For more read Jessi Hempel’s feature story Instagram is ready to take its shot.
My whole life I wanted to move to New York City. I knew I had to get here, and I wanted to pursue something in photography. I post two pictures a day. Sometimes I put them right up. But I use varying editing apps. I plan on selling prints and consider myself an Instagram consultant.
I believe that Instagram is the best communications tool out there. I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art walking around, and there were thousands of people there. Every single person was Instagramming the art, putting it up and sharing it. Most of those people [looking at the photos] weren’t at the museum, but they had their eyes on the museum. I had this moment where I was like, does the museum have its own account? It could harness this as a PR tool.
I started writing them emails with statistics about how fast Instagram is growing. They got back to me and said this was something they’d been thinking about. I met their social media team for coffee, and we came up with this concept: Let’s bring in people who have a ton of influence. Let’s give them a private tour of the No. 1 museum in the world. It was a chance to reach more people globally who might not ever have a chance to visit the museum.
I think that we’re in a golden age of photography. When the printing press was invented, it democratized literacy. Before then, books were a status symbol. You were lucky if you had a copy of the Bible, and most of the world was illiterate. That changed because of an innovation that allowed the rapid spread and reproduction of information. The exact same thing is happening with photography.
Instagram is a social application; it’s not a photography application.
It’s the most engaged social media platform there is. If you put the same post up on Instagram and on Facebook, you get 25 times as many interactions on Instagram. An interaction is really what you’re looking for.
I believe so firmly in the power of Instagram to make people’s lives better. It’s made me more optimistic and a more curious person. We all have a limited amount of time. I spend a tremendous amount of time out photographing, meeting people.
More as-told-to and video profiles of successful Instagrammers:
Joel Strong: Adding Leonardo DiCaprio to every party
Anthony Danielle: How a hobby became highly profitable
Ali Jardine: From stay-at-home mom, to full-time Instagrammer
Shantell Martin: An artist finds her visual voice