I’m still sharing some of my film photographs on Instagram. I follow a whole bunch of other film-shooting Instagrammers and we all seem to be in loose community there.
Some of those Instagrammers routinely get 100 or more “likes” on their photos. I’m doing good when I get more than 10. When one of my photos really catches on, it gets maybe 25 likes.
For a while I thought I was missing the secret to Instagram success. Was I not using the best tags? Was I not liberal enough with my likes of other photographers’ work? Was I not following enough people?
It appears to be all about having lots of followers. When I look at the well-liked Instagrammers I follow, I find that they follow hundreds of people and have hundreds of followers in return. It also seems like Instagram is a reciprocal community – people like being liked, and like back in return. For popular Instagrammers, that must translate either to spending a huge amount of time looking at and liking photos, or simply blindly clicking Like on every photo they see. I don’t have that kind of time to give to Instagram, and I’m going to click Like only on photos I actually like. And so I will continue to toil in Instagram obscurity.
I have to admit, I scratch my head over why one of my photos gets attention and another does not. For example, I feel pretty “meh” about the two photos below. But other Instagrammers seemed to like them, at least relative to my other work.
I can usually count on photos that I tag #architecture to get some good attention. There seems to be a good-sized community of architecture photographers on Instagram.
And people seem to enjoy shadow work, such as these two photos of the same set of arches.
Detail seems to appeal to people, too. These two photos are good examples.
Amusingly, my most-liked photos are some that I took of the cameras in my collection. Maybe I should go all old cameras, all the time.
Eh, nah. I guess I’ll just stay in Instagram’s dusty corners, eking out my daily handful of likes.