The Shame of Instagram

On a recent Candid Frame podcast, street photographer Jonathan Auch said “the shame of instagram is you have a preassigned aesthetic.”  He went on to elaborate about the creative aspect of actual post processing, of shaping a photo to be the best it could be, and canned filters/ preassigned square format suck much of that creativity away.

When I used Instagram it was another ego-stroking method of sharing stuff to a network that is completely about photos. But to share actual photos I had shot with my actual DSLR and actually processed in a creative fashion, I had to chop 30% of the photo off to fit their format. And I usually lost the watermark that way. Meaning if a photo went viral on the internet, it had no attribution to my business- anonymous advertising.

Late 2012, the free service decided they shared copyright to everything that was posted using the app, and I dropped it immediately. Instagram’s new policy disintegrated by the end of the day, but I never used it again and as such never again had to dissect my own photos, never again was deluged by duckfaced “selfies” and food shots. In business as in politics, bad ideas never really die, and I figure Instagram will once again try to get the rights to its image base as soon as it can develop a stealthy way to do so without pissing off its users. After all, facebook paid a billion dollars for something and it expects its billion back with interest.


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I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, AZ. Main Site - Instagram @primordialcreative + twitter @dbmillerphoto

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