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Is Instagram For Boudoir Photographers Dead?

Updated: Mar 11

"The king is dead, long live the king!"

Yes, my friends and fellow photographers, boudoir photography on Instagram is dead-- or maybe a better way to look at it is its nothing like it was just a few years ago. So, what happened? Will there be a new Monarch to emerge? Let's take a look below...

The Instagram Of Yester-Year

It all started off with such promise. Who doesn't want to have their work seen and get the opportunity to get more customer at the same time?! Instagram was practically the perfect promotional vehicle for photographers. It was a place to shine, and show off your best photos to the world. Hard to believe, but Instagram was born on October 6, 2010, nearly a decade ago-- Boy, how time flies. In its first year, it had gathered over 10 millions active users.

I guess I came across it perhaps a year and a half after it started. I don't remember much about finding it, except I didn't really use it much at first. I do recall thinking that I didn't create square photos-- and everyone on Instagram was square-- so I didn't fit. I didn't like it. I didn't want to chop up my photos to fit this "weird" aspect ratio.

My first Instagram contribution (as far as I can recall) was rather odd. It was a photo of me reclining on my couch-- which for whatever reason I felt was a good introduction to the service. --After all, what did it matter?

Even for a while after that, I was struggling with finding a purpose in posting my photos.

You can read my caption, and see my initial frustration. It wasn't too long after that, however, where either I figured out how to adapt my photos to this "square" format, or tools became available to take my 2:3 images and scale them to fit on the service. Even for a while after that, though, Instagram wasn't a priority for my work.

I kept posting a few images here and there, and suddenly several months later my photos started getting recognized and getting likes-- some of them hundreds of likes. So, it was probably that feedback that started making me using the service a bit more regularly.

Then, it seemed it wasn't long after that when Instagram blew up, and it suddenly became a work "requirement" for photographers-- and for everyone else for that matter. For those who followed tech things, you'd hear about the growth of Instagram from millions, to hundreds of millions, to eventually over a billion users.

The frenzy was on, and the age of the "Instagram Celebrity" had arrived. I continued to use the service, but honestly, it was a chore for me, personally. Along with the rise of the "Instagram Celebrity" also came the rise of the "Instagram Expert." You know a service is popular when it spawns its own offshoots of "Experts." These Instagram business "Experts" sprouted up like weeds-- and along with them lots of "rules" about posting. I don't know about you, but I always just posted photos when I wanted. --I guess I'm a bad rule follower.

These "Instagram Experts" extolled the virtues of making schedules and posting photos at specific times to "maximize" your likes and user growth. "Driving engagement" was the mantra. Somehow these people seem to want to suck the fun out of anything. When the platform started to come to that point, it wasn't surprising things were going to change.

The #hashtagcraze was in full swing, as well. People were shelling out real world dollars to buy fake followers (to impress who?), and it seemed everyone in the world was caught up in the mania of Instagram. People would do anything and everything for "likes" on their photos to push forward the dream of reaching the all-important "Influencer" status and the lure of theoretical riches that could follow.

It was all too much! When things get to that mania level, some sort of alarm should be going off somewhere in your brain.

The Instagram Of Today

Fast forward a few years, and the Instagram of 2020 is no longer the Instagram of 2012. My how times have changed. When it comes to being a boudoir photographer, sadly it's no longer the amazing growth tool it used to be.