You think you are a photographer because Instagram does the work for you

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So now that you’re a professional photographer, you need to capture the simpler things in life. All of them. It is your duty as an artist, after all. And there is nothing simpler than your pretentious foodie excursions. You posted an Instagram-ed picture of a handful of blueberries the other day. What would your day have been without those blueberries? Would you have felt a little less connected to the earth and, ultimately, yourself? Would you have felt guilty about letting all of nature’s candy go to waste? Or perhaps the real question is this: how disappointed would you have felt if your beautiful, plump blueberries got less than 15 likes? It would have made blueberry picking pretty pointless, right? But no, you are popular and people like to feel earthy and spontaneous by livng vicariously through you and your blueberry-picking adventure.

via McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: An Open Letter to People Who Take Pictures of Food With Instagram..

There Are 22 Comments On This Article.

  1. Travis Alex

    Oh this is magical…I had to read the whole article as soon as I knew this rant was about people on instagram who post food 24/7.

    I think within certain limits it’s OK to post a photo of some food…maybe once a month or spotty around a years time…but if you are posting something food related more then once a week, get off my feed…do not pass go, do not collect $200.

    Great post really. Made my day.

  2. There’s so much venom towards food photography (really, foodporn) on instagram!

    I hate it when people post pictures of their cats incessantly, so I unfollow them. But somehow food photos! People get frenzied with their disfavor. Unfollowing is not enough, it seems, to really articulate this profound distaste.

    Loved the essay. Well written and very funny. thanks for the link :)

  3. if you’re not doing “something” every minute of the day then you’d have time to sit and think about life and thats scary

  4. hahahahaha !!! That’s why I don’t use Instagram. Sorry, but it’s like using a plug-in in Photoshop to turn a photo into a drawing. It doesn’t make you a painter…

  5. c.d.embrey

    Seems to me, that Katie wastes waaay to much time on Instagram (and the ‘net). Time to turn-off her computer and her iPhoe. Time for Kati toe leave her digital friends behind and to go out and make some real analog friends.

  6. When I began with photography, I remember hearing the suggestion that square format is much more challenging to compose a shot compared to 35mm. OBVIOUSLY they never heard of Instagram. #art

  7. Wow… talk about a whiny, rigid, downer of a person.

    Here’s a thought… get a life, kid, and let other people do what they want to do. It is OK for people to do silly things that have no effect on you unless you CHOOSE to look at it.

    Doncha just love people who want everyone else to adopt their silly, challenged, tiny little sliver of how things should be?

    • It’s hard to tell, in the virtual world, but I’m pretty sure she was using the idea of posting fotos of food to get at a larger issue. . .using the internet for validation. (“How disappointed would you have felt if your beautiful, plump blueberries got less than 15 likes?”). And I have to agree with her.

      Of course, we all need and seek validation. Some do it through posting images of what they bought, others (in the foto-world) do it by posting Instagrams of “today’s location” (look, I’m working, aren’t you jealous?). I find it a bit funny (not the “haha” kind) that so many folks (especially creative-types, like photographers) choose to define themselves by showing you what they can buy and where they are, rather than talking about what they actually think and just plain showing their work.

      That, I believe, is what Ms. Markovitch was getting at. I’m not so sure she was trying to get everyone to conform to her take on the way things should be.

  8. I’m totally in agreement with Don Giannatti. Who cares if people post photos on instagram? Why would that anger someone enough to write an article about it? Photography is in transition and just like anything else in the world, has its own macro trends and silly facets. If you are vastly offended by someone chronicling their eating habits, don’t look, or unfollow them.
    Yes, some people need this for validation, but for myself and many of my friends, we have a general interest in how our friends spend their time and what they are up to on the day to day. We care the same if a photo gets “liked” or if it doesn’t. These things only gain power when people give it to them. Everyone just take a breath and stop worrying so much.

  9. “Pretentious” – acting as though more important, valuable, or special than is warranted;
    Yep, you used the word. Pot calling kettle black, if you think people with a hobby are kettles.

    My message to you – get over yourself! What are you even doing with an Instagram account if it’s that bothersome to you. The entire concept is not one a “real” photographer should be interested in on a professional level. It’s a toy. A hobby. Some fun brought to us by the wonders of technology.

    Social internet services are like TV – the majority of content is absolute garbage, or at the very least worthless to viewers. But, those of us who like to watch are quite capable of picking and choosing what we like to watch without some armchair expert attempting to apply censorship on our fun.

    Disclaimer: I love iPhoneography, explored Instagram once, but it’s just not my thing.

  10. Well we can hate on social media, on Instagram and all these enthusiasts “stealing our jobs” or you can go with the flow and embrace change.

    For the life of me I don’t understand what is so difficult for photographers to get. Our industry is changing by the minute and that leaves many opportunities to grow your business..OR you can keep on doing things the same way and little by little watch your business shrink.

    If I had plenty of clients built up from years of work and was about three years to retirement I would not do that much socially. However, since I’ve only been shooting 7 years I want to be in this for the long term and I’m willing to embrace social media 100%.

    For me embracing social media transformed my career.

    Social media is not the future its now. Get with it.

  11. “Dear people who write blogs about how irritating Instagram is”. Why should you care how others express themselves? You write a blog post about it, hoping it will get ‘liked’. Who fucking cares? Insecurity.