Part of what interests me as a photographer is the way in which I share my work, the accessibility of it. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have changed the way many of us share our photographs, creative ideas and words. For me all of these tools are ways to engage people in my photography. It allows people to connect with my work and me in a more immediate and intimate way, going beyond the experience of viewing my work in a magazine, book or in my portfolio online.
Last year, the biggest tool I added to my camera bag was the iPhone-based photo-sharing app called Instagram. Instagram, or IG, is much like other social networking sites but it’s made specifically for visual sharing. Here’s why Instagram has influenced my photography:
1. It keeps me practicing, everyday: it keeps me always looking, exercising my eyes, searching for the nuances; the details in life.
2. It keeps me thinking about: how I am seeing, the way in which I approach a subject, my composition of a scene, and what I react to.
3. I’m always trying to find new ways of seeing, looking at the daily feed of images from iPhoneographers I follow all over the world on IG is an inspiring way to start the day. I look at that feed for 10-15 minutes and then set out for a walk and spend time making photographs of whatever it is I respond to.
4. I can share my images immediately: I walk throughout this city I live in and I look for revealing details, unusual scenes and moments that are telling. When I find them, I grab my phone, switch it to camera mode and I go for it. And thanks to IG I can share that image with you from the street within minutes of taking it.
5. It keeps me practicing, I know I said this earlier, but I have to repeat it because this is the one fundamental exercise that will help you grow as a photographer, practice.
6. It’s a visual playground, throw your inhibition and self-doubt out the window because this is a creative place where people just like you are sharing their daily lives through mobile photographs.
7. Support; when people “like” and comment on photographs you post you will instantly have created your own supportive photography community.
I’ve been making mobile photographs from phones since my Palm Treo in 2000. I have an image from that phone hanging in my house still. It’s a reminder that the best camera you have is the one you have on you. Remember it’s not the camera that makes the photo; it’s the person behind it.
Here are a handful of my favorite images made on my iPhone and posted on Instagram.
Lovers Series, Mexico City, iPhone image
self-portrait with iPhone
Bull riders, Madison Square Garden, New York City, iPhone photograph