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Up for Discussion – Instagram

When I put the call out for guest bloggers David from Blinded by Light put up his hand and suggested doing one on Instagram.  I thought it was a great idea.  It is a form of social media and one that many of us use.  I love playing with, but after looking at his post, I can see I don’t use it well, or nearly enough.  So take a look and see if you do.

To Instagram or Not To Instagram?

Let me just start this off with a short story, so lend me an ear (or two).  A couple of months ago, I showed the photos on my blog to one of my friends, who replied with, “Dude, I bet you’d have a really sick Instagram”.  Questionable language aside, I instinctively mentally scoffed and recoiled.  All I said was “oh, I don’t use Instagram”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat I was actually thinking in my head was “Instagram?? Of course I don’t use Instagram, as if it was some sort of bizarre insult.  I realise that I’m quite stubborn with my views on some things, but I am quite aware of it and I like to think that usually I have a reason for them.  In this case, I guess that for a long time, I’d neatly pigeonholed Instagram into the category of ‘casual photography’.  I thought that it was a place only for photos of cats and dogs and food, all taken with smartphones.

In a way, I think at some point I considered that Instagram and its filters somehow cheapened the art of photography.  This is absolute pretentious rubbish, obviously, but I do have my “back on my day” moments, despite not being that old.  I have been called a 1000-year old man before… Besides, I thought that anyone who’s a serious photographer (and has serious equipment) uses Flickr, right?  Well, and 500px if you’re really good, I guess.  I’d already been using Flickr for my old film/toycam photos on-and-off for years, so Instagram didn’t factor into the general scheme of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthings.

As I said, I’m a stubborn, stubborn man, so I held that view for a very, very, very long time.  Not until my partner Tiff started using it did I even think about using it again and even then it took a lot of convincing.  She picked up Instagram as an adjunct to her knitting/sewing/craft/life blog, so it didn’t seem super relevant to me initially, since I neither knit, sew nor craft.  I guess I do partake in a bit of living on a day-to-day basis, though.

The point is, one day Tiff was telling me that Instagram is super fun and that I should post my photos on there too.  I raised the above points to her, thinking I was making very valid points, but then she proceeded to show me a series of amazing photos on Instagram.  That sure showed me!  I was genuinely surprised to see photos taken using everything ranging up to 5D Mark III.  I started to use it, slowly, but I wasn’t really sure how to use it properly, alongside my blog.  Since then, I’ve OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeen Instagramming my old photos, along with ones I don’t think are quite good enough for blogging purposes.  Turns out Tiff was right – Instagram is a hoot.

Instagram didn’t invent the hashtag system (as far as I know, anyway), but it really does make it easier for you to find specific themes, as well as making it easier for others to find your photos.  I haven’t been using Instagram for that long, but I’ve already had the local museum and university alumni contact me and repost my photos on their own Instagram and Facebook pages.  I’m not making any money from them (I’m not looking to), but it’s great validation that people actually like my photos.

Don’t forget about Flickr

I do still very much like to use Flickr, but it was never really the same after Yahoo bought them out way all those years ago.  It might be just me, but I find the site irritatingly difficult to navigate.  It’s not that it’s actually challenging, but it just feels like it’s harder than it should be to find whatOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA E-P5you want to look at.  For example, I still haven’t figured out how to browse a list of the groups without typing in a search term.  In saying that, I’m nowhere near a professional level and I’m taking photos purely for fun.  I know that the pros are able to leverage Flickr to find work, so I know that the Flickr community is alive and thriving.  It’s become a place where I occasionally bulk upload my photos, not all of which end up making it onto my blog.

Other social media networks:

I’ve focussed on Flickr and Instagram so far for obvious reasons, but we shouldn’t forget about the other heavyweight social media sites: Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

In my mind, Facebook was the first of the big-hitting social media sites.  While I don’t use it for photography, it’s easy to see how it could be a staple for anyone serious about their photography.  It’s an easy way to interact with your fans, secret admirers, clients, what-have-you.  Plus, most OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERApeople use Facebook in some form already anyway.

Twitter is one service I’ve never quite figured out, so I can’t really help you here.  I guess tweeting links to your posts could work as an easy way to reach out to more people

Google+ is an interesting one.  I was one of the first to jump on the Google+ bandwagon, though I wasn’t hopeful that it would ever get anywhere.  Since then, it seems Google has bet big on it, rolling it into a lot of their services.  Some might say they’ve integrated it a bit too much, but that’s a discussion for a different article.  It seems to have carved a niche for itself though, lying somewhere between Twitter and Facebook.  It seems like its become a nice way to follow sites/brands/people you like, while still maintaining a way to interact with them.  Additionally, by setting up your own Google Plus page might also have the possible additional benefit of search engine optimisation.  No-one knows the search algorithms employed by the servers at Google, but it can’t hurt to have more hits to your name.

