I am a portrait and fashion photographer in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and I have big plans to make creative photography for all women on Instagram. I want women to be the conductors of beautiful photography. But what does that all really mean and how will I do, you ask?
If you don’t want to read this you can dive right in and follow the Made by Ten Instagram account.
A BEAUTIFUL AUDIENCE
I have some of the best followers on Instagram because they really care about beautiful artwork. There are a lot of great photographers on Instagram (trust me I’ve looked), but something that surprises me is how disengaged their audience is. Relatively speaking no one seems to care about the artistic work that they create for them.
How do I know? I just take an average of the number of likes and comments they have per post and divide it by the total number of followers. Go ahead and check out world famous fashion photographer, Mario Testino’s Instagram account to compare!
Another way of measuring how good one’s followers are (although a bit more subjective) is taking a look at the comments. If your work is good enough it should be able to compel people to tell you how they feel about it.
MAKING INSTAGRAM CREATIVE FOR ALL WOMEN
Let’s get back to business. What is this article all about anyway?
I’ve always wanted to create a platform for all women to unleashed their creativity. Fortunately for me I’ve been blessed with the ability to produce creative photography. Unfortunately for me I also need to make enough money to provide portrait experiences that still allow me to grow my business and survive on more than macaroni and cheese (although KD = yum). This need often puts me outside the realm of most women’s budgets.
So I had an idea (an idea I’ll be implementing tomorrow). Why not make Instagram my platform to allow women to unleash their creativity. They can provide me with the direction and ideas they would have wanted for themselves or something they would just like to see in general.
Here are a few examples of the types of theme ideas they might throw my way:
- a photoshoot at a particular location
- using a specific model
- fantasy type photoshoot in the forest using elevation techniques
- using a particular prop
- working with a specific fashion brand
- doing a fashion photoshoot to show off the year’s trendiest looks
- using large animals like horses in a photoshoot
- photographing women who have been a huge influence in their communities
Hopefully this plan will also give me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and work with people and in places I would never even have imagined. I’m really excited to see what they have in store for me. If you want to get in on the action you should start following the account and tell us what you idea is!
I understand that there’s only so many photoshoot ideas my audience can come up with and it’s my responsibility to carry my own weight in the creativity department. So, I’d also allow them to go beyond these creative ideas and provide me with pretty much anything they’d want to see more of. As long as it’s something I can create through photography of course.
Here are a few examples of the types of photographs they could ask me to show more of:
- puppies and kittens: I could visit an animal shelter and take lots of cute animal portraits
- behind the scenes: follow a particular model around for a week to show what their daily life is like
- adventure documentary: I could take a back-country camping trip and (attempt) to document it all (I’ve never done this before)
- how-to/DIY: create short posts showing how to create beautifully themed photoshoots
WHO ARE ALL THESE WOMEN
The women I have who are following me and that I wish to grow are real women.
These very special women:
- have regular 9 to 5 jobs and wish their commutes weren’t so long
- have all those grownup responsibilities to tend to
- usually care for others before themselves
- love to go to the mall to simply admire great fashion looks
- wish they had more time to read a nice book with their coffee or tea
- paint their nails one colour and then change them up the next day just because they can
- enjoy the feeling of warm sand under their feet and the smell of the ocean
- think “where has the time gone” at the end of every year
- celebrate their birthdays, but wish there wasn’t a number associated with it
- flip through the tabs on their phone hoping for something to surprise and delight them
Finally, and most importantly, these women just want a break from reality.
And that’s why they come to see what I’ve created for them on Instagram (about one time per day). ;)
MY CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY
Of course, I’m still going to be creating my own photos. I love doing this after all. However, I do want my Instagram account to be a platform for women to take control and see what they’ve always dreamed of.
I’ll continue to work with clients and share their images with my audience (as long as they’re okay with it) to inspire a ton of other real women.
I’ll also continue to create my own personal works and share them. Sometimes it’s hard for my followers to know exactly how they can challenge me in this craft. There are a lot of times I look beyond photography to develop and grow.
I love portrait and fashion photography and there’s no greater joy than sharing it with others. If that weren’t the case then I wouldn’t be on any social media, including Instagram. I am grateful to be able to share my talents with women who truly appreciate them!
Once again, please join me on the Made by Ten Instagram account. I look forward to seeing you there!
Jonathan How is the photographer behind Made by Ten and calls Milton his home. He specialized in creating beautiful, creative portraits of real women. He uses photography (and this blog) to help them build confidence and love for themselves and creates artistic images for their homes and offices. You can see him driving around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in Ontario, Canada from portrait to fashion shoot and back again.