Has Instagram Changed The World Of Photography As We Know It?


Do you have an Iphone? If you do, then you either have installed the Instagram photo app or at least have heard about it. Instagram is continuing to become one of the up and coming apps that allows its users to download a free app, and share photos across the social network. It is a very simple app to use, letting its users capture an image or use a pre-existing image and apply any one of fifteen filters that it provides. Users can share their photos with family and friends right on the Instagram network itself or as of recently, with other powerful services such as Facebook and Twitter. The possibilities are really endless when using this app…and did I mention it’s free?? This app has most certainly sparked an interest in photography for me. I have always been interested in capturing life’s “Kodak moments” but Instagram has allowed me to take pictures of ordinary things such as flowers, the sunset, historical buildings; the world really is my  playground. As such, I am of the opinion that Instagram has not changed the world of photography per say. It has definitely had a significant impact on society and as you read on you will find out all the ways that this app can be used and how it has inspired so many!

Something to think about…

A camera that you always have with you is the best type of camera you could possibly have!


With fifteen different possible filters to choose from the possibilities are almost endless and I am sure in the months and years to come Instagram will only be adding more to this list. Have these filters gotten in the way of the actual picture and skilled photography? . Many of these filters give your photos an aged touch, having you feel nostalgic. One of my all-time favourite trends on Instagram is the “throwback Thursday” or “#tbt” which is a way of placing other individuals pictures with this hash-tag all together in the app. For me, it has been a really great way to remember some of the moments of my childhood or past and share them with my friends and family, along with seeing what throwback pictures those that I follow choose to upload as well. It is funny how quickly we can forget about moments but by taking one look at a picture again this can spark our memory and have us feeling as if we are almost reliving the past. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words right?

Current Filters Available (mimic the ones used by professional photographers COOL, HUH?)

X-Pro II– warm, saturated effect. Emphasis on yellow.

Earlybird– Faded, blurred, focuses on yellow and beige.

Lo-fi– Slightly blurred, with yellow and green saturated.

Sutro– Sepia effect. Emphasis on purple and yellow. Whole image made darker.

Toaster– High Exposure. Some blurring.

Brannan– Low key. Focus on grey and green.

Willow– Black and white with some blend effect.

Valencia– High contrast, slightly grey and brown.

Inkwell– Black and white filter with high contrast.

Walden– Washed-out with a light blue overtone.

Hefe– Classic colour with gold and yellow overtones

Nashville– A magenta-blue tint and a Velvia film border. It is one of the most popular used Instagram filters.

1977– Somewhat pinkish overtone.

Kelvin– Super saturated, retro photo with scratchy border; formally called “Lord Kelvin”

Amaro– Lighter contrast. Focus on paler tone”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instagram).

How some new Terms of Service almost cost Instagram it’s life:

After the recently updated changes to Instagram’s Terms of Service many users where up in arms and threatening to delete the app. The problem arose when a few words subtly slipped into the Terms of Service which had many users worried that their personal photos will be used as a advertising strategy for the company without their consent. For me this did not pose as a problem as I merely just use the app for fun and while I do enjoy my pictures I realize I am not a professional photographer who more have a lot more at stake. With the new rules, photos were going to be able to be used by advertisement companies with no compensation  given to the user who captured the photo.  This of course poses as a significant problem for individuals who use Instagram to showcase their professional photographic skills. However, they must be careful due to the fact that this is an open social media network and anyone can have access to your photos along with take them and save them. So what does this all mean? With all the commotion that surrounded this issue for weeks following the introduction of the new terms celebrities began to hop on board and we all know that once a celebrity expresses their view on something they have the power to change many people’s views and that is exactly what happened. Not only celebrities, but also everyday users were voicing their opinions and rebelling by saying they were going to delete the app or actually deleting the app.

Food for thought:

After doing a great deal of research on this topic on the significant impact that Instagram has had on society I came across an excellent article on certain restaurants in New York City banning patrons from taking pictures of their food. After reading this article it really stood out to me as a controversial issue, that at the time I was not really sure why it is an issue. I mean I see where the chefs at these restaurants are coming from when they say that the constant flashes going off is distracting to no only them but the customers who are paying to eat there. However, I think it would be really hard for a ban like this to last as it is almost stripping individuals their rights of being free to capture pictures. It is one thing to ban photographing food but where do you draw the line? If you ban all flash photography then you are also getting rid of all those special moments that individuals capture at restaurants with their friends and family. Capturing pictures at establishments such as restaurants has been happening for years and years and has really become something that people are really accustomed to. The way I see it is that if individuals are capturing the food and often times mentioning where they are eating on their accounts it is a great free way of advertising for the company and a way to attract customers after seeing pictures of nicely presented and well photographed food.

Hang on a minute…Snap! Now you can eat:

Something that I find very particularly intriguing about food photography is how so many individuals are taking the time out of their every days lives to capture great pictures of appealing looking food. Many people will not even take a bite of their food until they capture that perfect picture and then they can continue on. Is this really an indication of how technology driven our society is? Without a doubt all of us are living in a world where many of us have cell phones on us all the time, along with the quality of camera phone cameras becoming increasingly better in quality allowing the convenience of photography to become a way of life.

