“Becoming a MoPho”: 2011 - The Year in Mobile Photography!
2011 is about to come to a close, and there’s no question this was THE year for mobile photography! So much happened, that to write about it ALL would take multiple blog posts and probably extend this column well into 2012. So instead, I’m just going to touch upon the highlights, and give some of my own thoughts and opinions on what occurred in one big post:
While the popular photo sharing app actually debuted in October of 2010, Instagram really blew up to epic proportions in 2011 — and was featured in countless media outlets around the world, including The New York Times. The app proved to be so popular, that it dramatically changed how many already well-known mobile photographers chose to share their photos to the world…both for the good AND the bad.
The best thing about Instagram is just how EASY it is to use. It makes sharing photos FUN again, and has also opened up a whole new world to people who have never shot photos on an iPhone before. The worst thing about Instagram is, well…just how EASY it is to use — which means everyone in the world seems to be joining it. The rapid growth this year not only caused some growing pains in terms of expansion (the app would often have “down times” — which thankfully has become less of an issue of late), but it also brought complaints of an onslaught of “average” to “awful” pics. Images of food, pets, and awkward teenagers inappropriately trying to look sexy seemed to dominate the app’s “Popular” page. Most users seemed more concerned about getting more likes and followers than actually uploading anything of quality.
To be fair, the makers of IG never once made claims of Instagram being for SERIOUS photographers only, but the app’s early adopters still hoped that it would replace Flickr and other sites as the premiere destination for the ever-growing field of iPhoneography. And yet, as moments like “Biebergate” began to be more common (teen idol Justin Bieber tweeted a pic from his Instagram account which literally brought a flood of new users to the app and overloaded their servers), the frustrations with IG among more “serious” photographers grew.