8.Bussiness Value in Instagram

As I mentioned previously, Instagram act as important medium for he photographers.
This medium can help increase the popularity of a photographer but that’s not all, it can also help a photographer to make a living.

Instagram had become famous and there’s estimate about 300 millions monthly user/instagrammer.Not only because there’s a lot of users but it is because is convenient for the photographers to promote themselves in few social medias at once. Instagram have an options to share the photos to other social media like twitter and facebook when they upload.

Examples on how photographers make a living using instagram can be seen from two of the photographers, O’Neal and his partner, Edeani. They’ve been added into suggested users lists in instagram by Zollman, a member of instagram community (Farr,C. ,2013).

Because of this, they’ve been receiving a lot emails and offer for photography works. Edeani mentioned that there’s ad agencies and brands willing to pay him hundreds of dollars for him to photography theirs products on instagram. O’Neal also received emails from tourist that visit San Francisco(the place he stay)  , they get to understand well the place by browsing through his photos. He also organized ‘instameets’ ( meeting with his instagrammers) for his followers in that area (Farr,C. ,2013).

Another example can be seen in an interview with a commercial photographer- Julian Calverley.
He’s been on instagram for a while and mentioned that people already commissioning jobs on the phone.He also said that social media is very important for him (Hoyle,A., 2015) because it able to spread his works and communicate with others.

I think a lot of older photographers who don’t embrace social media are absolutely missing a trick. It’s not even a trick, it’s another language that everyone’s speaking and you either speak it or you don’t, and if you don’t you’re missing out on a large chunk of communication (Hoyle,A., 2015).

I really agree with what he said, many blame social media for making people become anti-social, it is true but the advantage for the social media is that it also make one sociable through internet, closer the gaps between people from all over the world and make communication easier.

Especially for freelance photographer, it is never easy to promote themselves and get work to be paid but instagram made their life easier. They can live freely and do what they love, take photos anytime they want as long their mobile is with them, post photos that they’ve taken and eventually job will come to them through this kind of medium. Technology always make life easier.

Not only photographer, even brands and companies like Nike, Starbucks,PayPal etc.. made an instagram account because they realized that there’s business value in it. It’s easier to promote themselves and most of them even encourage users to follow them through contest like “Follow and re-post this photo to have a chance to win…” or “post a photo about our products and hash-tag our brand name”. Some of the brands do hired popular photographer in instagram such as Edeani to take over their instagram account for 1 or 2 days to post the products pictures that taken by him.

As you can see from the examples above, Instagram can become a place to closer the relationship between a photographer/brands with their followers.To me, Instagram not only became an ‘Art Musuem’ ot ‘Blog’ for people to enjoy but also become a tool to communicate with the followers ‘indirectly’.

One problem is that the photo that users uploaded onto instagram can still be sell by other people. Instagram stated in their terms that…

“Once you have shared User Content or made it public, that User Content may be re-shared by others.” (Instagram)

There’s a news about an artist who stole a few photos in instagram and sell it to the public and he earned  $90,000 (Sola,K, 2015), it was quite a big amount. There’s a lot of artist using these apps and websites to promote themselves. In my opinion, users have to understand that once you’ve uploaded to these type of application or website, it is considered “public” and there will be a high possibility that people will steal your images/artwork and benefit themselves.

The moment you set as public, you have to always be ready for the risk of your artwork being steal by others and
I’m sure that most of the people aware with this risk. It is still hard to avoid this if add credits or watermark on the artwork because with today software like Photoshop and open source tutorial, anyone can easily enhance their editing skills and clear out the watermark.

So, why do people still posting up?
Well, Is there even any other ways that are safe but more convenient than this digital technique to promote themselves?


Sola,K.(2015), Artist Richard Prince Sells Instagram Photos That Aren’t His For $90K, The Huffington Post. Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/27/richard-prince-instagram_n_7452634.html %5BAccessed on 4 June 2015]

Farr,C.(2013),How these photographers are making a living on Instagram,VB News. Available at: http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/26/how-instagram-turned-these-people-into-entrepreneurs/ %5BAccessed on 4 June 2015]

Instagram, Privacy Policy.Available at: https://help.instagram.com/155833707900388%5BAccessed on 4 June 2015]

Hoyle,A.(2015),Why a pro photographer shoots on an iPhone, CNET. Available at: http://www.cnet.com/news/pro-photographer-iphone-julian-calverley-interview/ [Accessed on 5 June 2015]


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