Instagram has more than 600 million monthly active users, each one of them sharing their precious moments online and filling up our entire news feed with those memories. However, not too many would know that the popular photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook also offers well-known photographers and budding ones alike a plethora of opportunities to build up a great profile and thereby attract sponsors and dedicated fans online.
Well, let’s take a look at some of these ‘Insta-graphers’ who are cashing in on the platform.
Amlanjyoti Bora (@_boragraphy)
This youth from Biswanath Chariali of Assam is a portrait photographer who is known to create stunning editorial photos. Drawing inspiration from everything around him, he has done quite a few portrait photography assignments for various Instagram clothing and accessory brands.
“I am my own muse, I am a narcissist,” says the 26-year-old who took photography as a profession in March last year. On the evolution from lifestyle and urban photography to portrait photography, he says, “That was when I started playing with a camera phone/DSLR and was simply exploring. Also, those things were pretty much trending on Instagram at that time. But later on, I realised my love for portraits and people and started focusing more on it. But I still take a lot of urban and lifestyle photographs. It’s just that I don’t post them often.”
Bora admits the importance of Instagram for content creators as he says that it is easier to stay connected with people and clients on the platform. Being user-friendly, it also acts as his go-to portfolio. Being well versed with the workings of Instagram, he says: “Follow your heart and don’t post for likes!” as his word of caution for upcoming photographers. Upon asked about the most clichéd line that he has ever heard as a photographer, he humorously says: “Do you shoot girls in a bikini?”
“I feel it’s a satirical remark on society where the consumption of porn is more than soup, art or any other beautiful things in the world. Hence, Pornsoup,” he says.
The ‘insta-grapher’ hails from Mumbai but often travels to and from Los Angeles and Mumbai to create those honey-coloured posts. “Every city or town in the world has its own magic, you only have to be there. But I love the sunsets in LA. Every day, I would go to the Venice beach and shoot,” says the person.
When asked about his genre of photography, the photographer says: “I don’t know what to call my genre of photography. It has soothing, calming, Paris romance and sometimes haunting vibes. It absolutely depends on what mood I have been floating in and sometimes, during collaboration, it also depends on the mood of my subject. Maybe you can call it ‘moody portraits’, but I have been also creating lifestyle and travel content in cinema frames.”
Asked about his muse, he says: “Everything around and within me inspires me the b******t society, racism, anxiety, deforestation, nature, the inspiration is around us, you just need to observe things in detail to notice it. And constantly creating inspires me too. F**k the rules, there are no rules. Create something new that doesn’t exist do not worry about what it’s called.”
He thanks Instagram for the evolution of his learning process as a photographer and urges the upcoming ones to “connect and create. All these third-party applications are temporary but your art is permanent. Keep creating”. When asked to choose between more comments or more followers, he replies: “None of these. My primary motive is to create inspiring and connecting art.”
Sandeep Nagargoje (@confused.launda)
Born and brought up in Yeldari, Maharashtra, this photographer does mostly travel shoots and uses just his smartphone to capture the warm and moody Sunsets.
When asked about the inspiration behind his aesthetic captures, Sandeep Nagargoje says, “The utter hunger of making good art. Sometimes the people I follow on Instagram inspires me like nothing else.”
Talking about the first time he actually considered himself as a photographer, Nagargoje recounts the instance in 2016 when he clicked a silhouette picture of his father toiling in the farms. When asked about the most clichéd and stereotypical line he has ever heard as a photographer he humorously says, “We will give you a lot of exposure, and I am like LOL. Thanks but no thanks.”
Instagram has been a huge influence in enriching his creativity as he is continuously evolving his style by drawing inspiration from other photographers in the field.
Nagargoje, however, gives a word of caution to upcoming photographers about the dark side of insta-graphy, “It’s been a wonderful learning journey so far. I wish there was someone to give me this piece of advice earlier, ‘Keep creating art that matters. Don’t really do it for the gram and never ever follow anyone so blindly on Instagram, it’s a fake world, just focus on your art, making a community of good people, who’ll actually be happy to create and grow together [Sic].”