The debate rages on: does an Instagram following really matter? We at SLR Lounge are inclined to argue that yes, it absolutely can. Over and over again we see companies reaching out to Instagram influencers to shoot major campaigns.
We live in an era where social media presence can trump other factors in landing photography jobs. Whether that means a celebrity gets to shoot a high-profile campaign despite dubious qualifications, or a photographer is cherry-picked from Instagram for their massive following; being known among consumers is, in some cases, of equal or greater importance than being known by folks in the advertising world when it comes to being hired.
An example of Instagram clout put to use can be seen in the fall Neiman Marcus shoe and handbag catalog where famed Instagrammer, The Dogist, has been selected to showcase the fall collection of fashionable footwear.
The catalog is a mix of studio shots on white (presumably shot by another photographer) and photos in The Dogist’s usual style of street photography. It’s all shot at dog’s-eye-level showing a dog, along with the legs, feet, and footwear of a woman. It seems to have plucked inspiration directly from the classic Elliot Erwitt photo.
Like the iconic Erwitt photo, the Neiman Marcus catalog images are shot from ground-level and showcase high-fashion shoes from designers like Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo, paired with adorable dogs.
Lest the sentiment expressed read as ‘salty’ toward photographers finding commercial success through IG, the catalog concept and execution are brilliant. Fashion and dog lovers alike will find something to love in this set, and it makes perfect sense from a marketer’s perspective to choose a photographer with over 2 million followers on Instagram to showcase their products.
Just take it as another reminder that, while far from the sole method of recognition by potential clients, a large Instagram following can take you places.
The whole Neiman Marcus catalog can be viewed here.