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Insta fame, unhealthy race: How photobesity has become a challenge

A few years ago when photographers got together, their conversations revolved around shared strategies that work, excitement and much more. In this day and age, Instagram has become a necessary part of their conversations, which is driving professionals in the field to explore new ways to push their work and explore different business strategies altogether. Over the past few years, Instagram has shrunk organic growth of its users - thanks to the tweaks of its algorithm.  While the quality of work definitely takes the top priority, Instagram’s algorithm also meddles with one’s news feed by capping a photographer’s work as the platform believes the content is also theirs to promote. 
 
For the frontrunner photographers on Instagram, there has always been ‘early-bird advantage’ as they have established themselves since inception. While ace photographers are known for their skill and quality of work, both online and offline, several of them on Instagram are not trained professionals. But, they have established themselves as success models either by using themselves as models or syncing their work with Instagram. “It is difficult to emulate this success model for the current crop of aspiring photographers as there is hardly any organic growth and the platform is way more crowded,” reveals Pranay Thota, a wedding photographer. 
 
Sharing his experience, he points out that clients’ requirements have shot up while the industry is currently plagued with low quality and underpricing. “Generally, clients have an understanding of what they want. But, they end up comparing work. What they do not realise in the process is what goes into composing an award-winning shot like they want. On Instagram, the story behind the photo is often ignored due to the use of filters and edits,” he explains. 
 
On the other hand, Instagram is still an easy and convenient platform to access a photographer’s work. For some, Instagram has its own charm and will continue to do so. According to Divya Medikonda, a city-based photographer who travels extensively, Instagram helps you keep your audience updated about your work or website. “Even if you don’t talk about your work on your profile, you could just post an update. It is a platform that allows me to follow multiple photographers and get their updates. It’s like the first look I get to access their work. If I like it, I would definitely dig deeper,” she adds. 
 
Despite the challenge of overcrowding on the platform, there are some photographers who are still making a splash on the platform. “There are good profiles which use the right hashtags and present their work well, to reach a larger audience - a global audience. For example: I know the story of a boy who is the son of an auto driver and housemaid who had an eye for great photos. He used Instagram to showcase his work to the world and gained millions of followers. For someone like him, it is still a prized medium,” adds Divya.
 
Meanwhile, some professionals in photography are letting go the confines of Instagram on their sense of success and looking at websites and other tech aggregators for business. “Instagram has its own limitations in presenting your work. Be it the layout or colours. You need to plan your presentation of images in squares, match the colour theme, composition, etc. For me, website works best to showcase my work because I believe each photo has its own story,” reveals Divya. 
 

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