Behind every Instagram like, there’s an uncredited party who put their blood, sweat, and tears into taking a photo. No one wants to sacrifice their valuable caption space with the camera emoji and credit to who actually took the perfectly juxtaposed day-drinking photo that took no less than a fifty shots to accomplish. But there are the unsung heroes of the Instagram community who have, as of late, finally begun to see the acclaim they deserve.
With every fiber of my being, I want to say, “No, I won’t take your photo.” Being the go-to friend group photographer is not only an undertaking, but a burden. You go from enjoying macrobrews on a sunny patio to ensuring there aren’t random drunk people in the background ruining the scene for a photo that’s primed to get over a hundred likes.
It’s a noble venture, yes, but there should be some acknowledgment of the skills it takes to excel in the art of being an Instagram photographer. Which is why it’s only fair that I officially receive the title that I deserve for the effort I exert. I didn’t choose the iPhone photography life – the iPhone photography life chose me. Or, rather, my girlfriend’s friends chose me, but that’s neither here nor there.
Name: Will deFries
Date of Birth: January 2nd, 1987
Photography Background: Handheld Digital Cameras (2004-2009), iPhone (2010-Present)
Current Photography Setup: iPhone 6 Plus, VSCO App (with full set of filters that were purchased in a hungover stupor), Whitagram, Over, Photoshop (laptop)
How would you describe your personal Instagram strategy?
I strive for quality over quantity, but with the change in the Instagram climate (read: the newly-implemented Instagram albums feature), both have become equally important.
My editing process has been fine-tuned to the point where I can take a selected photo and knock out the post-production within minutes knowing that I’ll be at least somewhat satisfied with the final product. In terms of post times, I abide by a strict Sunday schedule unless it doesn’t make sense for the photo. My best friends are the F2 VSCO filter, and the sharpening and exposure functions.
Caption-wise, it’s a toss up between Emojis or a Kanye West lyric that has absolutely nothing to do with the actual photo. Irony is a major player – captioning “Hoodrat things with my friends” when you’re clearly at a country club wedding should be lauded, not demeaned.
What intangibles do you bring to the table when selected as the photographer for a certain photo?
I have a strong grasp on the burst camera function and was an early adopter of the iPhone 7’s “Portrait Mode” beta software. With a history in graphic design, the juxtaposition of my photos is unparalleled and second only to professional photographers and lifestyle bloggers alike.
When the Instagramming party is in need of a caption, my well-honed puns have proven adequate if not successful. In 2016 alone, I came up with numerous wedding hashtags prior to the event, because proper planning prevents poor performance.
What shortcomings do you need to confront in order to evolve as a successful Instagram boyfriend?
I struggle with the shamelessness of setting the scene. Asking other parties to move in order to get the right shot seems out of bounds to me, and I refuse to outwardly admit that I am, in fact, doing something for the ‘gram.
Technically speaking, my iPhone 6’s camera is not up to snuff nor is my phone memory which sits at an embarrassing 16 GB. I don’t have much of a grasp on Apple’s AirDrop technology which has proven to be an issue time and time again when attempting to transfer numerous photos.
What do you see as being proper compensation for your work?
As I previously stated, I don’t think it’s appropriate to expect a camera Emoji and my Instagram handle in the photo’s caption. That not only takes away from the photo, but I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that myself for someone else. I’m not saying you should buy me a beer if we’re out, but I am saying that I’ve never turned down a draft on a warm day.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Instagrammers and Instagram Boyfriends?
Do things for the ‘gram without looking like you’re doing it for the ‘gram. Be shameless, but don’t be obvious. Don’t over filter. Easy on the saturation. If you’re on vacation, one post a day is acceptable if not encouraged. Know the difference between a photo that’s story-able and a photo that’s post-able. Don’t force it. Stop trying to make Boomerang happen. Maintain an aesthetic. Like other’s photos just as you want others to like your photos. But most of all, have fun. Instagram is a dirty world, but without a smile on your face or a sunset in the background, you’re never going to reach your true potential. .
Image via YouTube