By Jessica Bills
In April 2012, Instagram reached more than 100 million users and with the popularity increase, the app is changing not only photography but also photographers.
Darren J. Stevens, junior theology major, contributes Instagram’s success to the accessibility and affordability it gives its “insta-photographers.”
“Typically if you were to be a photographer, you would have to go out and spend about $700 or $800 to get a decent camera to take good pictures,” Stevens said. “Now, you can get a phone that’s like 150 or 200 bucks that has basically everything you need to take good pictures.”
However, Kayla Plouffe, freshman graphic design major, noted the negative side of the convenience mobile photography offers.
“Everyone thinks they are a photographer,” she said. Plouffe went on to say that raw talent can be seen through the photos that rely on the photographer’s aptitude rather than filter to make a beautiful image.
“In order to be a good photographer you have to shoot a lot,” Stevens said. “So the accessibility of a camera in your pocket enables you to practice.”
Gavin C. Crews, freshman graphic design major, has had his own professional photography business for about eight years. He added Instagram when it was released to Android phones.
“Instagram specifically has changed photography by making it a lot easier get your name out there,” Crews said. “You know something is great at advertising when people can book weddings strictly off of Instagram. So in that sense, it makes being a freelance photographer a lot easier.”
However, there are many restrictions and challanges in mobile photography.
“IPhones are limited in low-light situations,” Crews said. “You find yourself (looking for) new ways to light a subject. You end up kind of being like MacGyver.”
Instagram has limits, but when considering the influence the photographer takes into his or her own photography, that is limitless. One’s vision and execution of taking a photo can change through the practice from mobile photography and is not something an app on a phone can teach.
The endless profiles of inspirations on Instagram can challenge one’s creativity. Instagram is a great way to jump into photography without the expense of professional equipment.