At the end of the day, social media sites should be viewed as additional avenues for us to reach out to more people.  My initial reaction to Instagram was just my stubbornness and arrogance showing through, more than anything else.  What I love about photography is that it doesn’t discriminate and it breaks down barriers.  A powerful image can convey a range of themes and feelings, without a single word, and that’s something that can be achieved with any equipment and through any outlet.

 

David.
Blog: Blinded By Light
Flickr: Blinded By Light
Instagram: @blinded_by_light

David has given us all his links above, I will have to make sure I am following him.  My Instagram is in the side panel, but I may have to see if I can start using it for other photos besides what I take with my phone.  

I hope you will all thank David for me, I think this a great post.  I think he is answering the comments, so any questions, David will answer them.  Thanks David.  I also have a gallery with some more images.  

 

 

106 Comments
  1. Thanks David and Leanne. When I first learned of Instagram, over three years ago it was in the context of someone who had an exhibition of his Instagram photos!! So I guess I have always assumed it was anything you wanted it to be. Your photos are beautiful David, and I may have a look at Flickr, which I keep hearing more and more about. Twitter is a good way to advertise your blog posts too.

    September 19, 2014
    • I’m glad to hear that you like my photos! And it’s great that you seem to have approached Instagram with the right mindset. I wish now that I’d kept a more open mind at first, but oh well. I came around in the end. I can see how twitter could be useful to advertise blog posts, but I haven’t quite worked it out yet.

      September 19, 2014
      • I noticed that you are using wordpress, so you have a very easy to use feature to automate posting twits at the time when you are posting a new blog post.
        .
        I don’t use Instagram and Twitter as much as I should. Thanks to you post it is going to change.

        September 23, 2014
      • I had no idea about that twitter function, so thank you! I’ll have to keep that in mind if I ever want to get more serious about blogging. I’m glad you took something away from my post too! 😀

        September 23, 2014
  2. Leanne, great post. I like Instagram. I’m trying to use it more. And thanks David for the post

    September 19, 2014
    • Yeah, I’m trying to use Instagram more myself. It’s thankfully really easy to explore other people’s photos, so even if I don’t post anything, it’s fun to browse and go around liking random photos

      September 19, 2014
      • It is. I looked at your feed. Nice images.

        September 19, 2014
  3. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez #

    I’m not on Instagram either, really. The pictures above are great and I’m a little ashamed to say I never thought of Instagram as a serious place for photographs. Who knew? My mind is changed. 🙂

    September 19, 2014
    • Hah that sounds a lot like me a few months ago! It’s good to know that I wasn’t the only one who had no idea serious photography happened on Instagram. I also learned to stop being so serious all the time. There is nothing wrong with cat photos. Leanne, for example, has an adorably grumpy cat that features on her Instagram!

      September 19, 2014
  4. Thank you for sharing David. I have been considering some of these avenues also. This information helped a lot.

    September 19, 2014
    • I’m happy that it helped. I’m not exactly an expert, but I figured that I’ve dabbled enough to cobble an article together 😀

      September 19, 2014
  5. Thanks – I was having the same conversation with myself and others as to social media – just have to admit that it is a fact of modern life – love it or hate it…

    September 19, 2014
    • I thought that you wrote that you were having a conversation with yourself about this, and I thought it was hilarious. Anyway yes, I think you raised a good point. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter if we like social media or not, because it’s definitely here to stay. The only difference is whether we leverage it effectively or not.

      September 19, 2014
      • Exactly – as an asset not a liability 🙂

        September 19, 2014
  6. Great post and wow to the pics! Looking good Instagram 🙂

    September 19, 2014
    • Thanks Julie! 😀 😀

      September 19, 2014
  7. Great article! I had never used instragram until very recently. I spent ages trying to work out how to sign up to it without an android or iPhone (which is surprisingly hard to do). For some reason, windows 7 phones don’t support it.

    (Incidentally, I worked out how to do it on a PC using Bluestacks as explained here: http://www.wikihow.com/Open-an-Instagram-Account-Through-PC)

    I still don’t think I get the best out of instagram though! I seem stuck in square format pictures, and most of my friends still just post photos of their lunch…

    September 19, 2014
    • Ooh nice workaround with Bluestacks. It’ll be a bit laggy, but it seems to be the best solution for you at the moment. The reason that you’re stuck with square photos is that instagram was designed that way. Squares are cool again. The rectangular photos that you can sometimes see are people being tricky and actually adding a white border above and below their photo. I’m using Android, and I use an app called Squaredroid to help do that. Since you’re using Bluestacks, you should be able to use it too. There are equivalents on ios, but I don’t know their names. And yeah, there’s a lot of food photos, but you should browse some hashtags and start following some photographers who take photos you like. That way, you’ll get more variety in your feed.

