Disposable cameras to the digital age. How Instagram changed the game



Throughout the 90s, photography was completely different. Everyone problem owned some type of camera, but professional photographers took it very seriously. They took their photos, knew how to catch the right and angles which made their photographs that much more captivating. Fast forward to today. The new wave of producing digital media has essentially made everyone a photographer (or at least let them believe that they are). With every new phone, cell phone cameras get more and more advanced. The picture gets sharper, the focus is clearer leading people to wonder “is there any need for a regular digital camera?” Photos are needed, if for nothing else to enhance the story. But at what cost? There used to be a craft to photography. An art. Now, anyone with a camera can be a “photographer”. The textbook says, “Digital photography, including the ubiquity of cell phone cameras, lowered the bar on capturing images to the point where anyone and everyone is a photographer.” But does this help or hurt photojournalists?

With journalism taking more of a digital turn, I think that, in a way, it helps and hurts. Sites, like Instagram and Pinterest, are photo-based. According to the article “5 Traits that Differentiate Instagram”, Instagram is branded ‘the image sharing app’ and the developers ‘understand that visual images share ideas and motivate users and followers instantaneously, in a way that is different from words’. People are more drawn to photos. Photos can catch people’s attention and relay a message in a way that words can’t. The article also mentions that Instagram allows for us to not only see these images, but it gives us the opportunity to share it with others giving them a wider range of viewers. Pinterest has the same idea. According to the article “4 Reasons Why Pinterest Has Become Extremely Popular”, it is so popular because it is image based as well. Unlike other social networking sites, that are “bombarded with content”, Pinterest keeps the viewers’ attention with images, making people want to share them without having numerous followers since anyone can look at what is shared by others.

These sites offer many benefits to photojournalists, photographers, and brands. While they all may have different purposes or needs for Instagram, I think they affect all of these in similar ways. The main benefit is that it allows people to be seen outside of their own social circles. Instagram gives them the opportunity to be seen by a wider range of people. However, one fear, I believe, that a professional photographer may have with Instagram is that the same benefit that may help them may hurt them. It allows photographers to be seen by a variety of people. ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS! The professionals, the amateur, the random person that likes to take pictures of their dog. As I said earlier, it makes EVERYONE a photographer. When everyone is a photographer, they may worry if they are in danger of losing their jobs or not being needed. Instagram allows for those in needs of the photos, to find them and some of these amateurs or random people make luck up and take a good picture that someone decides to use. And it’s cheaper. Is that not a reason to worry?

With other communications fields becoming digital, it only makes sense that PR would too. The different sites can make it easier to keep followers updated about the client or the brand and make it easier to show them in a positive light.

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