A few words on Facebook and Instagram - mostly on Instagram

I have been cleaning out my online/social media presence once again.

Earlier this year I closed down my Pinterest account and now I have also said goodbye to LinkedIn and Google+. Never really needed those two.

Now I am left with my private and professional FB page, my Instagram account, this blog and my two websites (photography + translations). And that is really all I need.

To compensate for all the closing down of accounts I did something really funny this weekend. I scrolled through my entire Facebook timeline.

I have been on Facebook since november 2007. That would be nine years! And I was surprised to see how much of my life is actually documented in there despite the fact that I am not a super frequent FB user.

As I scrolled through my timeline and the past nine years of my life it made me think about how much Facebook has changed over the years. Most of the updates I see from friends (and from myself) are now either political or related to networking.

And I think all that is great. I think FB is an amazing tool when it comes to networking and helping each other, but I do miss the random silly updates regarding people's everyday life. And I miss doing them myself.

Now that I have discovered how the past nine years of my life are actually pretty well documented in there I feel like continuing the "journal". So I think I will dedicate some more time to personal updates in the future. They are great fun to have.

Cat in Fiesole © Birgitte Brøndsted

Scrolling through Facebook also made me think about how the world of photography and the community around it has evolved crazily with social media.

I started taking pictures right before joining Facebook in 2007. And it was right about the same time that I joined Flickr, and the world of photography really opened up to me.

Back then there was no Instagram, no filters (except of course for photo editing programmes). Mobile phones didn't take the photos they are capable of today. The community around photography was a limited one and other people hadn't yet started photographing their food, themselves or anything else.

I remember shooting with a small Canon Ixus 40, and I remember being super inspired by other people's photos on Flickr. I couldn't believe how great they were and I so enjoyed uploading my own pics (after having put them through the editing tools in iPhoto!!! Arrghh!! :-/).

With Facebook and mobile phones photography started to become more and more popular. In 2010 came Instagram and I think that's when everything kind of exploded.

At first we all used the integrated filters and most photos actually looked like shit. But then came all the other editing apps like VSCOcam, people also started uploading their "real" photos from their DSLR and suddenly the whole world was into photography and Instagram.

Today SO many people are SO good at it. It's really amazing.

I follow around 300 people on Instagram, and when I scroll through my feed every day I click LIKE on at least 80% of the photos I see. Maybe more. I am constantly amazed by how many beautiful photos are being made every day around the world - and not only by professional photographers. The majority of them are taken by people who are just passionate about photography.

But to be honest I think it's becoming too much.

I no longer feel inspired by Instagram as I did in the beginning with Flickr. I have started to feel.... bored.

I think I see too much beauty every day, and I see the same kind of photos over and over again. Everything is white and minimal and perfect with just a hint of green plants. Profiles are 100% curated. The overall look is becoming more important than the single photo, and everybody is shooting the same stuff.

When people I follow around the world come to visit "my cities" (Copenhagen and Florence) I almost know in advance what they are going to visit and photograph.

You can bet they are going to La Menagere in Florence, to Louisiana and the Hay store in Copenhagen, and of course they will be photographing a slice of rye bread with avocado from Atelier September... I have done it all myself (minus Louisiana :-)).

I think we are being over inspired through blogs and Instagram when it comes to photography. We visit and write about and read about and photograph the same places. Over and over again. Mostly because they are photogenic and fit into a certain Instagram style. Less because we really loved the place, because in most cases we went to see the places first of all because we knew we would get some great photos.

I miss the soul in people's photos. I miss DIVERSITY. Back in the old Flickr days people's photos were all different and much more intense, personal, honest.

The Instagram profiles I enjoy the most right now are the ones that surprise me. Where I don't always know what will appear both in terms of general style and content.

It's a classic advice that in order to become a great Instagramer you need to stick to a certain style or theme so that people can always recognize your photos and know what to expect from you.

It's probably true (and it's the reason why I will never become a big Instagramer), but I think it's time to change and get back to the "anima" (the soul) of photography.

I think it's time to become more personal and original. Bring back colors and chaos. Loosen up!

I know that is what I am going to try to do from now on. Because I have done several of the above mentioned things myself. And I am now bored.

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