If you’re like me (and 200-million other people on this planet) you probably have an Instagram account. Instagram has redefined instant photo-sharing, making our mobile phones vessels to show the world what we eat, where we travel, and what our pets are doing. For me, I use it to share my life. Outings with friends, which are typically photography-related, end up as “behind the scenes” shares on my Instagram account, and meals at restaurants turn into mini-photo-shoots, assuming that the light near our table is decent enough for a photograph.
Mobile-only on Instagram?
For the most part, all of my postings to Instagram thus far have been with my iPhone. As a professional photographer, I do take a lot of photos with my iPhone, but I obviously have other images I create with my “real” camera, much “higher quality” photographs, that I could be sharing as well. Up to this point, I chose to only post photos that were photographed with my iPhone, keeping Instagram a “mobile only” platform. I also preferred to follow other users who did the same.
I can even remember giving my husband, Brian, a little bit of flack after coming back from a recent trip to Australia where he was traveling with a small group of social-media influencers. He had started to fall into the “trend” of sharing non-mobile photos to Instagram that he had photographed using his Sony A7. “Selling out, are you?” is what I sarcastically uttered to him as I started to see his posts come through on the feed. I tended to view Instagram much different than the typical online gallery filled with retouched, professional-looking photographs.
Most of my images on Instagram were photographed with my iPhone. I share photos of my travels, behind-the-scenes images of my camera setup, the (rare) selfie … and of course, I couldn’t forget to photograph my dog, Kodak.
Times are a changin’…
My “mobile-only” approach with Instagram started to change just a few weeks ago when I got a Fuji X-T1. One of the features of many new cameras is the ability to use Wi-Fi to transmit photos directly to my iPhone. At first, I was still determined to only use my iPhone to share photos, but as I used my new Fuji camera more and more I started to wonder why I was limiting myself. I was creating beautiful photos with my camera, so why not share them on Instagram?
Since this “revelation” I have come up with a new Instagram workflow which allows me to post the photographs from my Fuji directly to my Instagram feed:
- First, I will photograph a scene I want to share using my Fuji X-T1. Oftentimes I will even change my in-camera settings so that the aspect ratio is square (1:1). This allows me to properly compose my photograph in-camera.
- Next, I will use the built-in Wi-Fi on my Fuji to transfer the photo over to my iPhone.
- Then, I edit the photo using only my phone. Some of my favorite non-Instagram apps are Snapseed, Oggl, and PicFrame.
- Lastly, I will bring the photo into Instagram, make a few additional edits using their filters and adjustments, and post the photo. I will also tag my non-mobile photos with #FujiXT1, or something along those lines.
Doing this has opened up a lot of new doors for me. I honestly believe that most people don’t really care how we created the photo, especially non-photographers! (We photographers are a finicky bunch, aren’t we?) ;)
Recently I have been using the Fuji X-T1 to create photos I share to Instagram. These are a few of those images, photographed over the July 4th weekend.
Why post non-mobile photos to Instagram?
There are definitely some positives to posting non-mobile photographs to Instagram, and I’ve listed a few of them below:
- Higher image quality. Mobile phones are an amazing tool that allow us to create photographs in almost any situation, wherever we are. However it’s no shock that in some situations they just cannot perform as well as their SLR or mirrorless compadres. When trying to create a photo in low-light, or when you just want a nice shallow depth of field, a different tool is usually going to be a good fit.
- An un-filtered feed. This is probably one of the biggest arguments to posting photos to Instagram: the feed is not filtered. This means that Instagram does not selectively pick and choose which posts get shown to your followers (anything you post will be on your followers’ feeds). This is a really big deal, especially considering that most other photo-sharing sites (Facebook, Google+, etc.) filter the main feed in some way.
- Very popular social network. Instagram is an extremely popular social network, and engagement is very high. This is even more reason to share some of your best work.
- It’s all about photography! Instagram is one of the biggest mainstream social media sites that is all about photography. You have to post some type of photo (or video) in order for it to be shared.
What do you think? Share your comments below!
So, what do you prefer: “mobile-only”? Or “anything goes”? Please feel free to share your opinions in the comments below! I’m curious how other Instagram users view this topic (or if it even was something that was an issue to begin with).
Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of several print books and eBooks, and runs her own online store for photographers, the “Nicolesy Store“.
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