The Instagram craze is officially here and we’re on board that train. But it all does strike me as kinda weird. I love Instagram photos, but why do I love them? Is it for the digital recreation of an analog nostalgia? Why do I prefer these photos to just regular photos from my phone? Does anyone ever wonder if our kids are going to think we are weird for taking photos of them in the style our parents took photos of us? For intentionally choosing to add filters to make them look like they were taken 40 years ago? Will it have any meaning to them or will they just wonder why we were taking overly saturated photos with borders that look like film strips?
As someone who has gone through 4 years of art school to get a degree in the “fine art of taking a photograph” with film and spending hours upon hours mastering the skills needed to print with chemistry, I’m struck by how accessible digital photography now is, and specifically automated digital photography such as Instagram or Hipstamtic photographs. I now have the option to tilt or shift the focus plane of my image with the swipe of my fingertips.
I graduated 7 years ago and I received two awesome but different graduation gifts, a 4×5 Toyo field camera and my first digital point-and-shoot; a crazy foreshadowing into the future maybe? I once blogged about using Photoshop actions to create nostalgic prints and was impressed by the technology then, never imagining that even that would be automated by an iPhone app two years later.
I love that ANYONE can feel comfortable picking up a phone or camera to take a photo. I never thought that taking “cool photos” would be this easy. But it does seem strange that even the most clueless photographer can make beautiful photos now and with, of all things, a cellular telephone. I think there is a high probability that our kids will think it is weird that we took photographs of them in this vintage style. It’s akin to those old western photos that our folks would drag us to have done at the state fair.
I don’t really know where I am going with all of this, it’s just been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately and I wonder what other people might think about it too, or even if they are thinking about it at all. Let me know if you have thoughts or opinions on this crazy craze.