Social media photography: expressing creativity

Scrolling down Instagram, it is not uncommon to come across a variety of photography accounts, with subjects ranging from nature hikes to coffee shop pastries. Many of these accounts are not run by professional photographers, but teenagers who are still in high school. They typically create a separate social media account and fill it with their own style of pictures. These accounts can be recognized as their own business, and people can find and contact them if they want to hire them as photographers. 

For Senior Emily Gringorten, looking at her own social media feed inspired her to try out concert photography, which she now enjoys above everything else. As a yearbook photographer, she shoots many school related photos, from sports games to spirit days.

“For as long as I can remember, I have always loved seeing how happy people get when they see the photos of themselves. They have unpredictable reactions which makes the photo more interesting,” Gringorten said.

Gringorten began shooting two years ago, and has developed her own style of photography, which is rich and high-contrast and consists of warm tones. She  became interested in photography for its ability to capture emotion and tell a story through a visual. She often tried to recreate pictures she liked in order to develop her skills. Taking pictures and documenting parts of her life resonates with her because she wants to be able to look back and see what life was like at different periods in time.

“I eventually decided to make myself an Instagram account specifically for my photography, which has been amazing because a lot of my friends follow me and give me advice. Having all of my best photos on an Instagram feed is also a great way to see my improvement over time,” Gringorten said.

Although Gringorten does not usually strategize too much before a shoot, she does think about which camera body and lens would work best for the situation. She considers other factors, like the lighting, whether the location is indoors or outdoors and positioning for the subject and herself.

In contrast, Junior Tony Cao’s typical style of photography is very candid and unplanned. For him, the charm of a picture is lost when photographing events because people tend to have reactions once they notice the camera pointed at them. He will most likely be found photographing things unrelated to school, though he occasionally does work for the school’s Key Club. Cao finds that taking pictures on his own allows him to be more creative than shooting for school.

“I hope to keep photography as a hobby and a means to relax. It allows me to capture memorable experiences, and one day I can recall what I did and remember how fun it was being younger,” Cao said.

After the photoshoot, Cao and Gringorten each import their photos to a computer, where they use the app Lightroom to edit the photos.

Ultimately, photographers enjoy the outcome of their work, whether it be making people happy or creating timeless memories for the future.