      September 19, 2014
  8. I’ve started an instagram account to secure the name.. but haven’t had the time to sit down and figure it out.. Sometimes I feel like the job of a photographer is 10% photography and 90% social media.. but it’s the age we live in and we just have to keep up.. sigh.. another thing to learn lol.

    September 19, 2014
    • I did exactly the same thing! My account is actually several months old, but I only posted one photo when I signed up, then promptly gave up. Then I decided later to get stuck in and it didn’t take long to learn. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them.

      September 19, 2014
  9. Another thought provoking post. However, Twitter, Google, Facebook… I do find it is sometimes difficult to keep on top of it all – hence the reason I missed MMC this week 😦

    September 19, 2014
    • 😦 hopefully you get back into next week’s MM! I also find it hard to balance everything at once. Sometimes something has to give.

      September 19, 2014
      • Nice to know I’m not the only one, David. Thanks.

        September 20, 2014
  10. I should probably add that there are two broad ways you can use Instagram. The first is to take photos with your phone and post them that way (as a behind the scenes, everyday life kind of thing). What I do is that I upload my photos to Dropbox and Google Drive from my computer, then I pull them on my phone and post them that way.

    September 19, 2014
  11. I’m always puzzled that people have the time to participate in so many social media networks. I’ve considered Google + and Instagram. I’m really not clear about the differences between each. One thing they have common is the need to visit them daily to maintain one’s presence by uploading and responding to readers. Maybe some of these people have an extra six hours in their day. Thanks, Leanne.

    September 19, 2014
    • I think the trick is to work out what works for you. I use instagram, but I really only post photos, I do it so the photos will go on facebook, then again, I don’t spend a lot of time on facebook anymore either. I’m David can give you more insight.

      September 19, 2014
    • I agree with Leanne, you need to find what works for you and how you want to use them. It’s entirely possible to simply post links to your blog posts on google plus and twitter as you write them. I’ve seen that before, it takes minimal effort, and it can work. I personally don’t use google plus or Twitter for my photos, because I’m not at a stage where I think I need to just yet. I have a good system going for me. I often export and upload photos to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive, which means that I can access them any time on my phone, crop them and upload them to Instagram. It doesn’t take much time, which is why I like it. For photos that I think are better, I’ll sit down and write a blog post about it when I have time. I hope that helps. I guess my advice would be that you don’t have to use everything. Try one service at a time and see if it works for you. If not, ditch it and try something else.

      September 19, 2014
      • Thanks for the thorough response. I must find the time to investigate the possibilities. I do like the concept that I could upload photographs from WP post instantly to Instagram. Again, thanks.

        September 19, 2014
  12. My one try at Instagram was when my hubby and I were at a San Francisco Giants baseball game and there was an announcement to Instagram your selfie and they would post it up on the big scoreboard. I frantically took a picture which tuned out kinda cool and tried to create an Instagram account on my iphone to post it. There’s where I got stuck. The iphone interface at the time was so confusing and I’ve never been back since. I do FB, G+, twitter, Flickr and barely 500 px. I think it’s important to have a presence everywhere I suppose but sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming. But that’s just me. Thanks for all this info…food for thought for sure and great photos David.

    September 19, 2014
    • Well, instagram has since been bought out by Facebook, so you can now use your FB account to sign up (I didn’t, but it seems easy). And yeah, I’d feel overwhelmed too if I was pushing my photos on as many networks as you are! At the end of the day, photography is just a hobby for me. As much as I wish it could be, it’ll probably never be my day job, sadly. But it does take the pressure off me in terms of social media. I can be a bit more relaxed with it, and the reason I share is purely so that (hopefully) someone out there will look at it and appreciate it.
      Also, I don’t think you noticed your amazing pun, in “food for thought”, since there are so many food photos on Instagram 😛

      September 19, 2014
      • LOL at the pun. I’m the queen of puns so I guess it comes naturally even when I don’t know it haha. And yes, I’m trying to be more relaxed about it in that I mostly interact here and a bit in G+. No way I can interact the way I’d like in all these places. Thank you David. I appreciate your response.

