Thursday, September 6, 2012

Photojournalists Embrace Instagram

A Mound of Sugar in Brazil by Ed Kashi

The British Journal of Photography has published an interesting article written by Olivier Laurent called, "The New Economics of Photojournalism: The rise of Instagram." You can and should read it here.

With around 80 million users around the world, Instagram for iPhone and Android is one of the biggest and most successful venues for sharing photographs with other people. So it's no surprise that even working photojournalists are now using it as a social media tool to reach new viewers and maintain connection to their existing audiences as a way of reinforcing themselves as a brand. And for breaking news, it's also one of the fastest ways to get your images out to the world in real time as the events happen. This is why it's become important to photojournalism.

Even though Instagram has been criticized by a lot of people, supposedly because the built-in instant effects cheapen photography as a whole, I guess I would say to those critics, "Lighten up." The effects give the images a certain recognizable look, but I find them to be kind of nice. Of course, not every effect works with every image, but that's the benefit of using apps like this. It takes no time at all to try out all the different effects on your image, to see how they look, and then upload them to Facebook or Twitter or whatever. It's all fast and easy. Nearly instant to the point that it almost seems like the logical conclusion to the idea behind Polaroid cameras and films. Instant photographic gratification. And that sounds perfectly fine to me.