The Controvesy of Instagram Photography
I've asked myself this question numerous times and the answer is a resounding, Yes Instagram is a good thing. Instagram was designed for the average person to be able to take snapshots and add different effects. As a photographer I find it kind of hilarious that these effects mimic camera errors. I guess if mistakes are seen as cool now, sure why not have some fun.
I like the idea of Instagram because it shares the joy of photography in it's simplest forms. It brings the medium to the public much like the Kodak Brownie before it and the disposable camera after that. It is immediate and gives individuals a voice to express their lives.
Are Instagram Photos Art?
No, I'm sorry they are not. This is like asking if a coloring book is art. Instagram has a purpose, but it is very limited in creative control. If a person thinks that all photography is just pushing a button, well, I'll stay away from derogatory language on that one.
Are Instagram Photos Worth Something?
This kind of makes me laugh a little, especially after the whole controversy of Instagram possibly selling its users images. There is a strong market for high quality images. However at this moment, last time I checked anyway, there is little to no market for blurry photos of cats and underexposed images of desserts.
Clients want images that are going to sell their products. Commercial photography is extremely technical and requires a great deal of skill to achieve exceptional results. Instagram photography is simply not capable of producing quality images at that level.
There has been a giant push by companies selling "professional" photography courses in recent years that has created this myth that all photography is some how worth money. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but 99.9 of all photographs taken have absolutely no commercial value. It takes years of training, great skill and a merciless dedication to their craft before one is at the skill level required to sell their images. Furthermore, 90% of people who try to become a photographer will not make it. This is not my opinion it is a reality.
Of course, there is probably some crazy guy out there living in the desert, who was raised by wolves about to open some giant show in Paris documenting his "riveting" Instagram photography. "The blurred nuance of the cat's whisker in the image brings a shocking contrast of the feline world to that of humanities constant struggle in a barren environment", is what they would say. I imagine anyway.
So, use Instagram photos to document those great moments in your life, your family, and just all that great stuff out there. Have fun with it, because that's what it was meant for. If you want to get into professional photography I say go for it, but please realize the difference otherwise you are only setting yourself up for a great deal of disappointment.