        September 19, 2014
  13. Amy #

    WP consumes most of leisure time 🙂 I haven’t tried to figure out Twitter, I had tried FB three times, still do like it.

    September 19, 2014
    • Amy #

      These are great photos! Thank you so much for sharing!

      September 19, 2014
    • Thanks, I’m glad you like my photos. I’m not just saying this because I wrote this guest post, but this very blog was one of the main reasons that I started blogging a lot more. I used to do it very occasionally, but never really sank my teeth into it. I think I managed to catch Leanne and Laura’s Monochrome Madness challenge as it first started (back when it didn’t have a name) and, well, as you can see, I’m far more involved with WP nowadays. The community that Leanne has managed to foster here is just absolutely incredible – you’re all so nice and have such great photos ^o^

      September 19, 2014
      • Oh thank you David, what a lovely thing to say, I am humbled, is that the right way of putting it?

        September 19, 2014
  14. A great post with some interesting insights. I’ve been using.it for a while, and like all platforms, you get out of it what you put into it. I’ve been putting a pretty big focus on it in conjunction with my blog, and my biggest payoff has finally come this week. Ottawa Tourism, the tourism board of the city I now live in, is featuring me this week as I take its followers on a tour of my favorite spots in the city. It is a non-paying gig, but you never know where something like this could lead. It’s just another tool to use at whatever level you like. My motto, as with anything in life, is to make sure you’re having fun above else.

    Nice read Leanne and David.

    September 19, 2014
    • Congratulations, that’s super exciting news! Like I said in the article, I’ve had the local university alumni group ask me for permission to repost one of my duck photos, and the museum also asked if they could repost my photo of the giant squid on their roof. They’re non-paying, of course, but I honestly just get a kick out of the fact that people like my photos. I also woke up to about 50 Instagram notifications on my phone the next morning, which was surprising but exciting.

      You make a great point, actually. We really should all stop worrying so much about how best to do something, or whether we should be doing this-or-that. If it’s not fun, then don’t do it. If it is fun, then keep doing whatever it is you’re doing. Easy as that. If you find yourself elbow-deep in social media comments and notifications and you’re not enjoying any of it, maybe take a minute to reassess where your priorities lie and whether any of it is even necessary.

      Thanks for your response, Shane, you raise some great points as usual.

      September 19, 2014
  15. I think I still need help with Instagram. It shouldn’t be that hard, but I’m not in yet.

    September 19, 2014
    • What is it you need help with? Maybe I can help you get started.

      September 19, 2014
      • I didn’t realize that you had to join on your phone first before you could see it on your computer. I finally took the time to look up the how to, and got myself up to speed (that’s about .2 MPH. I just posted my first three pictures. Thanks for the post that inspired me to take the time to get started! 🙂

        September 19, 2014
      • The web interface you see through your computer is pretty barebones in terms of functionality. In fact, you couldn’t even use Instagram on the computer for a really long time! I’m glad that you’ve managed to get started, though!

        September 19, 2014
      • How do you find out who you have invited? I have 128 following, which I guess means that I am following them. It looks like I have 0 followers so far, but Leanne started following me, and my number is still at 0. Oh well. I’m started. Thanks again! 🙂

        September 19, 2014
      • Hmm, that’s really weird, you’re definitely looking in the right place. Check again in a little while. Maybe it takes a little bit of time for it to refresh? Haha I’m not sure, sorry.

        September 19, 2014
      • What I found out is that you have to do everything new from your phone. I can’t do things on the computer. I can only see what I’ve done on the phone. 🙂

        September 21, 2014
      • Aaaaah good find! The web interface isn’t great so I almost never use it. Thanks for sharing that!

        September 21, 2014
  16. Leanne, time is my enemy. I don’t have any to spare. WP is all I can handle and on my good days I really work hard to promote myself and get around to hundreds of blogs. I follow so many probably in the thousands by now, and to do them justice, I really do go and at least click like. How do you keep up??? Thank you, David, for the information. I’m like Laura. LOL I got stuck on one app. for photos it being so confusing, I just gave up. One day at a time. xx Amy

    September 19, 2014
    • I think we all do what we can Amy, I like it, but only use it for fun, if I’m out somewhere and I remember I will get my phone out and take a photo and upload it to instagram, but I tend to only do it when I am out.

      September 19, 2014
    • Shane made a great point a little further up – try and have fun. I’d say give Instagram a go, and if you’re not having fun, then don’t bother. I have some of my Lightroom-exported photos backed up on Dropbox/Google Drive, so when I have a spare moment while I’m away from home, I’ll pull a photo from there and upload to Instagram that way.
      Actually, I just remembered that my camera (Olympus E-P5) has a function that allows it to connect directly to my phone wirelessly and transfer photos. So I could theoretically take the photo on my camera and have it on Instagram within minutes. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I’ll need to try that one out sometime.

