“Now we gotta make the best of it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, sh*t happens, I Ching, whatever man, we gotta roll with it.” Wise words from the realist/evil protagonist of Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral.’ Words with a mentality I find photographers aren’t typically adept to, but need. Just like the music and television industry had to change their business models with the materialization of file sharing networks and TiVo, so the photography industry has to as well.
The thing is, the industry already has changed, but those within it largely are failing to accept and adapt. We, photographers, can be very clingy – I mean saran wrap could take a lesson – and it just hurts us in the end. I’ve said all of this as a small primer to introduce a new series by Adorama called ‘Through The Lens (TTL).’
Each week, the show will highlight a a photographer who represents the change in our industry. Adorama says of it, “an original docu-series about the evolving aesthetic of photography as seen through this generation’s creator class.”
‘Creator class,’ that’s a great term, and fitting that the first two photographers featured are two very popular photographers on Instagram. I’ve said it before, but allow me to restate that Instagram is the quintessential expression of modern photography trends from the curatorial to the editorial. If you give me an honest run, take a week or two to evaluate the business, I bet you’ll see it if you don’t already. When Getty Images offers Instagram grants of $10K, brands now requiring models to have a certain size Instagram following, you’ve got to know.
[REWIND: Instagram and The Future of Editorials]
I say all of this simply to clarify the validity of what photographers on Instagram are doing, because there are still too many out there who think it’s a vacuum devoid of good photos, where only the selfie thrives, and this TTL series gives nice insight into what’s current.
The first profile is of Giovanni Elao a.k.a @insighting from the Bronx, who is a relatively new photographer but has become a feature artist in Street Dreams Magazine. The second episode features Jose Tutiven, a.k.a @Tutes who gives cultural insight into life in NYC with dark and compelling images. Neither really have a technical background in photography, which is interesting and should tell you something – that creativity is the new literacy, so you need something to say to be relevant.
Both short doumentaries are only a few minutes long and worth a watch. Hopefully, it will inspire you to shift your thinking forward, and maybe realize Instagram is not a just a bandwagon to jump on.
You can keep up with the series here.
Images are screen captures from featured videos – image credits to @insighting & @Tutes