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How Instagram made me a better photographer
2 min read

How Instagram made me a better photographer

Hermosa Beach, California

The gist is that Instagram forced me into a much more frequent posting schedule, but it’s a bit more nuanced than that. One of the phrases I’ve always liked is “kill your darlings,” which means, loosely, don’t selfishly hold on too tight to your successes/loves.

Before Instagram, back when I was running my own photoblog, each photo was my darling, and I never wanted to post the next picture because it effectively “killed” the previous one. Silly? Sure, but that’s how I thought about it.

Once I started using Instagram regularly — and gaining more interest and followers — I was compelled to shoot more, edit more, and post more. It’s a vicious cycle, but a necessary one. Now I regularly post two images a day, whereas on my photoblog I was lucky to post one a month.

Are all of them perfect? No. In fact, and of course, none of them is, which is kind of the beauty of it, and of photography generally. Instagram taught me that they don’t have to be perfect — that all of them are darlings — you put them out there and then it’s on to the next.

For years after Lightroom came out for macOS, I proclaimed it my favorite software ever. I used to spend an incalculable amount of time in that application. But, no more. Now I do all of my editing on iOS.

It works now because iOS itself (and many apps, including my personal favorite, Snapseed) supports RAW image files. This always was something that kept me from using the iPhone for editing; instead I’d edit in Lightroom/Photoshop, export to JPG/PNG, and finally get it on the phone.

Once iOS-only editing became a reality, I found myself posting more. These days I simply take the SD card from the camera, pop it into a Lightning-to-SD adapter, move the photos over, and get to editing.

I’ll probably regret it one day, but I don’t even use Lightroom to store/catalog my images anymore. As soon as I post something to Instagram, I send it to Dropbox and delete it from my phone. So, really the only classification system I have for my shared photos anymore is chronological by upload date. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

You can follow me on Instagram here

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