In this Instagram series we dig into the world of likes and followers. Photographers with a larger following describe their Insta beginnings, the importance of their audience and more. This week we talk with İlker Karaman.
Location: Ankara, Turkey
Profession: Electronics Design Engineer
Awards: Lensculture Street Photography Awards 2018, 2nd Place IPA 2018, Bronze Medal
Instagram username: krmnilker
Favourite hashtags: #human_in_geometry and #apfmagazine #friendsinperson #bnw_demand #myspc #life_is_street #storyofthestreet #ourstreets #zonestreet
First posted photo: 2015
Last posted photo: February 2019
Most popular photo: December 2017
1. When and how did you start posting on Instagram?
I started to use Instagram in 2015. At that time, only a few of my friends knew that I was spending time on photography and that I was taking some photos on the streets. They followed my work through my Facebook photo albums. They wanted me to create a public Instagram account in order to see my wok in an easier way. After I created my account, I realised that it is an easy and comfortable application to see photos and follow other photographers. Using Instagram, I have the chance to see and analyse a huge amount of photographic work from all around the world. I feed my eyes by watching thousands of shots everyday. And of course I share my photos through this platform.
2. How did you gain this amount of followers?
The publications of my photographic work have invited people to visit my Instagram account. There are a lot of curated Instagram pages about street photography. You can see the best shots in the world of street photography by just following these accounts. My photos have been presented in these pages with my name and the tag of my account. Then, my Instagram page got a lot of visitors, coming from these pages. If the visitors like my gallery, they would start to follow my photos. In addition, any interview, talk or photo representation in photography magazines, winning awards in national and international photography contests… all these elements led to increase the number of my Instagram followers.
3. How important to you is your your online audience? Does the online feedback influence your artistic or editorial choices?
What is popular as street photography on social media and what is popular as street photography among renowned street photographers, is very different. Both of them are valuable for me. But I have my own feelings about my photography.
4. What kind of images are most popular and do they align with your personal favourites?
I feel that colourful images on Instagram are getting a high number of likes. Graphically strong shots, strange things, funny juxtapositions, all these increase instant first-sight effect of photos for viewers. Instagram users spend such a limited time per photo on social platforms. In that way, the first-sight effect becomes more determine. Photographs are consumed very quickly. I do not have a personal favourite. If my life were a tree, each leaf of this tree would be one photograph. I can not differentiate them.
5. Do you enjoy any financial benefits from having so many followers?
No, I do not have any financial benefits from Instagram. My followers ask about buying prints of my photos, but now, I do not sell any prints due to time and organising issues.
6. Do you have advice for photographers who want to grow on Instagram?
Colours, graphics, reflections, humor shots, using flash (flash tones on photos are strange and gets attention also)… these are good tools to create high attractive photos. They should use proper hashtags for their photos and try to published by other pages on Instagram.
Thank you İlker!
More of İlker’s work: Instagram
© All the pictures in this post are copyrighted. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.
by Julie Hrudová, founder of StreetRepeat