Hello and welcome back to my BCM241 research project!
As I stated in my pitch, my project aims to research the niche community of digital photography on Instagram. I have since chosen to narrow my research, focusing on street photography specifically. I have been participating in this niche via my photography account (@neesh.photography) on Instagram.
My observations during this project have mainly centred around the difficulty of creating a persona as a photographer on Instagram, and the ways in which Instagram as a platform is increasingly unfit for promoting photography work.
The failings of Instagram
Instagram as a platform makes it very difficult for photographers to promote their work in a meaningful way. This is in part, because of its focus on the ‘finished product’. Instagram is such an effective medium for manipulating perspective because it removes the process from the product. For photographers, this reduces the value of their work.
Building a persona
Research shows that the key to exposure on Instagram is consistency. This for me has become a problem. I want to use my photography account as a portfolio of my best photography work, hence the pool of usable photos is smaller because they have to meet a certain standard. I had originally planned to post more often, but prioritising quality over quantity has proved more valuable, both in terms of ethnographic research and the construction of a professional persona.
“The medium of photography tends to become invisible, while photographs posted on Instagram or other platforms are treated as pure and transparent data, from which conclusions about their makers and their audience are being made.”
Alise Tifentale & Lev Manovich, Competitive Photography and the Presentation of the Self, 2018
I’ve stuck by my branding guide in terms of colours, fonts, logos, etc., and I have a fairly consistent approach to editing my photos. Most importantly, I’ve utilised captions to convey context to my photos and personality to my persona. I’ve written about my approach in more detail in my other blog posts which are attached below.
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