This is the first of a 3 part series, introducing Instagram, its culture and the local presence of the platform.
A small sense of pride creeps in when you’ve just posted a photo on Instagram. There’s an almost instant response to your shared creativity and within minutes people across the globe can have a sneak peak into your vision, knowing exactly what caught your eye. Instagram has caused so many people globally (200 million and counting) to see in pictures.
Apart from the common selfie, breakfast or cat shot, these humble little squares have given the average person an outlet for creative expression.
A little over 1000 photos ago I had no choice but to see the world through new eyes. Since then, I look for every excuse to stay outdoors during a sunset, climb through red tape to get into an abandoned building, or lie flat in the middle of the road to snap a shot that I deem fit for my feed.
Many South Africans share this passion of snapping little squares, some of which who are actually quite well known, not only locally but also internationally. The photos you see here belong to the most followed legitimate igers in South Africa:
All of who have 10’s of thousands of followers, have featured on Instagram’s official suggested users list several times and have photos that are liked by thousands of people worldwide.
These South Africans are doing a great job of sharing snippets of their cities, personal experiences and travels. For those of you who don’t know, we also have an official local community called Instagramers South Africa which myself and a group of amazing people founded in the early months of 2013. We have communities who meet in their respective cities on a regular basis, snapping shots of their surroundings and reclaiming back their city’s beauty that is missed on a daily basis. Our local community have also been recognised by the International Instagramers community as one of the most active communities in the world and we’ve been featured by Instagram on several occasions and often have a fair amount of local talent placed on Instagram’s suggested users list.
It’s fascinating but also flattering that Instagram has their eye on South Africa in such a big way. There’s a limelight that seems to continuously circle back to South Africa, often highlighting the talented photographers who share the beauty in our country and their unique perspectives.
The best thing for me, is not the local talent, neither is it the fast growing community or the attention that South Africa gets on an ongoing basis, but rather the fact that Instagram has caused so many individuals in South Africa to once again see their cities as beautiful. That for me is something that is more valuable than any recognition given.
Someone asked me recently to give my perspective on photography. After some thought I said this,
“I believe that photography is not so much about shooting pretty pictures, but rather about the story that a single moment wants to tell, and how I as a photographer can be as honourable as possible to capture that story in a single image. “
I am grateful, like so many others, that Instagram has given me the opportunity to share moments, and in turn share South Africa with the world.