[Interview] Decoding the Instagram likes

Being a photography enthusiast is a lot about leaving your house with a camera in hand and moving about the lanes of your city to explore spots that have so far managed to escape the gaze of a lens. For many, it’s about capturing the special moments. But, what happens when this love meets the generation of likes? In fact, the craze is such that a quick internet search will take you to hundreds of words and visuals to click better images for your page and how to promote them as well.

However, in the maze of being true to your passion and garnering attention, how does one find a balance? In this blog, I talk to Arunesh Mulay, co-founder, Digital Hawker, a creative agency based in Mumbai, to understand the need and consequences of the game of validation.

What does photography mean to you?

It is a way to express emotions and ideas through a single frame.

How would you differentiate professional photography and Instagram photography, assuming it to be a popular genre?

Professional photography is an art form. Instagram, for the most part, has become a game of likes.

Do you feel the two meet at a point?

Yes, they do. Instagram can help you find some great photographers. You can learn from their work and study their styles.

So, what’s missing?

Sadly, for most people, it’s just about playing around with filters and create patterns on their feed for likes and comments. But, not everyone who comments on your post has a sense of photography, right? Imagine someone becoming a doctor after posting certain activities on the social media and people giving them feedbacks. It just doesn’t work that way.

Sidenote: The analogy might seem a little far-fetched, but Arunesh takes his craft very seriously. Trust me!

Do you feel that the Instagram audience is a good judge when it comes to skills?

Nope, the Instagram audience isn’t a good judge of your photography skills. Not even remotely close!

What do you feel is the impact of likes on the receiver?

Loving your own work is definitely fuelled by likes as they tend to change your perception of a good image. Also, this makes people forget the difference between quality and quantity.

In your opinion, what is the relation between the quality of the image and the likes it gets?

There is absolutely no relation between the aesthetics of an image and the likes it gets. It’s all a game of hashtags and the time frame in which you post as the number of people your post is reaching will differ on the basis of these two factors.

Arunesh, along with Shreeja Mahambre and Yagnesh Vora runs Digital Hawker in Mumbai. You can check out their daily adventures at:

2 thoughts on “[Interview] Decoding the Instagram likes

  1. I agree with everything they say. Instagram has a commercial side to the artistic and creative space that photographer allows, that can’t remotely explain the amount of effort it takes to take a good picture. Also, Insta is more conversational, and more for connecting with the outside world; for photographers, their work is basically coming to terms with their own thoughts, ideas and the universe of creativity that resides in their heads. 🙂

    Great Interview Jagruti! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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