I’m on Instagram.
Well, I’m back on Instagram. Well, I have an account on Instagram. I mean there is a photo of me, and an account with my name, but it’s not me. Or at least I’m not the one populating the images. But the images are mine. Does this make sense? If so can you explain it to me? Pretty please.
It started like this.
Person One: “I wish you had an IG account.”
Me: “Never gonna happen.”
Person One: “Well just an account where you can post the images you are making.”
Me: “I can’t do it.”
Person One: Silently types away while not looking at me.
Me: Sitting. Staring at a TV monitor watching unrelated content.
Person One: “Shifter is taken. Shifter Media is taken.”
Me: “Oh well, we tried.”
Person One: “Daniel Milnor is available.”
Person One: “You have an IG account.”
Within two minutes I got my first email. “What, you’re on IG again…was it peer pressure?” No, it wasn’t. It wasn’t pressure. It was work related. Strategy in some way, but just a need/want to share what I was doing. Not me wanting to share, someone else. And then something odd happened. Standing in the Blurb office one of my co-workers said “Oh hey, Dan’s on IG?” Because I was actually standing there we started talking, about IG, social, photography, stories, etc. Someone asked why I deleted my IG account in the first place and I mentioned it was because I can’t do two things at once. I can’t think about IG and make “real” photos at the same time. It doesn’t work for me. Plus, I have little to no interest in building following or making money from photography. I also have no interest, or capacity, to try and follow anyone else on IG.(I think this really has a lot to do with having Lyme Disease. My brain doesn’t do well with visual chatter.) Finally, I love mystery, and for me things like IG take some of the mystery out of photography. So there is no real reason for me to have an IG account. Me, meaning ME as an individual.
But for others having IG is a perfect fit. It inspires people to create. Share, etc. You know the drill. I do the same thing, basically, but it’s long and slow and drawn out on this website. That’s how I prefer to share. Slowly, selectively.
Something else happened to create an even stranger situation. RIGHT before this happened I made a mental decision to start making work and projects again. To return to the field on short 2-3 day voyages to make, document, print, document and SHARE. Now, I didn’t make the decision to share with IG. Never even crossed my mind. I will share like I always do, here on the site. But what I realized after all this happened was that OTHERS want to see, or know, or learn about what it is I might be doing because what I’m doing isn’t about ME. What I’m doing is about documenting, shaping, editing, sequencing, printing, etc. What I’m doing is about way more than me, and for some people my website is a good thing and for others my website will never exist.
So when I coworker looked at me said “This could really be fun for us,” meaning if I had IG account they would have fun with it, it was milliseconds before I thought “Then just do it.” My needs and strange habits are my own, but I don’t work on my own. I work as part of a team.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. WFC’s? Good point. It’s not like I’m going to become a sensation on this program, but I don’t think that’s the point.
I just went online and looked at an IG account for a photographer I really respect and admire. His account is a portfolio. None of the images were made in real time or made with a phone. His feed is comprised of the work he is doing for commercial clients. I’m sure when the work has been used by the company he then has someone put a single edit on IG. He uses IG as just another portal for people to see the work. Now I’ve had ZERO need to do something like this in years, but the one thing I did take away from it is that IG is clean. Cleaner than this site, so if I had a need for galleries I could either build them here, or use something like IG. For a moment I wondered what it would look like to see a dozen edits from a long-term story resting on IG. A curated IG feed, not a stream of random. It’s an interesting thought to consider using it this way, as opposed to just posting random shit, although I think there is something more honest about random.
Thinking this made me check the website of another photographer I really admire. An adventure guy. Guess what. His website is stale. Old. Hasn’t been updated in eons. Not that the work isn’t great but you know he doesn’t really need the site anymore. His IG feed has seven figures of followers. Who needs a website when you have…..that. I get it. His feed is also a “best of” not a stream of random. Highly curated.
But this entire experience is strange for me. I’m glad someone thinks it would be fun for me to have an IG account, but I feel bad that they are posting the work and not me, almost like I’m a burden, which doesn’t feel good. So know now I will need to be the one to post, but I’m aiming at the more curated feed.
PS: I think I have my first project picked out. A return of sorts…
PS: UPDATE: It has been several days since I wrote this post. I have fewer images and more followers. How anyone knew I was on IG again is beyond me, and frankly it’s kinda creepy. I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I was told I couldn’t use my desktop to access the app, which meant I was going to terminate this little experiment before it got started. Turns out there are 3rd party apps I can use. So, instead of transferring images to my phone I can just pull from folders on my desktop and upload. This is odd for me, for sure, but what really makes it awkward is that I don’t plan on following along. Other people I mean. Even those I like in real life. It’s nothing personal. Again I think it is tied to my “Lyme Brain” that forced me to make all these changes three years ago. It’s just my sanity on the line. Of course I say this now. The plan is to upload stories. The downside of this. My stories are old. The upside. I have to go make new ones, once again, which is a bit terrifying.
Hey look, a rabbit hole!