      Of course, you could use it just for fun when you’re out, and use it to take quick snaps taken from your phone. Just give it a go and see what works for you, I guess!

      September 19, 2014
  17. Lovely post, David! And, thanks for sharing the article, Leanne. Loved your posts and pictures.

    As for me, I have also just recently started using Instagram. And, since I was posting way too less, I started on the 30-Day Instagram Challenge where I had to post a picture everyday for the next 30 days (at least, that would challenge me to share a picture).

    Here’s my Instagram feed : http://instagram.com/ankursunsharma

    Thanks once again! 🙂

    September 19, 2014
    • Ooh, a 30-day challenge would certainly give you extra motivation to keep posting more photos, that’s for sure. I don’t know if I can commit myself enough to do that and I would feel too guilty if I forgot on any of the days. You seem to be doing well with it though, so keep it up! Thanks for sharing

      September 19, 2014
  18. I have instagram and honestly I don’t see the point of it but showing off photos. It may be good to boost the popularity of your photography website/blog, but I found twitter is more efficient than instagram to increase popularity – mostly my blog get visitors from twitter links.. Overall I learn nothing from instagram. It is nice to get the praises and likes or giving likes to amazing photos. But that’s all..
    I miss the old Flickr when back then people actually had discussion about photography technique in groups and actually leaving constructive feedback on the photos. I learnt photography a lot from previous Flickr system. But now, I am afraid Flickr is just going to be like instagram… 😦

    September 19, 2014
    • I guess it depends on what you want from the social media service you’re using. If the end goal is to drive traffic to your blog, then yeah, I think Twitter/Google Plus/Facebook would be better. I approach Instagram with the mindset that it’s a way for me to share my photos with a completely different group of people who wouldn’t have otherwise seen them. I’m not trying to drive them to my blog (though it would be cool if it happened), I just like to share my work.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with Instagram, because you illustrate a really great point. My partner has coined it as the “social media trap”. So many people feel that they HAVE to use all social media to promote themselves. I like how you gave it a go, but it clearly didn’t work as well as other services you were already using, so you stopped using it. It’s a nice and simple approach, but it’s one that we all lose sight of sometimes.

      And yes, I also miss the old Flickr 😦 😦

      September 19, 2014
  19. Glad to know a “real” photographer likes Instagram. I only use the site with my iPhone pics, so if anyone uses it with other photography, let me know how I can do this with the same ease as iPhone publishing. It sounds more complicated.

    September 19, 2014
    • So far, I’ve almost exclusively uploaded photos from my proper camera. If you use Dropbox, upload it to that from your computer, then it’s pretty simple to post to Instagram on your phone using that.

      September 20, 2014
      • Thanks for the tip. Will try that.

        September 20, 2014
  20. Great overview – I have on lt just jumped on the Instagram bandwagon in the past month …. Flickr I used quite often a few years ago & then it went a bit haywire and I couldn’t get sensible answers from admin, so left it …. maybe I will give it another go (if I can remember My password) LOL

    September 19, 2014
    • You have no idea how many times I’ve forgotten both my password and user ID to Flickr. I don’t use Yahoo for anything else, so I can never remember it. I know it’s not safe, but I had to write it down somewhere because it was getting out of hand.

      September 20, 2014
      • yes, that’s why I never remember it – because I use Yahoo for nothing else!!

        September 20, 2014
  21. This is a great post. I love Instagram and have been using it for some time now. It has become my vehicle for posting my photo project about my autistic daughter. I’m actually using it as the basis for a grad school project. I’m getting an MFA.
    The other students and I had a good chuckle when an older photo professor referred to it as “that food picture site”

    September 19, 2014
    • Hahahaha “food picture site” actually sounds pretty accurate. Maybe “food and cats picture site” would be more accurate! I’m glad to hear that you’ve found a great use for Instagram and it sounds pretty fantastic, actually.

      September 20, 2014
  22. Thanks! I’ve walked myself through the same arguments! Now I love Instagram for the immediate response from fellow picturelovers, and I like that professional photographers share their insights, but of course you have to pick who you follows I also have an Instagram widget on my blog http://www.indexyourlife.me so that something is happening even when I have not posted any new photos. Both my blogs and my Instagram depend on pictures that tell a story, so they supplement each other. Solveig

    September 20, 2014
    • It’s pretty gratifying to get notifications from Instagram about people liking your photos or the occasional comment. It’s pretty clever to use the Instagram widget as a dynamic element on your blog. I actually quite like how you have it set on just the latest post, rather that the 2×2 grid that I have. Hmm I might have to change mine, it looks a bit cluttered the way I do it.

