Unless you have been living in a cave for the past 10 years, you must be familiar with the free photo and video sharing smartphone app Instagram.
You might also have noticed the relentless flow of high-quality visuals being posted, from eye-catching perfected aesthetics to these too good to be true spur-of-the-moment snapshots. When “simply outstanding” seems to be the norm, where do we draw the line between amateur and professional photography?
First, let’s shed some light on the matter with a few facts.
Instagram accounted for over 1 billion users in 2019. That’s 95 million photos and videos shared over the world. Every. Day. And within this massive array of content, quality often hits the mark. Why? Free user-friendly apps like Instagram and Lightroom have raised the bar in terms of quality expectations by providing unprecedented tools and features to enhance images, everywhere, anywhere and by anyone.
Readily accessible resources (you might even be reading this on your smartphone, aka your go-to camera device) encourage us to give photography a shot, to highlight what we think matters. Or like Henri Cartier Bresson puts it, it’s about chasing our inner light, about capturing this decisive moment that makes for a glorious photography, about engaging with the world.
With such game-changing technologies, many amateurs may seem to have filled the gap leading to professionalism. But is that really the case? We believe it’s not.
You might not be able to tell which pictures are pros or not on Instagram. But it doesn’t matter. The end product sometimes doesn’t matter. What we mean is that it takes more than a spectacular end product to make a living out of photography. We have to bear in mind the intricacy and commitment that are asked of professional photographers. Every. Day.
That being said, we are free to (and we should) celebrate the work of our fellow human beings, be it on Instagram or elsewhere. But enough talking: since a picture is worth a thousand words, let’s enjoy some of Instagram’s best, captured by non-pros.