Instagram TV has been a bit of a flop, which is a shame as the idea really excited me. However, it hasn’t stopped me from using video on Instagram.
I should — as always — prefix this article with a bit about myself. I am a commercial photographer who specializes in still life, food photography. Videography is a long way out of my comfort zone and not really in my skill set. It is also worth noting that I am no social media guru, I have a very small following and I don't really follow the rules as one should to get more popular on there, it isn't a great use of my time, although neither are the weekly videos, maybe I am just confused in general. But as I noted in this article https://fstoppers.com/business/if-its-worth-doing-its-worth-doing-badly-344540 "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” And badly I have done!
I recently saw one of these 30 seconds of 30 days videos on my Instagram timeline. I found it really interesting and thought I would have a quick play. I then quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be all that interesting nor viable for me to remember to do it with a deadline so far in the future. So I set myself the challenge of posting a 1 min video every Monday with some video clips and time-lapse bits of what my week had been like. Kind of somewhere between a Vlog and a Instagram story.
I am now about to post my 4th week's video and it is actually something that I am looking forward to making, even if a little cringe worthy due to my poor video skills. There has certainly been a massive improvement in my video work from week 1 to 4, although I was a complete novice at the start, so that isn’t really anything to marvel at. What was surprising though was how enjoyable I found making little snippets on a £20 action camera. I haven’t ever really found a camera small enough that would make me want to carry it around and use it outside of work or as a BTS camera during shoots, but as instagram is showing videos at such small resolution, this little action camera felt ideal and it has really taken me out of my comfort zone and got me using my camera in public.
The videos haven’t made any difference in my bookings or “following”, although my rather modest following on instagram does engage well with it and I see a lot more personal messages or even conversations in person about it. As I share things that I might not have in the past (mostly time lapses of me moving heaps of camera kit).
So Why am I Doing This?
I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I find it so enjoyable that I will certainly continue for the foreseeable future. I suppose it acts like a permanent Instagram story from a shoot, but in landscape. I am also learning a new skill in a non pressured way. It turns out videography is far more complex than I think most stills photographers give credit for. I am constantly stopping my shots too soon or having too shaky a footage. I am learning loads about something that isn't 100% my job, but is still in a creative field. This is incredibly satisfying.
Do I Think It Will Catch On?
No, and that is part of the enjoyment. It is something for me in a social media world where we are constantly trying to please others. There is no commercial viability to these videos, it is just a bit of fun and I urge you to have a go at it to.
Has anyone else tried anything similar?