Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Instagram pet peeves

During the past year, I've become a huge Instagram fan and look forward to browsing each day. However, there are a few things that I see there frequently that drive me up the wall.

Feet photos
 Seriously, why are there feet in this photo? This has become THE THING to do on Instagram. How did it suddenly become a requirement to include your feet in every possible photo?

Crooked horizon
 I realize that sometimes people shoot a crooked horizon on purpose, and there's nothing wrong with that. I do it, too. However, there are tons of shots with unintentional crooked horizons, and it's just lazy. You can make that correction right in the Instagram editor. Fixing this kind of issue can make the difference between a good photo and a great photo.

HDR for the sake of HDR
 HDR is an old photography technique that has recently gained new popularly, largely thanks to a lot of gimmicky filters and apps and consequently an explosion of HDR-esque images on every widely used photo site. Many people create and post HDR type images without any real rhyme or reason and without any idea how to create a real HDR image in a program like HDRsoft. You can read more about it including when you should and shouldn't use HDR on Life Hacker.

Weekly baby update photos
  Monthly photos are fine, but weekly is ridiculous. If you want to take those photos, that's absolutely fine. That doesn't mean that you have to post all of them.

Photo dumps
 This individual took and posted most of these photos within a 24 hour period. No one wants a narration of an entire excursion via photos on an app like an Instagram. Pick a few. If you want to share more, spread them out over a longer period of time.

Hashtag dumps, particularly when they have nothing to do with the photos
Hashtag dumps are irritating enough in and of themselves, but they're especially irritating when they don't have anything to do with the photo. The above photo has tags for "food" and "colorful."

Throwback Thursday photos that aren't actually old
I actually cheated and found this via Twitter, but you get the idea. You see this on Instagram all the time, too. A Throwback Thursday photo should be at least six months old, not you know, six hours old.

Is anyone with me on any of these pet peeves? Do you have pet peeves to add to the list? Feel free to share them in the comments!


  1. Some of these really made me laugh. In general, I just have fun with Instagram and I don't take it that seriously, so it hardly ever aggravates me. But having said that, I get it lol.

    I understand the feet photos when you are trying to highlight something on the floor (like gorgeous tile) or some particularly awesome shoes you are wearing or something, but some people have like 100 shots of their feet for no reason whatsoever. I took a photo of my feet recently because the sidewalk was covered in large brown magnolia leaves and my oxfords were sort of camouflaged, so I am not exempt! :)

    Also, crooked photos in general can drive me nuts. Every photo app has a rotate function and it takes like 2 seconds...so when someone uploads photos of gorgeous architecture and it's completely crooked and way too dark and you're just like, why?

    Ditto on the hashtags that have nothing to do with the photo. It's particularly irritating when I'm actually trying to search for something, like maybe a place I want to visit in town, and all these stupid, poorly shot selfies pop up of dudes flexing in the mirror or something.

    I don't mind photo dumps at all if the pictures are pretty or they've just traveled to some beautiful place...I'd look at them all day. The key factor is that each picture is really gorgeous though. Don't hog your followers' feeds with bad pics. And I guess don't post a ridiculous number either.

    I also don't mind all the baby pics...especially if someone is a 1st-time mom and they're just excited, taking (and sharing) too many photos. I would probably be the same way if I had kids, so I don't blame them. Also, I know that baby! :)

    As for HDR, I get that it seems to be a touchy subject for a lot of people lol. I don't use it really, but I like to experiment with different filters and have fun with pics on my phone. I am much more diligent about the pics I take for my shop or my blog, but Instagram is all about fun for me. So if I want to add a bunch of hearts or unnecessary light leaks or whatever, I do because it's fun. For the most part, I don't really worry about following any photography "rules" unless I'm using my real camera.

    This is the longest comment ever, but I'll add one more, I never have any doubt as to when the latest issue of Kinfolk mag is released because a million people on IG will photograph their Kinfolk mag next to their tea, or their knitting, or their hand-canned garden-grown vegetables, or their homemade burlap sack dress...Ok I'm being facetious, but really. Are these people being paid by Kinfolk to promote? I have nothing against the magazine at all, it's just that when it comes out, it seems like my IG feed becomes nonstop pictures of Kinfolk lying on wood tables. I don't subscribe to that magazine, but I probably would hesitate to take a photo like that if I did just because everyone else already has, you know? Maybe that's just me.

  2. I wouldn't know instagram from telegram - I do not understand this compulsion to share every moment of one's life with the world at large. The world truly does not care.

  3. Hysterical. I'll say this: I'm super glad I'm not a photographer of any of these photos...eeep!

    The crooked horizon is lame. Lazy, you're right. Or no attention to detail. Or both!

    I'll cool it with the filters...something about the instant gratification gets me hooked!

  4. I only joined Instagram recently and I must admit, that I don't like taking photos with my smart phone. Therefore I don't post or browse a lot...
    I admire professional HDR photos, though :)

    1. I don't like taking photos with my smartphone either unless they're of my cats. Typically I transfer DSLR photos to my phone via Dropbox to post on Instagram.

  5. I like instagram for cute kitties mainly to be honest. I am with you on the feet thing though. That seems like a bit of an epidemic. The occasional feet shot = fine but loads is overkill for sure :)

  6. Rose, you are killing me here! This is my favorite post of the day! I just recently started on Instagram myself and I'm still learning the etiquette, which doesn't seem that much different than other social media. The thing that kills me the most is the multiple photos in a short amount of time. I have actually quit following a couple people because of too many photos. My old neighbor posted over 30 photos in an afternoon. Seriously! And the TBT thing is another thing that bugs me to no end. When I post a TBT, it's usually at least 20 years earlier because it's much more fun that way. Even five years, but weeks, or months, doesn't seem like much of a throwback to me. Feet, not getting that either. I actually think feet are ugly.

    HDR, I'm not really sure what that is. I do like to play around filters in my phone apps and I've uploaded one that I thought turned out cool. But maybe it's not the HDR effect. I suppose that one doesn't bother me so much.

    Great post! It also made me laugh!

    PS...You didn't mention selfies with the duck lips!

  7. Too funny! I don't spend much time browsing Instagram, but I agree that has tag dumps are so annoying. One or two hashtags - fine. Fifty that are unrelated to anything with no actual text or information - super obnoxious.

  8. What about people posting photos that aren't theirs and not acknowledging the photographer?!

  9. I definitely don't dig hashtag dumps, for sure. But anyone is allowed to use Instagram to simply document their lives (posting tons of photos of the ones they love, kids updates, experimenting with weird filters, whatever) and if you don't dig it, there's no need to follow them anymore. Don't you think?
    xo Moorea


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