Are you letting Instagram limit you?

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If most of your own dog’s photos are in the Square aspect ratio, or vertical orientation, then the answer may be yes.

Don't let Instagram limit you.


I'm talking about the vertical orientation of it.

I know, I get it.

We want to share images for those feel-good chemical spikes in our brains whenever someone likes our image.

But the Instagram interface is limited.

Don't let Instagram be the final destination of your image.

Let the print be the final iteration. Let your vision lead the way, not the Instagram interface.

Instagram, the most popular image-sharing platform right now, is limited by the vertical orientation of everyone's mobile device.

Earlier this week, I shared the photo you see above on Instagram. And I was so excited about it! As I finished my editing touches on it, I couldn't wait to share the joy of it with everyone.

But, sharing it on Instagram fell short of the true image -- my "author's intent."

Here's what I mean:

Optimized for instagram viewing

Optimized for instagram viewing


vs. this:

The actual photo.

The actual photo.


Now if you're reading this image on your mobile device, the first image will look better to you, of course. Because your device is biased for the vertical aspect. But if you have a large iPad, or monitor at home -- check out what the full landscape image looks like.

But can you see what's missing now? Two-thirds of the real image! Imagine going to a movie theater and seeing only a third of the movie.

Could I have included the landscape in my Instagram post? Sure...but then it looks so tiny now!

If I'm going to print this photo, there's absolutely no way I'm cropping this down. It's meant to give a bigger feeling.

You see, some images are meant for the horizontal, landscape, sweeping view that I love -- especially with images I like to create.

Instead of asking, "how do I create an Instagram image to get the most likes?" ask this, "how do I take a mobile phone image that truly reflects the personality of my dog, and truly projects the vision I have at the moment?"

Because, you see, tomorrow Instagram could disappear. Some hacker could take it all down. Some Instagram employee could accidentally wipe out all the code. Someone could hack your account (this happened to me). And all of your photos may be lost there with it.

If all your dog photos are just intended for Instagram, you're going to have mostly only square and vertical photos of your dog.

I don't know about you, but to me that's boring.

So when you take photos of your own dog, don't think of Instagram as the final destination. Think of a lifelong, lasting print as your final destination. Because those will always outlast whatever social media platform comes next.

If you're not paying for it, you don't own any of it. And it could all disappear tomorrow without warning.

Let the print be the final iteration. Let your vision lead the way, not the Instagram interface.

Happy weekend!

- Steamer