It’s been over 10 years since I first discovered Instagram. While I have been wanting to do serious photography—and by that I mean get into a proper workshop or two, do an apprenticeship with friends who are doing this professionally, and go on road trips to finally bring that overly expensive DSLR out to good use—it was this photo-sharing app that got me into the habit of snap-shooting. So I sold my DSLR (which I didn’t exactly use as I intended to) and focused on phoneography—short for mobile photography or the use of mobile devices to snap photos and videos—greatly appreciating the idea of spontaneity captured instantly, with storytelling to a huge and continuously growing community across the globe, being the most valuable bonus.
When I first used Instagram, I found it to be just another fancy camera app, but later I would get equally addicted as my wife, especially since we’ve been getting likes and comments from strangers who would later become our friends—fellow Instagram’ers with whom we share the same passion for snapping, applying a variety of creative filters, and visual storytelling.
Instagram’ing and phoneography both must not be confused to be competing with professional photography or videography, though most pros I know are also into both, as today’s mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, and imaging accessories) while nearly capable in terms of camera features, are no match to even the most basic of DSLRs. Though this might no longer be the case, what with new camera phones now sporting 3 to 4 lenses that can zoom distances and blur background.
But encouraged by Chase Jarvis’s mantra that “the best camera is the one you have with you” which in all likelihood, is your smartphone, this made almost anyone with a camera-equipped phone or even tablets, a photographer or videographer, capturing any and all moments worth the fancy, experience or having the skillful eye for imagery not required. One of the reasons why the Instagram app became a huge hit—bringing the outrageously cute cats and dogs, and the overload of selfies, to mainstream—aside from the community it built of phoneographers, who have somehow crafted another form of visual artistry.
Though Instagram’ers and phoneographers don’t necessarily follow rules (taking cue from Lomography’s 10th golden rule of not worrying about any rules), at IGersManila Philippines we’ve come up with an Instagram’ing workflow: snap-filter-share, the inspiration behind our community song, and some sort of guide to make the most out of your snap-shooting, which basically sums up how the Instagram app is used. (1) Snap as many photos as you can (your only limit is the storage space available in your mobile device) of subject/s in a variety of colors, angles, and perspectives; apply a (2) filter or two to change how the photo or video looks (aside from Instagram’s already impressive set of filters, with so many phoneography apps available, there are countless creative possibilities); then (3) share and see your work appreciated with likes and comments not only by your friends who follow you but from people around the world!
So what are you waiting for? Instagram’ing this and that is as easy as 1-2-3, so snap-filter-share!
If you’ve read this far, big thanks! This post was first published on medium.com. IGersManila is celebrating its 10th founding anniversary this April 2021, join the longest-running photo challenge on Instagram, the #IGersManila #9pmhabit. Thanks for your support, buy me a coffee!