Fashion photojournalists connect with Instagram

Fashion+photojournalists+connect+with+Instagram

Becky Robinson

Instagram users are finding a new way to use the photo app for more than taking pictures of their dinner.

The social media site that uses photo streams for users to connect is becoming an increasingly popular tool for photojournalists, especially those in the fashion world.

Carlisha Hartzog, owner of Hartzog-Bagsby Consulting in Birmingham, Ala., and a University of Alabama alumna, said she regularly uses Instagram when covering fashion shows.

“Fashion insiders that have access to certain events and behind-the-scenes coverage – designers, fashion bloggers, stylists – can choose to share images that only a select few have access to,” Hartzog said. “And to most people, I think that’s intriguing.”

Hartzog also likes the immediacy of Instagram to connect with followers.

“Consumers no longer have to wait to grab the latest Vogue or Women’s Wear Daily to be on the cutting edge of industry news,” Hartzog said. “I think that Instagram has become so popular because of the candidness, it can relay utilizing images, and because of the real-time application.”

Maree Jones, digital PR coordinator for KC Projects, said she used Instagram extensively during Birmingham Fashion Week.

“Our inspiration for how we covered BFW came from what journalists did during the New York Fashion Week, and we just took it and applied it to our market,” Jones said. “I have a personal account, so one of the things I did was take images and go ahead and share them on my personal Instagram account, and once I saw it got a good response on my personal account, I would share it on the Birmingham Fashion Week account.”

Garrett Blake, a senior majoring in fashion retail at the University, said he also believes the immediacy of Instagram is a reason as to why it is becoming such a popular tool for fashion journalists.

“Breaking news can be posted without any delay,” Blake said. “In today’s world, it’s about how fast and direct you can get to your readers.”

While Blake said he mainly posts images of his friends and “random things,” he thinks it is smart for fashion designers to use Instagram as a way to connect to their followers.

“Designers like Phillip Lim, for example, use Instagram as a way to advertise their products and show celebrities wearing their clothes and inspirations for their collections,” Blake said.

Instagram recently ann-ounced it had topped 100 million active users. The company posted the achievement on its blog in a statement from Kevin Systrom, CEO and co-founder of the company.

“It’s easy to see this as an accomplishment for a company, but I think the truth is that it’s an accomplishment for our community,” Systrom said.

Jones said she thinks the Instagram community will continue growing in the future.

“Photos and images get so much better response and more positive response than text-only updates,” Jones said. “I think as long as that statistic stays the same, we’re going to see an increase in these photo sharing websites.”