Instagram Hates Street Photographers / by Faizal Westcott

Instagram hates us street photographers, but we understand why. Our unpredictability and often times confusing photos can be a lot to handle. We don't shy away from posting photos that might rub people the wrong way and our photography can just be too hard to fully appreciate most of the time. People want to relax and kill time while they're on Instagram, and not see graphic images from protests or the griminess of the city. 

The thing is, we aren't here to fit in with everyone else.

Street photographers are just a different breed of photographer. I've been shooting street style photography for as long as I've known how to shoot a camera. As someone who primarily shares street photography on their Instagram account, I've come to understand a few things about photography on Instagram and why we don't get enough love for what we do. 

Instagram's app design prefers eye-catching imagery.

Which photo would catch your eye the most if you were scrolling through your phone?

A post shared by Antonio Jaggie (@kosten) on

Yangon, Myanmar

A post shared by Vikram Valluri (@vikramvalluri) on

Most people would likely say that the vertigo-inducing photo by @kosten grabs their attention the most, and to a fair point. This isn't an argument to say that one photo is better than the other, rather this is simply putting light on the fact that in an attention deficit society a certain type of photo will always reign supreme. I've been following the work of Antonio Jaggie (@kosten) and Vikram Valluri (@vikramvalluri) for a very long time. They both have their own style, but as a street photographer at heart, I have a deeper appreciation for the work that Vikram puts out on his page. Each photo is a compelling story that is so unique to the exact moment he captures. They often make you stop, think, and analyze all the small details that are going on in the image. A good street photograph typically requires a bit of time to analyze and appreciate, but unfortunately, time is a scarce commodity on Instagram. As a result, we street photographers tend to get the short end of the stick on Instagram. Despite our patience to wait for the right moment to happen in the field, the majority of people on Instagram have no patience to view our photos when we share them on Instagram. Is Instagram a place for street photographers? Probably not, but we wouldnt still be here if we didnt love what we do.