Is Social Media Ruining Photography?

There can be a lot of controversy around this topic, but I want to give my opinion on photography and how it plays into social media. As a photographer, social media is subsequently how I even began to fall in love with the process of taking photos, editing, collaborating with brands, etc. If it wasn’t for platforms such as Instagram and YouTube I probably wouldn’t have even realized my passion for creating and sharing my work with others. Let me bore you with how I began photography and the role social media played.

I was just your average Instagram user in late 2016 following friends, family, celebrities, etc. Then I was invited to an “InstaMeet” with my buddy…..this is when the addiction began. I showed up to the event with just my iPhone and was snapping simple “touristy” photos. During this meetup, I was engaging with the other photographers, conversing about cameras, settings, etc like I knew what I was talking about. I probably sounded like a total newbie. Despite not knowing a damn thing about photography, I found a lot of enjoyment out of taking the photos that I captured. When I got back to my house and used Snapseed to edit my photos (don’t shame me), I fell in love with the process of editing a photo. I loved a few of the photos so much that I shared them instantly to Instagram. I got such a positive feedback from the community that I wanted more. It was then that I purchased a camera, started engaging with other photographers on Instagram, and watching tutorials on YouTube. This all sounds good, right….? Not entirely. Let me explain.

I began shooting what is known as “hype” photos. Basically, these are photos that are popular and do well on Instagram, resulting in followers, likes, and getting features from large accounts. Now, don’t get me wrong these photos look cool, and sure, they get you a lot of love from the photography community, but at the end of the day is it what you truly enjoy shooting and sharing? I loved all the feedback I was getting from the community, features, follows, and all that when posting these “hype” photos, that I found myself constantly going out looking to get an Instagram feature or shooting for likes and follows. DO NOT FALL INTO THAT TRAP, FRIENDS! I absolutely hate that it took me almost 2 years to find what I most passionate about in photography. Now, I create images that make me happy and shoot FOR ME, not Instagram or Facebook. Just remember, it’s just social media, an application on your phone. Do not let it dictate what you shoot or what your perceive to be an interesting photo opportunity. The only way you will grow as a photographer is to constantly shoot different subjects, think outside the box, and share what you love with the community.

So I want some feedback from you all. Do you believe Social Media has ruined photography? Let me know in the comments.