Kids are raving about this new thing called the Instagram, where you take a photo of yourself, food, your feet at the beach or your airplane’s wing and you apply a filter. Apparently then you upload and apply these things called hashtags which must include #love #summer #justinbeiber #1D #instagood #instadaily #instalove #instasummer #boy #girl #cat #dog #hat #hashtag and #nofilter (however to use this hashtag you can’t use a filter). Well then, sign me up!Okay that does happen on Instagram, not going to lie, however the app can be a very powerful tool for architects, construction firms, artists, designers and so on, but it’s also great for us architecture students. I’ll go out on a limb and say majority of us in the architecture industry are quite visual, where we could get a better understanding of a project by 5 images than by reading 5,000 words? Instagram is exactly that, an image sharing app, yes you do add texts, you can geo-tag photos, tag your friends, leave comments and such but really its main function is to share images.
I follow quite a few architects, a lot of them are local/Melbourne-based and this gives me a glimpse into their world. Often they would (and this varies of course) post photos of the construction process, finished builds, sketches, meetings, virtual and physical models, networking events they go to, social activities within their firm or outside, travels, other architect’s work and some also use it as a personal account so photos of their children, pets, family, friends, etc is also there. All that should be enough to get on the Instagram!
Architecture is quite popular, search the hashtag and you are treated to over 14 million photos! #architect has over 650,000 photos and even #MelbourneArchitecture has close to 5,000 images. Or if you want to check out the construction side, #construction has over 1 million photos. My most used hashtag with my account (that_architecture_student) is #archilife which has over 6,500 images associated with that.
I did unfortunately delete quite a few photos from my account in a time where I tried to make it like someone else’s account, and now regret a few of the deletions. I have learnt I need to make my account unique and a reflection of me, as I do use the Instagram as a method of networking and getting myself out there. While I follow quite a few architects, a fair share of my followers are local architects and associated with the industry. I do somewhat control what I post, as in I don’t post drunken photos or leave insensitive comments, as many employers may scan my account and sometimes it takes a bad photo to ruin a chance. With that said, I’m more than happy not to post those drunken photos, it isn’t like I am banned from it, I just don’t see any point to it.
A lot of my focus is on architecture and recently this blog, with photos that include buildings I walk past, architecture events, some work-related photos and photos from the studio and projects. My most popular photo (to date) is of my final perspective for Design 3B with 40 likes with a couple comments. The photo I took of the MPavilion has 31 likes and 7 comments, and a couple of my photos have appeared on a Tumblr blog.
Instagram isn’t perfect I will admit, and for me I really wish there was a way to backdate posts so I could ‘put back’ photos I deleted. Example, if I deleted a photo from 4 months back then realised I want it back, I have to repost it. However by doing that it is posted at the current time, and that means my timeline is somewhat jumbled. I’m starting to use Instagram to photo-document my time at university and beyond, so having the photos in chronological order is important.
If you aren’t on Instagram yet, I do highly recommend it. As a student you can display your work and have dozens, maybe hundreds, perhaps thousands of people view it, for free! You can use it to capture those moments with friends in the studio, or share a photo of a building you love or update people of your travels. As a student it’s a valuable networking tool where it’s easy to inject your personality and your other interests which allows potential employers to see who you are (don’t believe what people say, if you are being true to yourself, your online ‘being’ should be similar, if not identical, to your offline being). It may take some time to incur followers or likes (I only have 213 followers) but don’t rush out with the thought of ‘going viral’.
If you are on Instagram already, link me up to your profile!