If you have recently ventured into the magical world of film photography and are wondering which is the best
social media platform for analog photography, then you've come to the right place. Let me share my personal
experience with you.
Just like you, after gathering a lot of information online, following hundreds of tutorials on YouTube, and jotting down notes in my own notebook, I still had one question lingering in my mind: “Where can I showcase my work?” or even better, “Where can I find inspiration from fellow film photography enthusiasts?”...
So, what is the best social media platform for analog photography?
In my pursuits, I have always sought to improve myself by expanding my knowledge and observing the work of other artists.
I'm not necessarily talking about the big names in analog photography, but rather everyday people who share the same passion
for this genre of photography as I do.
I believe that observing the work of others is a great exercise to keep one's creativity sharp.
The purpose of this article is to share my personal experience, which is, of course, very subjective. So, if you want to
share your thoughts with me after reading, feel free to contact me on my social media (you can find the links at the bottom
of the page).
Lastly, don't hesitate to share the page with those who might appreciate it, helping to spread the word about my blog.
Grainery (https://grainery.app/) is a social media platform created by Kyle Johnston, a passionate programmer and film photographer. It was launched in June 2022. Kyle came up with the idea for Grainery while in a group chat with other photographers. In this chat, many photographers were expressing their frustrations about Instagram's increasing focus on reels, advertisements, and algorithms that favor the same types of content.
The interface of Grainery is quite similar to Mark Zuckerberg's social media platform. There are many similarities, such as suggestions to follow other people, private messaging, and notifications. However, Grainery is different because it specifically caters to the needs of film photographers. When you post a photo, you can add details such as the type of film, camera body, and lens used. Clicking on any of these details allows you to see all the photos taken with the same type of film or camera, and so on.
Another interesting aspect is the complete absence of algorithms. This means that your feed (the sequence of content displayed on your main page) is organized chronologically, just like how Facebook used to be in its early days. In my opinion, this is a strong point because I prefer to subjectively curate the content that I find interesting.
Grainery has two versions: a free version with a limit of 24 publishable photos (which may be extended in the future) and a paid version called Grainery+ at a cost of $3.00 per month. This subscription helps support the app developer and allows you to post an unlimited number of photos and customize your profile's homepage.
If you have been an Instagram user since the beginning, you have surely noticed how much the social media platform has changed since its creation. Especially with the influx of many teenagers, its original nature has been transformed. However, Instagram remains the most popular social media platform for photography, with the highest number of users.
Nevertheless, there are some simple rules we can follow to achieve a feed that aligns more with our interests. The first
thing to do is create a new account separate from our main one and start following only those users who share analog photography
content that interests us. Let's avoid following our friends unless they also share the same passion for film. The same goes for new followers
we gain by posting our own images.
Personally, I like to take a look at the profile of those who start following me, and if I like their content, I follow them back.
It's important to know that it's difficult, if not impossible, to bypass Instagram's algorithm. The platform will continue to show you content based on your preferences, such as the “likes” you give, the time you spend on a particular photo, and the users you follow. However, you can try to “educate” the algorithm by consistently exploring the authors of photos featured in popular analog photography magazines or film manufacturers' pages.
Flickr was the first successful social platform for photography worldwide. In 2013, it reached its peak with 72 million
photos uploaded every month. However, it experienced a significant decline in popularity with the rise of Instagram. The various owners,
such as Yahoo!, Verizon, and SmugMug, also didn't help and accelerated its decline.
Nevertheless, Flickr is not dead. On the contrary, it's experiencing a revival thanks to users migrating from Instagram. The majority of users are located in the United States, England, and Germany.
In my opinion, the main strength of Flickr lies in its numerous groups. Besides sharing your own photos, you can find hundreds of discussions where you can learn a lot, similar to a forum.
In terms of personal feed, Facebook is certainly not the best social platform. It is more generalist compared to the ones mentioned so far, but it has its own strength: the ability to connect analog photography enthusiasts in a more “social” way. In other words, by actively participating in the life of numerous groups of analog photographers, you can learn and expand your knowledge on the subject surprisingly quickly.
What does “actively participating” in the group mean?
Firstly, don't be afraid to share your works or projects and be open to receiving feedback. This is an important step as
it allows you to step out of your comfort zone. If you only post on your profile, you'll remain confined within your
circle of friends. But how many of them truly have the ability or courage to honestly tell you what they think of your work? It's easier
to receive false compliments than constructive criticism.
Secondly, try to learn as much as possible by reading the comments on different posts. It won't take long to identify the most active people within the group (today, Facebook even assigns badges to the most virtuous users). Lastly, if you always maintain a polite attitude, it won't be difficult to initiate private discussions with some users, eventually forming genuine friendships, as it happened to me.
Many consider it a social network, while others see it as a simple video platform. For me, it's the main source of
tutorials on analog photography. It's not really a place to share your own works (unless you want to become a
YouTuber), but it's definitely the best place to find what you want to learn.
Reviews of films, advice on cheaper alternatives to more renowned rolls, tutorials on home development (both color and black and white), simple vlogs, tips on how to scan your films effectively, and more... I always find something interesting here, but most importantly, a lot of inspiration.
I want to share with you the links to the channels I prefer.They are all passionate about analog photography and none of them claim to be professors.