This article has already made its rounds on internet and for good reason. I thought for it to be a very revealing and factual piece on how much of an impact Instagram is really having on the photo industry. There’s a section where James Estrin, a photographer for The New York Times and co-founder of the newspaper’s Lens blog, expresses his belief on how photographers can actually profit from a deeper interactions with their audiences which I agree with:
The key is to build an audience of people that have some relationship with what you’re doing - either with you personally or via the issues you’re covering. These are people that may, one day, buy your book, or support you on Kickstarter or Emphas.is.
The question is: What does Instagram mean to a photographer? I think it means strengthening the relationship between you and your potential audience - the people that will be most inclined to spend money on you. Everything that strengthens your relationship with your audience, especially in these days and age, can essentially strengthen your reach and your ability to monetize your work.
I’ve ruminated on one or two photo project ideas that may require the monetary push for me to realize them but the reason I haven’t come no where near to piecing together a Kickstarter pitch is because I rather finance these assignments myself first so I can prove to you and I that I’m worth investing in when the time comes that I may ask for crowdsourcing funds. I need to have something tangible in my hands already so that I can show people I’ve accomplished something on my own already. This may or may not be the proper steps but this is how I feel about the whole concept of getting financial support from people.
Is Instagram helping me in any of this? It’s difficult to say but hopefully the audience I do have can see that I strive to put as much thought into what I shoot with my iPhone as much as what I shoot with my dSLR and so in the end, hopefully it comes across that I genuinely care for what I go out of my way to photograph.