There is no doubt that Instagram has changed the photography industry but you might be asking how?
Making photography more accessible as a medium
Instagram has made photography more accessible to a wider audience. The smartphones such iPhones have made it easier for anyone to take good photographs, edit them easily and share them easily via the photo-sharing application Instagram. There are a variety of photo filters available to make the photographs to ‘pop’ without the use of professional editing software like Photoshop. Smartphone camera and Instagram have made photography convenient and accessible to almost everyone. These technological developments allow amateur photographers and in fact anyone to share their photos to a platform with a potentially massive audience and the feedback is almost instant making everyone feel like good photographers.
Changing the way we perceive the photography
It has also changed the perception of photography. Some photographers might argue that it has turned photography from something which was special and almost magical into something that is very commonplace nowadays. We are bombarded by new images every day on social media and it is so easy to get accustomed to them. In the world as it is today, anyone with large Instagram following can be hired to photograph a product as part of a social media campaign. The quality of photographs becomes less important as it is their influence what matters more. Many professionals in the photography argue that the medium devaluates the photography and they are probably right to some extent.
Closing the technological gap but making the artistic gap more apparent
While this technology closes the technological gap to some extent between amateur and professional photographers, the artistic gap becomes more apparent. One actually realises that it is not the technology that makes an artist but the photographer’s eye, vision and artistry. For me as a portrait photographer it is not so much about technology (perhaps about 10% it is) but it is about people. Taking a snapshot of someone or asking them to pose for a picture even if technically good does not bring the same result. The use of lighting is also very important in portraiture and fashion and can add to the mood and character of a person. .
What does the future hold for professional photographers?
There will always be a need for professional photographers but the medium is one that cannot be ignored by professional photographers. Those photographers who use the medium to their advantage to display their work and manage to grow a following and engage the audience on this platform will be seen as having more influence than those who chose to disregard Instagram as a medium. We live in a world in which brands look for influence on Instagram as it is where the younger generation hangs out - not reading Sunday papers anymore.
Zuzana Breznanikova is a portrait and fashion photographer. Check out her photography portfolio to judge for yourself whether her work makes her stand out.