Why I’m Not Cancelling My Instagram


The nerd world stopped for a moment when it came to light that photo community app Instagram will now have the option to sell it’s users images. WHAAAAAT?? The free social media photo community & app, recently bought by Facebook and that has surpassed twitter on activity, sell my photos?!  My heart sank a bit and Pat Green’s “All the good things fade away” started playing in my head. I’ve grown to really love Instagram, not as a photography taking app but as an online community! I’ve discovered some great photographers, connected with some amazing people that we share cool things in common (Airstream!), and even gotten jobs from it! YUP! So after much debating here is my mindset!

BTW I AM NOT A LAWYER, SO DON’T KILL ME IF YOU DON”T LIKE MY THOUGHTS. Please know, as a professional photographer that makes his living from it nothing bothers me more than others making money off my creativity.

Couple things to remember or do.

1. DEFENSE! STOMP! STOMP! DEFENSE! If the image is one you really feel like you should protect you can mark your images with great apps like BLENDER or OVER.    I’ve actually started doing this with some of my images I post because sadly I’ve found people steal them on instagram, twitter, and facebook. The Screen Grab is nothing new folks. People and I guess companies could crop that out but that would deplete the (already) low resolution image. If it comes off as a hassle the more inclined to look elsewhere it will be. Yes I know it’s a pain but it’s an answer to a problem.

2. Simply Put, if you are especially proud of the image and are extremely protective of it, OR if it is a professional one don’t put it on there! Nobody is making you do it! Keep it on your portfolio site or google + (which does not have the legal jargon allowing them to sell your images) (Who uses google+ though)

3. “lawyers often draft overly broad language to permit future business opportunities that may never arise” (from the link above). Not saying they won’t ever but what is the REAL chance you will become the new face of instagram or whatever company. And how much are they really making off of my little image. If this goes real deal big it will make instagram the largest stock photo website in the world. Lots of options means lesser prices. If fb instagram makes $1 off my low res square photo I can live with that since I’m using their free service. I look at my daily adventures and my “WORK” as different pieces. Giving somebody an insight to you as a creative is never a bad thing. All in all somebody making millions off MY iphone photos is pretty unlikely in my opinion.

4. The God theory, I once exclaimed social media to a company’s executives like this, “If God gave you the option of A. To have tools to share info or your creativity with people all over the world” or B. TO NOT have these tools, which would you choose??? Everybody said A. Share your creativity! You can keep your photos for yourself but you are only limiting your impact. In the business world they call this P.R. The choice is yours.

5. FINALLY! Please ask yourself in the end , Facebook, twitter, Instagram whatever other place you hang out, are closing these accounts and ending the community you have built worth the slim chance somebody uses one of your images ??? I can’t speak for you but the juice is worth the squeeze for me.  I love seeing my friends daily adventures or travels! I love seeing what people are up to and where they find beauty! They have constantly inspired me and pushed me. I’ll take the risk.

We may have to evolve our mindset with social media but is that really surprising in our capitalistic society. Free services have to be paid for some how. They changed, so can we. I know it’s not convenient but don’t let them ruin the party! Cheers!

What are your thoughts?





  • Eliot says:

    Great perspective, sir.

    I will be sticking with Instagram, just because I’m not really that protective of my photos. They are just for fun. Like you, I’ve really enjoyed the light social engagement of Instagram. It’s not too demanding and it’s easy.

    I would, however, really prefer if Instagram gave us the option to pay for the service! I would be fine paying yearly for some extra goodies or better web interface.

  • A agree that nothing that you care about should be used after the 16th on Instagram.

    What bothers me about it is that what is the next step? If millions of people go along with it then more apps and the like will be asking for at least this if not more. It is a slippery slope that I don’t think I want to take a slide down.

  • Vivek Kunwar says:

    I kind of agree with you Brian. I mean I do not even watermark my images, although I have seen my photos else where on the internet. That is something that I can totally live with.

    My concern is with my private photographs, so kids playing on a beach might just be in magazines without their parent’s consent on whether they are okay with the content of the advertisement.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Go to the top of the page