I am late to the Instagram social media craze. I was reluctant to get involved for several reasons. Although it intrigued me when I saw Instagram photos posted on Facebook, I did not create an Instagram account of my own. I was encouraged to get on Instagram when I came on staff at The Southern.

One of the reasons I did not use Instagram until now was I did not have a smartphone. Instagram is set up to be accessed by a mobile device, and until now I did not have one that was capable. To the amusement of my coworkers up until a couple of weeks ago I was still only using an old Samsung flip cell phone.

Now that I am on Instagram and my colleague Byron Hetzler has shown me the basics of it, I really like it. Beforehand, though, I had some preconceived notions about it. First of all I thought that it was a simplistic program that made anyone’s work look good. I have since realized that the majority of Instagram photos I was seeing on my Facebook page were by already accomplished photographers, since a large number of my Facebook friends are professional photographers. I was seeing the cream of the crop of Instagram photos.

Now that I’m an Instagram addict there are many aspects of it that I appreciate. First of all, I like the square format. It reminds me of the German TLR Rolleiflex 2 ¼ x 2 ¼ format camera that I used when I was studying photography as an undergraduate in classes taught by Mitch Clark at Blackburn College. I also like the immediacy of it.

There is a lot of great work posted on Instagram. Looking through the Instagram feed is a great way to kill time when I have nothing to do.

On Instagram make sure to daily check out my work @thesouthernexposure and my colleague’s @byronhetzler.

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Richard Sitler is a photographer for The Southern Illinoisan.

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