last night as i was live streaming on instagram, i asked my followers why some of my photos didn't get as many likes as others (how millennial of me), and i had a total epiphany. one of the livestream viewers said something along the lines of "portraits of guys aren't as well liked as portraits of girls. pretty girls have more sex appeal, and are generally more widely accepted in this specific niche of photography". we then went on to discuss how there are specific photos of girls that perform better on the gram than others. as everyone rallied together, we agreed that physically fit caucasian females with long hair definitely win the award for instagram's most popular of 2016.
the mere idea of this fired me up, and i began ranting about how absolutely absurd it is that we (photographers) shoot for instagram. i know i've done this, and i'm sure you have too. we shoot what we think will get the most likes and be the most widely accepted; and this is just one thing that i think needs to change in this upcoming chapter of life (aka 2017).
as i kept on this topic, we slowly moved to the discussion of diversity in the instagram photography community. more often than not, and i mean a good nine times out of ten, the models in our photographs are all relatively the same race. why is this? why is it that even i myself rarely ever photograph a model of color, or just about any different race other than caucasian, for that matter. now i am not discriminating against people of this race, or photos of people of this race, there is nothing wrong with either. but i do know if the above paragraph & this current paragraph are correlated in any way, that needs to change. we need to stop shooting for instagram, stop shooting who we think will be popular and accepted, and start showcasing something real.
as i ended the livestream, i received numerous messages from the viewers addressing the lack of diversity on instagram, saying they were excited to help change the insta game in 2017. so, who's with us? who else out there is sick, tired, and quite frankly bored of the stereotypical brandy melville tumblr goals photos we see and shoot on a regular basis? i know i am, and i am going to try, within my own work, to make a shift and a statement in this new year.
let's change the insta game in 2017. to new beginnings!