      September 20, 2014
  23. David – glad you gave Instagram another shot! When I first picked up photography, I was most drawn to grand landscapes of my world travels. Instagram has taught to capture beauty in everyday life at home. On the most part, my Instagram images are all taken on my cell phone, but I like your method of posting photos from your Dropbox/Google Drive. If you have a Facebook page, your Instagram can be synced to it through an app by Woobox.

    September 20, 2014
    • I don’t know much about Woobox, but can’t you just link to the Facebook page in the Instagram app itself, so that it posts to FB at the same time? I only have Facebook for personal use, so I don’t really bother with that function. There are quite a few people who manage to take some really fun everyday photos in Instagram and make it look really nice. They mostly follow a certain formula, that’s something like overexposure + soft filter.

      September 20, 2014
  24. One thing that no one has brought up is the copyright and licensing terms used by Instagram! This is from their Terms and Conditions: “Instagram does not claim ownership of any Content that you post on or through the Service. Instead, you hereby grant to Instagram a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use the Content that you post on or through the Service, subject to the Service’s Privacy Policy, available here http://instagram.com/legal/privacy/, including but not limited to sections 3 (“Sharing of Your Information”), 4 (“How We Store Your Information”), and 5 (“Your Choices About Your Information”). You can choose who can view your Content and activities, including your photos, as described in the Privacy Policy.” This worries me!

    September 20, 2014
    • I stopped using it for a long time because of that, which is why now, I don’t put my good photos on it, I only use it for fun. Quick snaps taken with my phone, good luck to them if they can use them, meaning the quality isn’t that good. good point Sarah

      September 20, 2014
      • Yes, I could use it like I do with phone pics going on my personal Facebook page I guess! I think it’s great when good photographers, like Shane, are asked to provide an Instagram service/project for another company 🙂 If I can ever get a bit more time on my hands I may consider it for the phone pics!

        September 20, 2014
      • I know what you mean, that sort of thing never seems to happen to me, which is so upsetting sometimes. I think I live in a very snobby city sometimes. I guess we just have to keep plugging on. or is that chugging on, I don’t know, I always get my sayings mixed up. I often take photos with my phone when I’m out, put them on facebook, then people know where I’ve been, or that some other photos might be coming. If that makes sense. I don’t use it every day. I just try to remember to do when I go somewhere.

        September 20, 2014
      • Sarah, I’m really sorry to hear about your situation, it sounds like a real mess. Leanne’s right though, if they’re stealing your photos, you can bet your top dollar that they’re stealing other people’s photos too. Is it a big newspaper or a small one? If you can find enough other photographers who have had work stolen from them and you band together, surely some action can be taken. I am in no way versed in the ways of the legal system, but they are being so illegal right now it’s not funny. It’s one thing to not get paid, but it’s downright dirty to steal and not even ask for permission or credit you!

        September 23, 2014
    • I have seen that actually, and it did give me pause for thought. I had a look around and I couldn’t find any examples of them abusing that clause just yet. It sounds like it’s been put there as a bit of an insurance policy, just so that they have the option. It is definitely something worth giving some thought to. Thanks for bringing this up, I almost forgot about it!

      September 20, 2014
      • Leanne, I do get asked to provide photostories for local press both web and print but there’s never any payment involved!!! I might approach a local magazine or the council to ask if they’d like an Instagram project done on Surrey! Love what Shane’s doing 🙂

        David, yes, my problem with the clause is that they could suddenly bring it into effect in a few years time and use any photos they like, whatever the quality for anything they want! It’s hard enough to get paid as a photographer without actually giving away all my rights!

        Really good discussion point guys 🙂

        September 20, 2014
      • I had that happen when I was photographing cycling. It is a bit annoying how they want everything for free, but they don’t give you anything for free. You should try that, see what happens.

        September 21, 2014
      • Music photography is sometimes the worst! There are only a few musicians that I do anything for anymore after being taken advantage of far too many times. Those musicians had become friends of mine and if they can’t always pay a “going rate” they’re there for me in many more ways! The thing that gets me the most about people using photographers is they always act as if they’re the ones doing you a favour by “allowing” you to photograph them. Anyway, rant over! Have a great week Leanne 🙂

        September 22, 2014
      • That attitude really gets me. I used to get it a bit from newspapers, they would say they would give me photo credit and I would say, how is that going to be of any benefit to me, you paper is no where near me and would mean nothing to anyone there. I really don’t like it when people say, oh but we don’t have money for photography, but you can bet they would expect you to pay. Yes, I understand completely. thanks Sarah, Monday morning here, looks like a great day ahead.

