doesn't quite scratch the itch for something community-centric.

  63. I've set up a proxy server on my local network to test mobile websites (cheapest way to route to website thats hosted as a vhost, as you can't edit /etc/hosts on ios). Any way, if you visit instagram via a proxy, the thing just straight doesn't work - because they seem to block any access from proxies as theres a huge market of proxy providers that are used by bots to fake their countries of origin. Add one and one together then you realize that the amount of fake accounts on instagram could be 30% or more.

  64. Social media, in general, can cause a bunch of weird issues and pausing is good for your mental health. Here's a pretty good summarization of findings that back this up:

  65. Get off IG if it makes you think that. Photography is boundless. Give yourself room for balance. Yes IG is important for $$$, collaborations, exposure, etc. But your image making shouldn’t be confined by a platforms limitations.

  66. If you're doing photography to get validated then yep compose for IG. If you're doing photography because you enjoy it and posting it is just to share then just do your own thing and add white or black borders to fit it into a vertical layout.

  67. Yes, switch of instagram and listen to the Lenswork Photography Podcast. IG is not a good platform for photographers anymore.

  68. Join the white-border club, there's dozens of us! (edit cause that sounds oddly racist lol, I mean white borders around the photo 👀)

  69. I deleted my account a while back. The resulting shift in mindset surrounding not just photography but also day to day life has been quite profound. I won’t get ranty, but I will say that I had no idea just how pervasive other people’s life highlights were in guiding my own thoughts until I deleted my account.

  70. I realised that when I was banned from Facebook for 30days just how refreshing it was and how much the world is now Zucked. Once I was weened off it I really didn’t want to go near the comments section again.

  71. Well IG and the lazy but understandably easy portrait mode has been for those who like an instant hit or just to appeal to the mobile user and I get it but this isn’t photography as a classical art form. A variety of aspect ratios are to be enjoyed in proper photography and I love each variation be it portrait or landscape even 1:1 or perhaps circular. It’s about the art. Tie yourself into the handheld mobile phone vertical format and you’re just conforming to lowest common denominator users. There’s obviously a place for “the Gram” but it’s not photography as an art form as you’re just conforming to a set rule. Worst thing is those starting off an IG video in portrait then rotating the camera into portrait and for some unknown reason think that it will be ok. So let IG happen on the periphery and just get on with the classical style of photography feeling smug that you know better! Speaking personally I do use my iPhone creatively in a photographic sense, occasionally for video also but strictly 16:9 which is of course landscape. Also why be tied into a still format also? My Mother used to crop her en-print photos from BonusPrint to whatever she found pleasing for her scrapbook! Finally ( or should I say initially) my photography started with 620 film, contact prints and a Kodak Box Brownie, which I still have! So to be honest and slightly controversial, I can never understand why film cameras are so much in vogue as digital was such a release to me creatively! The elephant in the room here is, yes film is analog - but the majority of “analog” shooters end up digitising their results with a scanner digital camera rendering their creations digitally!

  72. Nah. I fight my clients (metaphorically, not literally) over composition being better in 16x9ish. It's my default approach and I rarely conceive anything in 3x5 or God forbid 1x1. I accommodate, of course, but IG aspect ratios have done a lot of damage to photography and those who consume it.

  73. It has. I don’t mind 16:9 as an aspect ratio. It’s 9:16 and producing content for co superior on portrait screens which is an antipathy to anyone who does photography. Publishing yes, you deal with it and work out as a desktop publisher make it work.

  74. Hello! This is a little late but if you’re hoping to be a photographer as a career and you’re looking to do work with different companies, knowing how to take a photo that can work in multiple crops including social crops is really important. I work in marketing and all of photographers are required to provide us crops we can use on various platforms AND print. If it’s just a hobby than eff it, do the photography that makes you happy. But if this is your profession, I don’t think social crops are going away any time soon.

  75. This is very wrong, and it's the slant of modern journalisms faults. Photographers are required to do two things:

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