Thursday, April 3, 2014

Instagram as a Tool to a Better You!

Some times when Me2 and I debate we have to agree to disagree, but we rarely disagree on the value of Instagram. Of course Instagram will always have a soft spot for me because I met many great toy photographers, like Me2, on Instagram but I also developed my own voice and personal vision.

There is something thrilling about posting images to Instagram and getting instant feedback from your peers. For almost two years I was posting daily pictures to Instagram, participating in the toy photography community, looking at others peoples feeds, trying lots of different styles and generally playing around in a no pressure environment. I have posted comics, interior studio set ups, quickie iPhone photos and over edited shots as I have experimented finding my personal voice. I have also experimented with a variety of Lego mini figures to find the ones that convey what I want say. All this intense editing, shooting and looking helped me to narrow my choices and find my place within this community.

Recently I was asked how I created the image below. The hope was that I could quantify the image into a f/stop, a film speed and an ISO to show others how it is done. But really, the secret is pretty simple: take lots of photographs. Did I say lots of photos? I mean A LOT of photographs, hundreds, thousands, whatever it takes. Of course luck has its place, but with more shooting this becomes less important. After you take a million photos you will know what works and what to avoid.

Sure, knowing the rule of thirds, how to control focus, depth of field and basic editing skills are also essential, but shooting thousands of photos will get you their even faster. And having a place like Instagram to post them is a wonderful outlet to all this content you have created along the way. The feedback (or lack of feedback) you get on your photos is essential. Having a supportive community to cheer you on as you struggle with your personal vision is a pretty heady experience.

So utilize the heck out of Instagram, get involved, share your passion, meet new friends and watch your photography improve along the way. Because Instagram is a great tool to finding your personal vision, becoming a better photographer and improving your editing skills. Plus, its lots of fun!!

-xxsjc


23 comments:

  1. Well said. Instagram is just an app, but the people there can teach you volumes.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jon for taking the time to reply. I know I have learned much from my peers about toy photography and where I fit into this crazy community. Thank you for being a part of it all as well as being one of my mentors. :D

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  2. As a novelist who generally has to wait years for feedback, I certainly appreciate the instant feedback that Instagram offers. I think it's especially important for people who are learning, and I've seen a lot of beginning photographers make great strides in a short period of time. It helps that there are experts like you who willing to serve as mentors. I don't think most beginning writers get that--either the feedback or the mentoring--and as a result, too many get frustrated and quit or end up wasting a lot of money and time to self-publish work that isn't anywhere near ready.

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