My blog is now a time capsule. From 2005, to a wavering heart beat in 2021… it has met it’s endgame: Instagram. After blogging for over 15yrs, the once wild frontier of the internet has turned into a more streamlined highway of content. I’ve been struggling with this transition because of those last few words in the previous sentence. I’m more of a country backroads kinda guy. There is something beautiful about a vast sandbox of diverse websites across the world, however, the ability to navigate that world was cumbersome. This may not age well, but for now I believe Instagram is a great platform to showcase photography quickly and efficiently… especially when practically everybody has a computer in their pocket now. Back when I was an Art Director scouring the Frontier-Before-Facebook, Instagram would have been a DREAM. As unromantic as it may sound, one is able to quickly see the style and personality of a photographer with just a few swipes. Instagram is impossible to ignore as a photographer, and at the end of the day it’s a constantly evolving minimal elegant solution for sharing photography that has been around since 2010… which is basically a century in internet years.
I’ve been struggling with this blog-killing realization for the past 3yrs. But the bottom line is I started the blog to share my work and, at the same time, create a diary for myself to go back down memory lane. In the beginning my posts were relatively minimal with a handful of images with little thought involved. Over a decade, the blog caught more traction, the posts were taking easily up to a week to formulate. The sole purpose of the blog was to pull back the curtains of my more formal portfolio and show the Behind-The-Scenes atmosphere + insights. 100s of 1000s of visitors were bouncing around the site, making me want to ramp up the quality of the posts more and more!.. to the point that it turned into a bottleneck of creativity considering the sheer time involved for a single post. More jobs were coming in, Instagram was becoming more popular, and it was getting harder and harder to justify an independent website.
Minimal elegant solution, yes, but give the world a popular platform and we’ll find ways to push the boundaries. One push I deeply love is the swipe-to-the-right feature to share more than one image per post. I don’t know the statistics, but I imagine the first image gets FAR more eyeballs. However, I like the concept that if you swipe more to the right to see more, you’ll be treated with a curated slideshow. Just like my blog, Instagram is another tool for storytelling. Personally, each shoot I have at least 20 images I love. Posting all 20 individually is definitely overkill, but tailoring them into a tight 6-pack makes the feed feel richer with imagery. Again, Instagram is a behind-the-scenes extension of my portfolio, and a chance to show off more that just the creme of the crop.
As someone who wasn’t exposed to the internet until my awkward teens, and a lover of all things design… I saw the evolution of the internet go from a sloppy unorganized digital mess, to a lovable realm with MySpace, chat rooms, Geocities, MySQL forums, and blogs. Ads/banners/subscriptions were a thing for sure, but not NEARLY as choking as it is now. It’s no secret that where the eyeballs wander, the advertisements follow. I can hardly look up a recipe for a Moscow Mule without utilizing my Where’s Waldo skills. Sure, in the end I’m spending less time sifting through the mountains of words (that makes a blog post more searchable), and ads (that surely pays the bills) than driving to the library… but, it’s gotten to the point where I loathe searching for answers knowing it’s going to be a maze of words and ads. The convenience has turned to frustration. That’s a long-winded rant on why you will not find any ads, any pop-ups, or “JOIN MY EMAIL LIST” pop-ups disturbing the peace. Fortunately, my livelihood isn’t based on traffic, and would rather keep the site free of fluff rather than make a few bucks.
Realizing this blog endgame would come, I trimmed the site with wider images and deleted the sidebar to be more mobile friendly. After using WordPress for over a decade, the plethora of plug-ins/widgets/themes/tools was turning into a tangled web. So instead of bulldozing the house, I put on a fresh new coat of paint and placed a historic preservation sign by the front door.
So, it is with a sigh of relief that I’m putting my traditional blog to rest. Basically, work load has picked up, and Instagram is an excellent solution to quickly throw up pictures with descriptions to share with a wider audience. Yes, it’s more crowded. Yes, it’s transitioning to more video. Yes, it’s is growing harder and harder to get followers… but it’s not about that. It’s about adding to my “diary”, whatever format that may be. I’ve discovered a lot of really good friends and lots of inspiring photographs which I would never have seen otherwise. I will say, the format has pushed me more to get out and shoot more, be more diverse, shoot more video… and, yes, it’s also pushed me to unnaturally hold the camera more (gasp) vertical!
Oh yea, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram 🙂