Unraveling Social Media One Tool at a Time
Even if Instagram does not bring direct page views to websites, many news organizations use it anyway, photographer Richard Koci Hernandez explained at the Online News Association conference in San Francisco on Friday.
For Richard, a former San Jose Mercury News staff photographer, now at the Knight Digital Media Center, Instagram has proven to be a highlight of his career, putting him on the cover of several national magazines.
One of the biggest surprises is that NPR, a radio station which one would not associate with photography, has an Instagram account with more than 200K followers.
Richard says an Instagram account can build loyalty to a brand, if not page views. Of course, there are ways to draw people to your website through Instagram, by curating photos in a Storify as the Marin IJ has done.
The use of filters is perhaps the most controversial topic among photojournalists, but Richard said the debate misses the point. Content, and the framing of a photo is what matters the most, and no filter is going to turn a badly composed shot into a masterpiece, he says.
His best advice to photographers? Shut up and shoot. Harsh the inner critic.
He also told those in the audience at ONA to spend one day acting on the urge every time they see something they would like to shoot a photo of. (but please edit out the bad ones before sharing on Instagram)
Leaving ONA this afternoon, I remembered his words when I saw an intriguing pattern on the walkway below my feet. A lone leaf sat on the walkway. I dropped my bags, and took the shot. It turned out to be a decent shot for the first day of Fall.
How do you use Instagram? Should news organizations use it? Is it Ok for them to add a filter to a photo?
Share your thoughts here.
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