Instagram and Unrealistic Colors

Eric

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It's been a struggle for me to grow my IG over the last couple of years, for the most part getting 20 or 50 likes here and there on a good post with a new follower or 2 per month. Then I got a couple of mentions by pretty big established accounts, a couple with over 300K followers and that made things really jump and it seems like now when I post specific hashtags I get top billing in the first 5 or 10 (maybe an IG algorithm 🤷‍♂️) and it's shown me what really works and what doesn't.

Anything I post with realistic colors doesn't get nearly the hits as those that are oversaturated, each photo is individual but as a rule I want it to look as naturally realistic to the eye as possible and bringing out some color is part of the process to balance what comes out of the camera in RAW. I'll typically never go more than 9 or 10 in LRC, but what I'm seeing others post is way beyond that so I've tested with it, some cranked as high as 30 or more, and those photos get literally thousands compared to maybe hundreds without.

I suppose if growth isn't your goal on IG then it really doesn't matter but I see it as a stepping stone and it's increased my sales/requests quite a bit so I'm going to fold to this as long as it remains the trend. I much prefer the natural look but gotta keep up with the times on social media.
 

mollyc

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do you have a traditional job in addition to photography?
 

Eric

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do you have a traditional job in addition to photography?
Yeah, photography is just a side hustle and I'm nowhere near making a profit over what I have into it. As one person put it "I found out how to make money as a photographer, I sold my gear". :ROFLMAO:

I'm an IT consultant by trade where I hope to retire soon so I can spend all my time not making a profit on my photos.
 

Citysnaps

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Yeah, photography is just a side hustle and I'm nowhere near making a profit over what I have into it. As one person put it "I found out how to make money as a photographer, I sold my gear". :ROFLMAO:

I'm an IT consultant by trade where I hope to retire soon so I can spend all my time not making a profit on my photos.

Are you on FB?

I used to be on IG a long time ago. But after being on it a year or so, it just didn't resonate with me and I stopped posting and took all my photos, except for a dozen or so, down.
 

Eric

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Are you on FB?

I used to be on IG a long time ago. But after being on it a year or so, it just didn't resonate with me and I stopped posting and took all my photos, except for a dozen or so, down.
I stopped using it in general a while back because of their lack of privacy. I primarily use IG and Reddit when I share.
 

Clix Pix

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I think FB owns Instagram, doesn't it? Personally, I'd be really leery of putting any images on there that I really cared about or that I intended to offer for sale....

Eric, I agree with you about how weird it is that now people seem to really prefer hopped-up/popped-up, oversaturated HDR colors and viewing images which are anything but realistic.... Not a good omen for the future of photography and art appreciation in general!

Is there a particular reason for wanting lots of "follows" or "likes" or whatever on Instagram?
 
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Citysnaps

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Facebook has worked out great for me. Most of my San Francisco friends are photographers and artists. With SF's massive gentrification over the last 15 years with insane increase in rents/housing costs, and some just wanting to get out of the area to experience something different, all but a couple of my 25 or so SF friends have moved to other cities/states/countries.

FB has been great staying in touch with everyone, sharing work, stories, etc.
 

Eric

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I think FB owns Instagram, doesn't it? Personally, I'd be really leery of putting any images on there that I really cared about or that I intended to offer for sale....

Eric, I agree with you about how weird it is that now people seem to really prefer hopped-up/popped-up, oversaturated HDR colors and viewing images which are anything but realistic.... Not a good omen for the future of photography and art appreciation in general!

Is there a particular reason for wanting lots of "follows" or "likes" or whatever on Instagram?
It does but it's still a very different platform. I share a lot of photos but make them small enough so they cannot be sold at any reasonable size for print or otherwise, I also put my signature on some as well.

Facebook has worked out great for me. Most of my San Francisco friends are photographers and artists. With SF's massive gentrification over the last 15 years with insane increase in rents/housing costs, and some just wanting to get out of the area to experience something different, all but a couple of my 25 or so SF friends have moved to other cities/states/countries.

FB has been great staying in touch with everyone, sharing work, stories, etc.
I have a profile that I've been using strictly for photography but it has nothing personal associated with it, no friends, family or any of that. I consider it more of a managed account strictly for photography. I will not have a personal account on that platform every again though.
 

mollyc

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the algorithms on ig are really bad right now. i know a lot of people with a lot of followers who have very bad engagement right now. ig is making a huge push to reels and still photographers are not being seen like they once were.

i’m not in it for likes or followers, i do it for community….but a lot of my friends are very disheartened.
 

Herdfan

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Yeah, photography is just a side hustle and I'm nowhere near making a profit over what I have into it. As one person put it "I found out how to make money as a photographer, I sold my gear". :ROFLMAO:

I'm an IT consultant by trade where I hope to retire soon so I can spend all my time not making a profit on my photos.

A guy who coaches a local HS swim team has a day job of being an insurance adjuster. He takes sports teams photos on the side to simply pay for all his equipment. He just really likes taking pictures and this gets him his equipment for free.

But it seems like anymore it is more about the background and splash than the actual photo.
 

Citysnaps

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But it seems like anymore it is more about the background and splash than the actual photo.

Sadly, yes. I think that started way back on IG a dozen or so years ago. Some people in SF built up a huge number of followers creating photos that tugged on viewers' emotions using various techniques. In kind of a Thomas Kincade sort of way.

They're hard to describe, but easy to spot - perhaps "ethereal" would be a good descriptor. The huge numbers of followers lead to national brands taking notice and engaging them for commissioned photo shoots, road trips using their vehicles, clothes, gear, etc. More power to them earning some $$$. AFAIK, that's pretty much over. Maybe not.

I just liked being out on the street making photos, meeting interesting people, learning something new, doing small projects, hanging out with other photographers with similar interests, etc.
 

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Clix Pix

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the algorithms on ig are really bad right now. i know a lot of people with a lot of followers who have very bad engagement right now. ig is making a huge push to reels and still photographers are not being seen like they once were.

i’m not in it for likes or followers, i do it for community….but a lot of my friends are very disheartened.
That is really a shame, since if I recall correctly IG started out primarily as an app featuring fun with filters and still photos.
 

Eric

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the algorithms on ig are really bad right now. i know a lot of people with a lot of followers who have very bad engagement right now. ig is making a huge push to reels and still photographers are not being seen like they once were.

i’m not in it for likes or followers, i do it for community….but a lot of my friends are very disheartened.
I've heard this same thing and wondered if it has anything to do with my boost, which seemingly happened out of nowhere for no reason. Almost like they're rewarding those with low counts and penalizing those with the most.

I also post to some of the other networks, FB (under a non-personal managed account) and Reddit, and have noticed some of the most prominent photographers who were way out of my league on IG (especially in terms of followers) now posting on these as well. In one sense it feels good to be on a level playing field with them, on the other I'm sure it messes with their bottom line, especially those who make a living off of it.
 

mollyc

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Oh, God, I can't do posts every hour. When am I supposed to work? It can take all day to find some pretty pictures on the Internet or take my own, retouch and edit them, and put them on the Internet.
what does this even mean?
 

Eric

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Isn't instagram also problematic by requiring a square format?
Yes, it's a pretty straight forward 1:1 aspect ratio though so I always crop in post accordingly if I know I'm going to post it to IG. Landscapes and photos with any real discernable detail are definitely out though.
 

mollyc

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the grid shows square images but you can post 2:3 landscapes and 4:5 portraits
 

Eric

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the grid shows square images but you can post 2:3 landscapes and 4:5 portraits
In my experience it makes any landscape too small, IG is just not the platform for those type of images and it's a shame really.
 
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