WHAT ABOUT SNAPCHAT? >>>>
There’s a saying among creative folks that “good artists copy, but great
artists steal.” If that’s the case, then Instagram is one of the greats.
Over the past year, the Facebook-owned social network has
appropriated one feature after another from Snapchat. And while
it’s not yet clear whether this has dealt a mortal blow to the rival
(which, as of this writing, has a market cap of $25 billion), Instagram
is peeling away photographers who had been using the platform to
engage with their fans, clients and followers.
It began with last year’s introduction of Instagram Stories, a feature
that lets users post photos and videos that “disappear” after 24 hours.
Next came the ability to add silly objects to selfies, tools to draw or
write text on images—and this spring, Instagram added geo-filters, the
ability to add filters to images that are only visible in certain locations.
Jose Villa found that once Stories debuted, he stopped using
Snapchat as much. “I just have much more reach on Instagram,” and
it made a lot more sense to consolidate audiences in one place.
Snapchat may have always been an awkward fit for professional
photographers. As a platform, it denigrated the value of images
as a permanent work of art or expression, instead emphasizing
images as merely a transient medium of communication—no more
important than an emoji-filled text. With Instagram and Instagram
Stories, users gets the best of both with a steady perennial portfolio
of photos and flighty experimentation.
It’s a hard combo to beat. Maybe it’s time for a Snapchat
Portfolio feature. —Greg Scoblete
REACHING HIGHER GROUND
Photographers are using
Instagram Stories to share…
1 Tips and Advice For Jose Villa, who also conducts
workshops, Stories is a great teaching
tool. He posts a Story at least once
a day, using it to provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of his photo
business, and a way to highlight
brands with which he collaborates.
He’s also done a couple of Live Video
sessions, an option with Stories, in
response to queries about his lighting
and shooting setups. “A lot of people
tuned in and asked me questions and
were really responsive, which was
great,” he says. He appreciates that the
Stories disappear, however: “I don’t
like to give everything away.”
2 Hobbies with Personality
Jacob Loafman uses Stories to post
quirky instructional videos about how
to make a cup of hot tea or how to eat
an ice cream sandwich, and he’s seen
an increase in followers because of it.
“My whole motto is to show clients and
any follower who I really am,” he says,
“which is a silly weirdo that happens to
3 Home Videos Besides sharing behind-the-scenes insights on shoots and
workflow, the DuRalls like to get
personal with their Stories: “It’s winter
and we’re going ice skating? Well,
we’re both terrible ice skaters, but let’s
share this video because it shows who
we are in all of our dorky glory.” Just
for fun. — Lindsay Comstock
PHOTOS © JOSE VILLA