One Week About Instagram Photography by curator Ahmet Polat
Blijde Ligthart runs an Instagram account called My Daily Shot of Culture. She has embedded herself totally in the Dutch Instagram scene. We met during my first Instameet a few months ago and I thought it would be interesting to talk with her about this phenomenon and its appeal.
What she likes most about it is a feeling of honesty and personal contact. For her it’s a platform that allows her to evolve her photography and go to interesting places to photograph and practice for assignments that are given. Instameets are a perfect place to socialize.
“But not everyone is interested in that,” she says. “You could also buy fake photographs and put them on an account, like these two guys did, and buy likes and reposts and then just wait and see which companies approach you to post some of their products.” Blijde is referring to an experiment done by two people who wanted to see if it’s only about the likes or also about the content when you’re trying to make money through Instagram. As I mentioned earlier this week, many companies see Instagram as a free way to advertise.
Last month Blijde went to an Emptymeet. This is an Instameet in a museum after hours, like the Van Gogh Museum or NEMO have organized. “The audience at an Instameet is normally a cross between traditional photography lovers and people who want to find interesting stories or locations so they have exclusive content for their account and get more followers,” she says. Every Instameet has its own themes, assignments and subjects.
I asked Blijde if she ever felt used, providing free content for museums or brands. She replied that she doesn’t think about it that way. “You get to see great places and hang out, eat food and have some drinks. For a lot of Instagrammers it’s a great hobby. Every day there is a meeting somewhere or you can organize one yourself if there isn’t.”
I wondered what kind of people the more famous Instagrammers are and Blijde told me that because you see only their work, not their faces, most of them you wouldn’t even recognize. So most of them are humble and approachable. I guess this is why Instameets have such a great appeal. It doesn’t matter what kind of level your work is on or what it’s about, everybody is interested in meeting each other and looking at other people’s work.”
Let me know if you have ever gone to an Instameet and what you liked or disliked about it.