Food has always been an interesting and widely photographed subject. However, in taking one look at Instagram you can see that with the use of this app, pictures of food have also dramatically increased. This growing trend has been commonly named “foodstagram”, making the convenience of having your camera phone with you at all times you can quickly capture a picture and post to your followers. Looking at the friends that I have on my own Instagram account I started to notice this trend developing within particular types of people who photograph their food. Many of these individuals are those who really appreciate fine cuisine and capture their food photos when they are out at an expensive restaurant or cook something that looks nice on a plate and are proud of what they cooked and want to share it with other users. As of recently I have also noticed a significant increase in the amount of food photos that people are taking of healthy items where they hash-tag things such as, “#insta-good” and “#eatclean”. The only really food photos I personally post are ones of certain desserts that I have made myself and are really proud of. I always wonder why people want to constantly post pictures of what they are eating, and does anyone really care what you are eating?  This can show the dramatic influence that this photography app has had on individuals that they want to show other people that they are eating healthy and by taking the time to present their food in a nice way and take a cool picture of it will somehow impress people.

“Photo -Mapping” on Instagram:

“Photo-map” is is a feature that comes with your free app and it is a great way to add geo-tagging on your photos. Not only can you take a picture of the Great Wall of China and tag your photo with all the places you have been but you can rub it in the faces of all your followers!! This goes to show the substantial strides that technology and photography have taken. It also brings to light how before cell phone cameras came to be what they are today,  society’s behaviour was drastically impacted with the advent of digital cameras. Photo-mapping is a great way to tie in Tom de Castella’s term of “I was there” which attests to my previous statement of individuals wanting to prove something by taking pictures at certain restaurants or at certain locations. You no longer have to take a picture from your vacation and mail it off to friends and family; but with the tap of one simple button you can tag your location (if you choose to do so). This is a great way to share your life story and memories on Instagram as you can go back and look at all the places you have visited at your convenience all within this one app! It is almost like a virtual scrapbook, which is a lot less time consuming and less messy than making your own photo memory scrapbook! Be mindful of where/when you choose to use the photo-map attachment as it may pose as a security issue for some depending on who you decide to share your photos with!

2013 Presidential Inauguration Captured In Pictures:

 Check out these amazing photos covering the 2013 Presidential Inauguration taken from celebrities, photographers AND everyday people just like you and me! Truly an unforgettable moment captured in pictures!

800,000 Instagram pictures of the 2013 Presidential Inauguration!

Not only was President Barack Obama’s re-election a memorable moment in history around the world, it also sparked substantial attention in the world of Instagram. By visiting the popular page in this app on the day of the presidential inauguration it was flooding with individual’s posts of the ceremony capturing this historic moment. So what exactly did Instagram teach us about the 2013 Presidential Inaguration? . In this CNN news article it really captures the essence of this social networking phenomena as the photos are not just about the president, the glamorous gowns, or the re-election but moreover, it is about the stories that were told and shared through photographs of those who attended, along with a representation of the country as a whole. For those that attended the ceremony, they will never forgot attending and now they have a little piece to bring home with them through their Instagram pictures.

Should we embrace or be ashamed of Instagram?

I do not believe that by using Instagram this will bring an end to the skilled profession of photography. There still exists a very strong recognition for photographers whose professions continue to play a prevalent role in society. For someone like myself, who is far from a professional photographer, using Instagram has helped me capture moments as they happen right under my fingertips. Before installing the Instagram app I had not captured as many photos whereas having this app has allowed taking pictures of everything and anything if I choose to do so. This is exactly what Tom de Castella is talking about in his article when he talks about the significant impact cell phone cameras have on photography as they allow the user to take potentially as many photos as they would like;whereas in the past of photography you would limit the amount to capture that one perfect picture. I truly believe that Instagram is an amazing way for us to capture images and not only share them with our friends and family but potentially worldwide. A great example of this was the presidential inauguration where this social media site was swarming with hastags and images of the ceremony. To me I believe this goes to show the significant impact that Instagram has left on the world, even those who are not American citizens were appreciating these posts. It is an amazing way to show how individuals around the world can be connected so quickly in such a simple and creative way.

WOW! Fascinating!!!

A Blind Man Using Instagram!

My, oh my! If this doesn’t show how far along photography and technology has come than I don’t what does! For a man who has been blind since birth, and has never owned a camera before is now able to capture images of his life with the assistance of the accessibility function on his iPhone. It is really amazing that even though he cannot physically see the world around him he is passionate about sharing it with those around him, and I must say some of his pictures even have mine beat!


In my mind Instagram has without a doubt made a name for itself as a simple yet powerful app that introduced millions everywhere to a brand new world of photography with millions of users to show for it. I do not think that Instagram has negatively changed the world of photography if anything it has made many appreciate this area of expertise. With the news of the it’s Terms of Service this left many really thinking about this issue and just validated how significant of a spot Instagram holds in the photography and technology realms. Similar to the advancements made to cameras in the past, Instagram is another technological advance making it easier to capture and share images. I think we should embrace technological advances such as these and recognize that Instagram allows us to live in the moment, and capture these moments effortlessly at our fingertips. While many are still refusing to give up their old film cameras and switch to digital cameras I believe that they should follow the future of technology, and that future rests in what we want to do with our memories. For me, Instagram has sparked a living in the moment mentality and while I know I am still young, I want to be able to capture life’s every day moments and make them memories that I will now be able to always remember and share with those I love. And might I add it’s not too shabby pretending to me an amateur photographer, it sort of leaves you with a sense of pride especially for those great moments you capture and you find the picture filter that suits it!

A final thought…

If a picture’s worth a thousand words why does it matter how we capture it? It should be about the excitement, passion and most importantly the memories that we encounter along the way.

Check out some of my very own Instagram pictures!

A snowy drive in Guelph!

A snowy drive in Guelph!


A crisp fall day in the country-side!


Christmas Cake-Pops!


It’s ruff being a dog…


What a beautiful technology advanced city!


Pristine beach of Magen’s Bay, BVI


On top of the world



Guelph Homecoming Cupcakes!




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