Back in January of this year, I started using the online photo sharing and social networking service known to all as Instagram.

As we all know, Instagram is an online photo-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take a picture, apply a digital filter to it, and share it on a variety of social networking services, including its own and other leading sites such as Facebook or Twitter. A distinctive feature is that it confines photos to a square shape, similar to Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid images, in contrast to the 4:3 aspect ratio typically used by mobile device cameras.

Of course in this digital age, some die-hard photographers will be hesitant on using Instagram. I will confess that I was one of them. But after five months of using it, I can say that as a photographer it’s worth using, and my reason why is the following.

Normally… When I post photos to Instagram. It’s usually a preview of an actual photo that I’m about to take. I gauge how well a photo is going to be responded to or “liked” by the amount of people that comment or like the Instagram photo. The responses to my Instagram posts are always a gauge of how well I did with my personal styling in selecting the subject that I choose to photograph.

A picture that gets fifteen likes or more verses one that only gets two or three says a lot about where I hit and miss in capturing the subject that I’m about to photograph with my Canon camera. This is one of those photos. It was well received on Instagram. (See below for the photo that was posted on Instagram.)

Building in DUMBO Brooklyn taken via Instagram

Building in DUMBO Brooklyn taken via Instagram

The photo above was taken with an Android HTC EVO 4G LTE phone. The instagram filter used was called “Inkwell.” The photo below is the actual photo that I had taken afterwards with my Canon camera.

Building in DUMBO Brooklyn taken via Canon camera

Building in DUMBO Brooklyn taken via Canon camera

After posting the Instagram photo of what I was going to take with my camera. I had noticed a large amount of “likes.” So right then and there, I knew I was on to something with the subject that I was going to photograph.

The Canon photo was taken with a Canon EOS 600D. Lens Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II, Aperture F/5.6, and Focal length 18mm, Shutter Speed 1/2500, ISO 200.

In a way Instagram can be used as a “Boilerplate Prototype.” Which is used to test various configurations or ideas of how you are going to photograph your current subject, and as well to test and gauge how a photo will be well received, or disliked.

In a way you are giving your followers an advance preview of what you are working on, while at the same time testing to see what kind of response an audience will give you to what you are working on. I feel that it’s better to test out an idea or concept, than to premier a major or minor photography work to the public. And it’s not well received.

One thing to remember as a photographer just starting out or hobbyist, is the following. “Keep your Instagram account looking professional.” What I mean by this is the following. In the world of social media one is always trying to promote and advance business. If you are going to use Instagram to post or highlight your photography work, then don’t post photos that might be an embarrassment to you or your brand. Such as photos of you and your drunken friends out in wild night on the Vegas strip.

Granted you can tell a back-story to a photography project that you’re working on via Instagram. Just use good judgment before you post something. But overall I feel that one can use Instagram to promote your photography work.

You can follow me on Instagram at.: http://instagram.com/jpegimagephotography/


  1. I, too, use Instagram for photos sometimes and like the results it gets. I don’t understand some of the negativity associated with using it. To each their own, I suppose.

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