My love & hate relationship with (Instagram) filters

So, at first I simply wanted to write an Instagram caption, but it turned out I needed a few more words to express my feelings regarding Instagram filters. I am very curious to hear your opinion about this topic!

As a photographer, I hate filters. They are not my style. I love pure photography, maybe a little lighter than “real life” but without a doubt: no filters allowed. As a matter of fact, I really don’t like it if someone I photographed reposts my photo with an extreme filter over it. It’s not how I photographed it and that isn’t good advertising. It’s not the way I want to portray my brand so it’s a bad representation of my skills, you could say.

But in the last weeks I feel I’m struggling with this topic. And the reason is simple: mobile photography. One of my new years resolutions was to share more impulsive/real life photos on my Instagram, which means I’m sharing more photos from my mobile phone. A few weeks ago I traded my iPhone 6 for an X, and the photo quality improved a lot. As a photographer, that makes me very happy. But!

For photos from my mobile I love to use filters. They give the photos a little extra, and for instance cover up the eventual bad lightning, quality, whatever. Let me give you a little example. It’s not the full photo I used on my Instagram, but it gives you an idea:

First is the original picture, 2nd with a VSCO filter. I find the first one a bit boring, and the second a lot more interesting to look at. And I like the idea of not having to bring my camera everywhere, and being able to use my mobile phone for those “day in the life” photos.

But, when it comes to my photography photos I am not sure. As a matter of fact, I prefer those without a filter. But when I do that, I get confronted with my love for a consistent feed. I prefer to have 1 filter for all my photos, to give my feed a uniform look. I’ve always used 1 filter, but I used it very minimal and it wasn’t a very obvious filter. I used it purely for a consistent feed. But in the last weeks I’ve been experimenting with a more out-there filter from VSCO and now I’m doubting. I’m wondering wether using filters is a bad advertisement for my brand. Of course I upload the original photos here on my blog, but we all know Instagram is the easiest way to check out our brand.

So I would love to hear your opinion regarding this topic. What do my fellow photographers think about filters? Do you think it will affect your business as a photographer? Do you enjoy Instagram more with or without filters? I’m very curious about your opinion. Please let me know, here or via my Instagram. Thanks in advance!

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