While many of its account members use Instagram to share photos of their pets or last night’s sunset, Keene State College’s videographer and producer as well as Graduate William Wrobel uses this popular social media site with slightly different intentions.
“As a photographer, being able to go out and connect with people from all over the country and all over the world who have the same interests as I do is pretty neat,” Wrobel said.
Wrobel continued, “ Almost every night I spend an hour searching the hashtags that I use to see if I can find new people who are doing similar things to what I’m doing.”
Wrobel’s work has been published in several international newspapers, including The New York Times and the Washington Post. However, Wrobel said that he finds the dialogue created by these particular media platforms to be relatively one-dimensional in his opinion.
“The photos go out and people are able to interrupt those photos, but there’s no real way to be able to connect back with the person who made the image,” Wrobel said.
According to Wrobel, Instagram helps bridge the gap between the photographer and the viewer by allowing that communication.
“I like how with Instagram you are able to have a conversation about stuff rather than just putting things out there; instead, you can post your work for people to consume so they can view it and then start a discussion about it,” Wrobel said.
Wrobel said he believes that one of the biggest contributions Instagram has made to his career as a photographer would be the ability to get feedback – positive or negative.
“It nice to be able to hear people’s opinions on things. It might not change the way that I do something or change what it is I’m actually doing, but it’s good to be able to hear what people are thinking; the feedback gives a sense of community around the work you are producing,” Wrobel added.
Wrobel said he also uses Instagram for inspiration by searching specific hashtags, allowing him to see what others are doing in the field of photography.
“I get to go out and see what other people are doing. If it’s something that really strikes me as cool then I can sort of try and emulate that or try and recreate it in a way that reflects my work…I use it for inspiration or if I’m stuck and want to create something new,” Wrobel said.
However, sharing photography isn’t the only way some of our KSC community members are using Instagram for professional purposes. Senior Kelsey Parsons has used this popular social media site to further her modeling career.
“I think one of the most beneficial aspects of using Instagram for work is that it allows you to connect with a wide variety of people. It also gives you an opportunity to speak creatively with other people that have the same interests,” Parsons said.
According to Parsons, through the use of Instagram she has been able to speak with people from France and Spain regarding modeling, which was something made possible only because of the site.
“I’ve made quite a few connections through my Instagram account. I’ve become really friendly with a lot of other models in the New England area and I’ve also met a lot of really cool photographers through it; I’ve actually gotten a lot more work because of these connections I made through Instagram,” Parsons said.
Similar to Parsons, KSC Senior Roger Weeks, who has been pursuing a career in music, said that Instagram is his favorite social media tool, and that it has allowed him to grow his fan base exponentially.
“When I first started using Instagram to also further my music career, I had only a couple hundred followers; now I’m up to over a thousand. This allows me to create an intimate relationship between myself and my listeners,” Weeks said.
Weeks said that Instagram has promoted his music in ways he never though possible through a social media platform. He said that he believes the artistry of the images themselves are appealing to his fans.
According to Weeks, the aesthetic of his Instagram account is very important to him, which is why he first uses the picture-editing application and blog Vsco.
“I want my account to have a professional feel to it, so I’m pretty particular about how I edit my photos and what I share. I find Vsco to be the most appealing in terms of editing capabilities, so I usually just stick to that,” Weeks said.
Amanda Lashua can be contacted at email@example.com