Instagram again. I'm going to talk about those I don't / won't follow. Probably because it's cathartic to make a vague swipe at the misuse, self-indulgence and poor behaviour on the platform.
A little background: for me, IG is mostly a place for all my 'singles', images which I take outside of work and which don't belong in a portfolio. Usually patterns, shapes and abstracts, that sort of thing (here). I also put the odd 'proper' image in there to mix it up, with half an eye on the (potential) professional/portfolio aspect.
I spend between 5-20 minutes a day on IG, and have 1,453 followers (today), and follow 604.
So, accounts I tend to follow include: quality photography and art; picture editors and related; potential and existing clients; odd, interesting and similar accounts, and some friends.
Regrettably, like many, I also follow accounts upon which I border on indifference, but I'm whittling these down over time. And some accounts whose origins I can't remember. The rest are the remnants of the few days last year when I used a bot. I remove these as and when.
Anyway, here's who I don't follow:
- People who list their kit. I just don't understand why anyone would do this. Nobody cares.
- Anyone who uses more than one or two emojis in their profile.
- Anyone following more than 500 people (I'm aware of the hypocrisy, but I'm trying). Seriously, though, some people follow a couple of thousand accounts. This is silly. They only care about themselves - they're not interested in you, or me, or anyone. Someone following over 10k people followed me the other day. Do the maths. Them spending, say, two seconds looking at one image per person per day equals... 5.5 hours per day on IG. So, do they want to see my work? No. It's clickbait, in order for me to follow back. Sometimes these people then unfollow. The cheek of it.
- #catsofinstagram - I'd never get any work done. It's the pinnacle of human achievement.
- People who post more than a couple of inspirational quotes. Just please stop.
- Anyone with a disproportionately high following in relation to their number of posts. This is suspicious. Do your time and upload some content, don't use a bot.
- Professional photographers whose target audience is those who they know personally, and worse, just those they know very well. Typically, you can spot them because their posts are insider-ish (to the exclusion of others) eg friends, BTS shots, holidays, in-jokes, family. You're not posting for me. That's fine - equally I'm not interested in you, I'm here to see your work.
- People who describe themselves as an "influencer", "dreamer", "disrupter" or "thought leader". Or use hashtags like #lifegoals. It's not that I don't get it - I do. We're just very different people and we wouldn't be friends in the real world.
- People who have too many selfies. 1 per 20 uploads is probably fine. More if you're a model, I guess.
- Friends who didn't follow me back. Why do you hate me?
Finally, there are posts which raise an eyebrow, but aren't necessarily dealbreakers. The absolute worst are portraits taken of celebrities who've just died, sometimes within minutes of the news breaking. The caption talks about the time (six years previously) when they photographed them, how nice they were, how sad it is etc. followed by a sea of these hashtags: #death #sorrow #tragedy #death #celebrity #overdose #portraitphotographer #londonphotographer #rip #sad #commission #suicide. You are horrible people. But I like your style.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that actually I'll follow anyone, and am guilty of most of the offences listed.