        September 22, 2014
      • I thought you’d understand! We have a newspaper here in Surrey who refuse to even give a credit. I’ve been published dozens of times, even a front cover, and never paid a penny or seen my name alongside my work. I’d sue them if I could afford it! Sunday night here and bedtime 😉 Tomorrow looks good too and Simon is off work for a couple of days as I have hospital in London on Tuesday so we get extra time together 😀

        September 22, 2014
      • Do they at least ask your permission first? When I was photographing cycling I used to have a rule with myself, if it was a free publication, then I would let them have it for free, if they weren’t, then they had to pay for it. I probably should’ve found out how much they charge people for photos in the paper, and then charged them the same amount. I did always get photo credit though, that isn’t asking too much. I’m off to my mums tomorrow, long drive, but I am looking forward to getting there and seeing her, and taking lots of photos. I have some new places planned this time. Take care, and I hope everything is okay on Tuesday. 😀

        September 22, 2014
      • No they never even contact me! What usually happens is someone that I’ve licensed photos to sends them in with a press release for a gig or other event and even if the paper doesn’t use them then, they keep them on file and seem to think they can use them whenever they feel like it for articles on local music events/venues etc! All the people I know who send photos in tell the paper to credit me but they have a non-credit policy so they never do. If a musician has paid me for a set they get a license-to-use policy that has standard terms for crediting the photographer in any 3rd party use like press! I was actually in hospital a few years ago when I got a text congratulating me on getting the cover for the What’s On in Surrey magazine. They knew the image as they’d come to the exhibition and video launch that Julia and I did and the photo was of Julia, created for the cd cover. It had originally been sent to the paper with a press release for the exhibition but they didn’t run it. Months later it’s on the cover to advertise a large music festival that Julia was playing at, but there was no mention of either Julia or myself anywhere on the cover or in the article inside! Complete breach of my copyright and Terms & Conditions but they made a pathetic apology and promise of features about us, which, of course, never happened! They’re happy to use me but won’t employ or promote me because they know they can get away with it. It’s put me off doing any local music photography or other events. The local town, Woking, newspaper are fine about credits for the voluntary work I do for our local Cultural Centre but it’s not the same as a county-wide publication or a bloody job! I’m going to advertise to do more small weddings and outdoor portrait shoots but I can’t take too much on. Where abouts is your mum? Nice to get a change of scenery every now and again to get motivated and inspired 🙂 Thanks Leanne, have a lovely break!

        September 23, 2014
      • Do you have an arts organisation or something there that can help you with legal issues. I know the AIPP here does it, or NAVA which is for visual artists, they will give you advice, or help you with legal matters, which is part of their reason for being. Maybe you need to look into something like that. It needs to stop. Maybe try writing to the paper and telling them they are in breach of copyright. I don’t know something needs to be done, it is so illegal what they are doing. Also, I don’t know the laws there, but here, if someone buys an image from me, they can’t give it to the newspaper without my permission, and the newspapers shouldn’t run it without my permission. Is there a newspaper advocacy group that you could go to. You can bet if you are having trouble with this, other people are as well, so there must be a way of finding those people, and getting together, do something as a group. Protect your rights.
        I don’t really know what the answer is, but I can understand how angry you would be. My mum is up in the Mallee, about 4 and half hours drive from here, I go north west to her place. Big day. I”m hiring a car, so I have to go into the city to get it first. It is nice, I love taking photos up there, so it should be good. 😀

        September 23, 2014
      • Thanks for listening and for the advice Leanne! I hadn’t thought about asking the RPS if they could help 🙂 Have a lovely time in Mallee! We have a similar length drive to visit either Simon’s mum or my sister but they both live in lovely parts of the UK 🙂

        September 23, 2014
      • You’re welcome, it is good to vent sometimes. I think that sounds like a great idea, they probably have other people who have complained as well. Thank you, I’m really looking forward to it. Should be much better weather than last time as well.

        September 23, 2014
      • Thanks again and I hope you’re having a lovely time 🙂

        September 25, 2014
      • I am thanks Sarah. Though the weather has turned horrible, they haven’t had rain up here for weeks, and I show up and that is all it has done so far. frustrating.

