The Problem With Instagram and How It Undersells Your Photography

Nowadays, the majority of photographers have an Instagram account to showcase their work, while some even use it as their primary portfolio. But while the platform is certainly a great tool to get your work in front of the masses, it's not perfect, and this thought-provoking video essay explores one of the subtler reasons why.

Coming to you from Jamie Windsor, this great video explores why the Instagram format isn't always ideal for presenting your work, namely how the scrolling, small-screen, low-resolution environment may not do your work justice. It probably isn't news to you that your audience isn't really taking in the full glory of your 50-megapixel shots when they view them on their small phone screen, but I think Windsor touches on something really important that goes beyond this specific issue when he discusses the idea of thinking about crafting how your audience experiences your photos versus just how they see them. That's not to say that Instagram is totally worthless; in fact, it's invaluable to a lot of photographers and highly useful for both showing and consuming photography. But it's not the only way to do that, and it's well worth taking the time to explore the other ways in which you can present your images to the world. 

Lead image by Jeremy Levin, used under Creative Commons.

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ettore chiereguini's picture

One of, if not the best, video about Instagram on youtube right now. Jamie's videos are outstanding.

Alex Cooke's picture

His channel is one of my absolute favorites.

Jordan McChesney's picture

I like his videos. He covers the theory of photography quite well, and he seems super grounded.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about Instagram, but at the end of the day it’s the best way for the general public to see my work. It’s rarely, if ever, the only intended way for people to see my work, but the sad reality for most of us is that it very likely will be, regardless of quality or intent. I’d love to have a small exhibition here in Tokyo, but since I’m a nobody my options are to do one at a small cafe or to pay for a space. It’s not really a good financial decision, but as he mentioned, maybe the feeling of seeing my work hanging up will be worth the 1-2k it would cost.

Thanks for sharing, it was a good watch.

michaeljin's picture

You should burn in hell.

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Brian Jones's picture

I just do not understand why you would use Insta or any other platform for your portfolio. Stop growing someone elses platform, improve your craft and #growyourownplatform.

Stop following the pack, and lead it!