Thomas Dworzak, Instagram Scrapbooks

In Aperture photography journal, I came across this article by Joanna Lehan about a photojournalist called Thomas Dworzak who hitchhiked around Chechnya to cover the conflict there, explored New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and lived with US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, he created these nine scrapbooks from the safety of his own home. Each scrapbook is dedicated to a particular Instagram hashtag and each is made up of screenshots from Instagram.


Given the discussion on the class forum about if Instagram has ruined photography as an art form, I found the work by Thomas Dworzak very interesting and think that it lends a different perspective to my opinion about Instagram. I still think that Instagram has increased people’s appreciation for good photography and that it has inspired people to take pictures. However, I hadn’t considered that professional photographers would utilise it in order to make work and that this work would be featured in Aperture journal. I think that using Instagram in order to make work connects the photographer with a younger audience and perhaps helps people find him using Instagram.



Instagram Discussion

‘Instagram has ruined photography as an art form.’

‘The app Instagram which allows everyone to post photographs on the internet for the world to see has ruined the art of photography. Now, everyone is a photographer. There are filters that allow the photograph to be transformed from not very good to mediocre imagery that is now celebrated worldwide.’ 

by Kristianne Drake.
Thursday, 13 February 2014, 12:33 PM.
One of my lecturers posted this in one of our discussion forums. I found it quite thought provoking because in a sense she is correct – anyone who takes photographs and posts them on Instagram could call themselves a photographer.
Just because a photo is taken on a phone/tablet doesn’t mean it’s less meaningful or good than an image captured on a DSLR camera. I don’t think Instagram has ruined photography as an art form – I think that it has increased people’s appreciation of good photographs and good art in general. It gives people the chance to share photographs that they have taken that they think are good, or just that they think other people would be interested in seeing. It’s very unlikely that anyone will become a professional photographer through posting photos on Instagram so I don’t see it as something threatening to professional photographers.