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Ben Lowy on the Future of Instagram

CDS/Honickman First Book Prize alum Ben Lowy (Iraq | Perspectives, published by Duke University Press and CDS in 2010), who has made a name for himself with ambitious photojournalism projects shot entirely on his iPhone, was interviewed by Olivier Laurent in fltr about his methods and the future of Instagram. Ben has over 100,000 Instagram followers, and more than 300,000 on Tumblr.

“Right now, we see close to 4,000 images a day around us, in ads, in magazines, online,” he says, “so how do you get your story about another bomb in Iraq, or women’s issues in Afghanistan, in front of an audience? It’s not that people don’t care, it’s that they’re inundated with so much stuff that you have to find a way to get past that. I think about pushing the envelope, using different aesthetics, or using tools that people never envisioned using before.”

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“It’s intrinsically a part of my brand now—people know I do that stuff. And in this industry, when there are a lot more photographers out there, the name of the game is niche brand awareness. I went from being a war photographer to being an iPhone photographer—neither of which I’m really comfortable with. But it serves its purpose.”

 

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Baglan, Afghanistan, September 12, 2011

 

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Kabul, Afghanistan, September 11, 2011

 

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