        September 25, 2014
      • Oh soooo typical! We had that happen to us when we visited Simon’s mum this summer. There was even a frost overnight on the Saturday. I was lucky to get any photos at all really during the short breaks from the rain. Poor Simon had a horrid time driving us back home! Ah, well, we can’t have the beauty of flowers without a bit of the wet stuff 😉

        September 25, 2014
      • I know, so typical. It is the new moon and it is looking like no photos as there are too many clouds. That’s for sure, though it would be nice it happened more often, that we got good weather when we went away.

        September 25, 2014
      • Gutted! We photographers need personal weather controllers 😉

        September 26, 2014
      • Oh we do, wouldn’t that be wonderful, punch going to woomelang, weather should be fluffy clouds, blue skies, temperature around 20. That would be brilliant, make it happen, LOL

        September 26, 2014
      • We’ll get an app for that 😉 LOL!

        September 26, 2014
      • I like the sound of that, just need someone to do it for us now, LOL

        September 26, 2014
      • I think it might be a stretch for Simon’s android skills 😉

        September 26, 2014
      • I think it would be a stretch for Dave’s as well. I might ask him and see what he says. LOL 🙂

        September 26, 2014
      • Hahahahaha 😉 You need to photograph the expression on his face when you ask with complete and utter seriousness and I’ll do the same with Simon!

        September 26, 2014
      • That would be good, but then if I have the camera ready, I think he might work out what I’m doing. 🙂

        September 26, 2014
  25. I use Instagram mostly for fun, right now I am doing a #100happydays challenge where I post a picture every day of something that makes me happy. When I post to Instagram, I also post the picture on Flickr. And then that is linked to my blog with the last four or five posts visible along the side. When I post a new blog entry, it also goes to Facebook so my friends not on WordPress can enjoy it too.

    September 21, 2014
    • How many days into that are you? 100 seems like a really large number, so keep it up! It sounds like you’ve found a really good to integrate a handful of different social media networks without putting in excessive effort. You seem like quite the seasoned social media veteran!

      September 21, 2014
      • Today is Day 77. I have done a Project 365 before which is a picture a day for a year. That started getting stale long about November but I stuck with it.

        September 22, 2014
  26. Thank you for the thought-provoking post, David. Excellent images, too! I’ve just recently signed up for Instagram after not being terribly interested and even sort of looking askance at it. I was also surprised to see so much “serious” photography mixed in with the snapshots. So far, I’m on the fence as to how serious I want to get there, though, and have limited myself to iPhone snaps. It’s been fun to have a low-pressure place to post images (yes, of my cats!) that wouldn’t otherwise see the light of day. Thanks also for your thoughts on Google+, another world I’ve yet to venture into. You’ve given me a lot to think about.

    September 21, 2014
    • I’m glad that my post gave you something to think about. You’re right about it being a really good low-pressure place for photos. Maybe you could approach it with a sort of middle ground. I’ve started using it to post photos, still from my proper camera, but just not quite good enough (in my opinion) to warrant its own blog post. Thanks for the compliments!

      September 21, 2014
  27. I love Instagram! It’s like twitter but for photos to me. I don’t consider myself a great photographer, but it’s fun to play with Instagram, and I also like following the locations that I have lived in, catching up on the happenings in a visual way. I use it a lot more when I’m out travelling.

    September 22, 2014
    • It really is like a Twitter for Instagram! Even if you don’t post much, it’s pretty fun to look at other people’s photos. It’s a great idea to follow people form places you’ve visited. It’ll almost be like you never left! Almost.

      September 22, 2014
  28. Hmmm… I must admit I’ve had kind of the same point of view. Perhaps I should reconsider… but where does one find the time? So much to do with so little time.

    Great post. Thanks for the insights!

    September 23, 2014
    • Well, I’d say to just give it a go and see if you can find time for it. If you find that you don’t enjoy it and it’s taking up too much of your time, then give it up. Either way, I think it’s important just to try new things before judging it!

      September 23, 2014
  29. I’m hooked on Instagram. The end. 😀

    September 23, 2014
    • Short, sweet and to the point. I like it 😀

      September 23, 2014
  30. Thanks for another great post. I did have the same intial feeling about Instagram. That it’s only for bad phone pictures over-filtered (very childish and snobbish, I know). I later on discovered there were some ways to post pictures taken with your camera on Instagram, albeit by using pretty convoluted mehods (take a picture with your camera. Download to computer. Put on a “cloud” storage like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc… then whip up the app on a mobile device, upload). What’s bothering me so much is the non-straightforwardness of uploading non-phone pictures to Instagram. If only there were desktop software, or even a web interface, that allows you to post Instagrams from anywhere…

    September 30, 2014
  31. David’s photos are amazing!

    January 9, 2015
    • That is great to hear, I’m sure he will love that.

      January 9, 2015

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