By now anyone who is even very slightly interested in photography has heard about instagram’s changes in their terms and conditions. Elegedly (because I have only skim read them) they are saying that from the 16th January they will be able to sell our photos without asking and make money from them. These are the first major changes made since instagram was bought out by Facebook. If this is true I will definitely be deleting my account and downloading my photos to be kept for my use only. I sincerely hope that they will either clarify or alter their terms so that they don’t get the mass exodus which is on the brink.
However, I was considering my alternatives and where to put my photos up if I do close my account. I use Flickr but don’t want to start posting iphone shots on there because I like to keep that account for my ‘proper’ photography work. Then a thought occurred to me and it felt refreshing. Don’t put your photos anywhere. Print them, share the ones that move you. Frame them. Give them away. Sell them! Make another book.
Since I really got into photography I have always posted my shots online and awaited criticism and praise as a way of accepting whether the shot is any good. Ironically it was always the ones that I loved the most that got the least attention. I found myself following Flickr trends to get more views and comments in the hope that another shot would make Explore. The changes made to the algorithm which chooses Explore photos meant that all of a sudden none of my photographs were chosen and I found it hard to find my stride again – to take photos which were for me.
I lost my photography mojo a couple of years ago. I don’t even carry a camera in my bag anymore mainly because I have my phone everywhere I go. Anything I shoot just goes onto instagram. I wanted to make a second book to sell but I haven’t taken anywhere near a enough photos to make one. It makes me sad.
So maybe the instagram changes are forcing my hand to make a change for the better. Take your camera around, Erin. Don’t feel you have to share EVERY photo. Print them out and admire them. Go back to basics and feel the inspiration. I’m certainly going to try!