Instagram Filters: Yes or No?
As of September 2017, there are 800 million active monthly Instagram users. That makes this a great social media site for interacting with others, sharing all of your favorite images of the things that represent you, your life, and the people and causes you care about most.
While some users hardly ever post an image on Instagram without using a filter, others hardly ever use filters when they post. Who is right?
To Filter or Not to Filter?
Even experts cannot agree on this issue. American Photo shares that the ability to digitally alter photos has created “questions of objectivity, truth, ethics, and deception” in photojournalism. Furthermore, no one can seem to agree on any standards that can potentially help resolve this issue once and for all. But what about Instagram users who aren’t so interested in the business aspect, but are just sharing photos for personal use?
Apparently, the subject of the posted image is part of the consideration. For instance, Bustle shares that, when it comes to selfies, the most common choice is not having a filter, followed by filters Slumber, Skyline, and Dogpatch. However, if the image is related to fashion, the filters Kelvin, Valencia, Nashville, and Skyline all rank higher than no filter. Images of food and nature also have filters in their top slots (Skyline and Valencia, respectively), but the second most common option is none at all.
Some users are doing both, posting images that they’ve used filters on, but posting non-filtered images as well. They’re reminding their followers that what you see on social media isn’t always the way it really is, allowing them to have fun with their images while still staying true to the people who look up to them.
The issue of altering images so they look more appealing is such a hot topic that some governments have even weighed in. For instance, France enacted a law effective October 1, 2017, that all retouched photos of models have to be marked as such, their goal being to eliminate photos that may lead to eating disorders in individuals who are striving to reach the bodies depicted in these fake images.
If You Do Filter
If you do decide that a filter is right for you, the next step is to select the one you want to use. According to the drop shipping company Oberlo’s blog about Instagram marketing hacks, “choosing the right filter is more about what makes sense for a certain niche or image rather than just choosing the most popular one altogether.” In other words, don’t just use a filter because it’s what everyone else is using. Instead, find one that looks best for that particular image.
This may require a little bit of playing around with different filters before you find the one that does that particular picture the most justice. For instance, if you want the colors in your image to really stand out and grab the person looking at it, Clarendon or Lark are both good options. But if you’re going for more of a washed-out look, creating more of an old-fashioned or vintage feel, then Gingham and Reyes are two filters to consider.
Also, if there are some filters you use more often than others, you can make accessing them easier by rearranging those options so those appear at the top of your filter list. You can even hide the ones you never use.
Instagram is a great way to keep in touch with your followers, whether you choose to use filters or not. Either way, continue to share your images with the rest of the world and do it with pride. Your followers thank you.