Social media influence: Conway’s Rogers an aspiring photographer

Conway High School graduate Alexis Rogers is an aspiring photographer.

by Kiera Oluokun

Thanks to the new era of social media, today’s photographers can use their platform as a powerful marketing tool. With the click of a button, a photo can connect to hundreds or even thousands of “followers.” 

The development of social media photography has introduced new realms of creative possibilities to blooming photographers. Apps, such as Instagram, allow people to post photos and engage with followers. After posting a picture, you can receive input almost instantaneously whether through a “like” or “comment” on the photo.  

Alexis Rogers, a Conway High School alum and college student, considers herself an amateur yet aspiring social media photographer. Alexis said that she always knew that she had a passion for photography since her introduction in the fifth grade. “I was particular about how photos looked. I was always worried about posing, editing and lighting when I took photos. I would take pictures five or six times before I actually found one that I liked.” 

Alexis has since fine-tuned her photography skills over the years. “I am now more comfortable with working my camera in different modes so that I can get the shot that I want the first time without having to shoot multiple times. Self-timers have also helped me get the exact angle, depth and focus on my pictures.” 

Although social media photography is currently trending, many also debate that it is destroying the actual art of photography. Memories that were once held in the printed photo are becoming a thing of yesteryear. History and memories are still preserved through photography, however, the tangibility is fleeting. The time spent reminiscing and flipping through old photo albums in your grandmother’s home is now replaced with opening an app and clicking through thousands of pictures uploaded daily. Investing in high dollar equipment for photos is no longer a necessity when trying to get your photos out to the world — all you need is the smart phone in the palm of your hand. 

Whether you are in support of the evolution of photography or on the opposing side, most can agree that social media can be used as an advantage when it comes to connecting the world through photos. Not all photos that live on social media are snapshots of cute puppies and avocado toast. Some photos are skillfully executed with just the right amount of angles and lighting. Similar to traditional photography, there are basic photography principles that will never change. Those who consider themselves true photographers on their social media platforms are still committed to producing quality photos —understanding the value in exposure, aperture and shutter speed. 

As it relates to using social media as a tool to market herself, Alexis says that she is going for a more “crisp and clean” theme for her Instagram feed. “For some pictures on Instagram, I use the default settings that are in the app and I often get the look that I want. For other pictures, I like to use VSCO for an added urban, street-like look. I also use the app Lightroom for coloring adjustments.” 

It is not all about heavy edits and color adjustments, but the aesthetic appeal and audience are crucial components to posting on Instagram as well. “You can post what you want to post to your page, however, knowing what your audience wants to see is also important. Instagram stories are a big thing because my story can be shared by others and I am automatically tagged so that person’s followers can follow me,” said Alexis. 

As an aspiring photographer, Alexis agrees that social media is changing the art of photography. “I think that photography is expanding as a whole. It’s not all about the expensive cameras.” She said that the younger generation is even reverting back to vintage cameras for a more retro feel. 

She expressed her desire to expand her knowledge and skill set by shooting film. “I like the old photos because it’s more nostalgic. I think it captures the times that are actually in the moment and candid rather than posing for pictures. I personally enjoy photography in all its forms.”

Social media photography is the catalyst for those who still want to preserve the art of photography while expanding their influence on an array of platforms. Throughout history, photography has been viewed as a means to tell stories and capture moments. Photography serves a dual purpose in that it offers an avenue for creative self-expression as well as a source for information. Coupled with social media, photography still continues to serve both purposes, however, the delivery is quicker and the impact is more widespread. Whether traveling, enjoying good food or showing off your kid’s first day of school outfits, social media’s influence on photography has helped revolutionize how we connect and share life’s moments.