'Doing it for the gram'. Instagram is the source behind an abundance of nascent terms and phrases occupying our vocabularies. A social network with unparalleled dynamism and an influence which extends into the way we pose, dress, eat and, ultimately, live. Instagram has its own ethos and code of conduct for those taking it seriously. Most importantly, it has given a platform to new artists and new means of expression and self-discovery to aspiring creatives and models.
It wouldn’t be far fetched to claim that Instagram has inspired a visual revolution. The platform is inherently inclusive and fosters content democratization through its vast reach. It has also developed into an eclectic marketplace where photographers find their muses and artists find their voice with new projects and collaborations sprouting every other scroll of the thumb. It is no coincidence that the latter are paving the way for new aesthetic currents to emerge; from fashion, to colour grading, to post-production and “millennial pastels”, all major publications and industry connoisseurs are taking notes in an effort to unpack and decode the new trends. Everyone is doing everything for the gram.
The ‘Grammification’ of art was a strong contender and theme during our Frēsh 18 awards. We collected the most characteristic examples, which showcase the ways in which photographers and their models articulate on confidence, attitudes, how they decompose and restructure the meaning of Selfies and offer a fresh approach to fashion, styling and casting. Have a look.
The photographer as the extension of the model, in a journey of confidence and optics.
"A beautiful capture of the last few decades in one image, the props, the colours, the hair - it's got attitude. A hard thing to capture."
"This series is all style. Simple idea perfectly executed. Like."
"Reminds me of Marlon Brando in 'The Wild One' only in this case the protagonist is rather benevolent."
"The hat being a simple metephor for occupation, representing to me that no matter where you're located you can find something you love and make it a living."
"Just a girl, walking by a photo studio and taking it by storm."
"There is a whole movement that revolves around photographers and models bouncing around the world; intersecting for a moment and then moving on - with just a shot to mark the occasion. A new process of working together with a new sort of reward."
Rose Colored Glasses
"Rising from the shadows, and boldly making our presence known in a male-dominated industry. We are like the Phoenix."
"I love how the smoke effect becomes part of the model’s attire and, ultimately, identity, while she lowers her shades asking ‘What do you know about me?”. Brilliant."
"This is perfect Instagram; interesting, dynamic and it doesn't bend to brand, campaign or ad exec."
Life's Like A Balloon
"The immediate pull of the image takes away from the subtleness of grading, structure and hidden messages."
"There's a simple, blunt honesty to this shot that appeals to me. Like what i'm about or scroll on."
Selfies are no longer considered as shameless bragging - they’re proof of self-discovery and experimentation, in the form of polaroids.
The Insides; That's What's Beautiful
Adina Salome Harnischfeger
"I stopped while removing my make-up because I realized that in that moment I was pure, totally myself, not beautiful and not trying to be."
Adina Salome Harnischfeger
"Refreshing honesty in an otherwise perfected world."
"A moment of purity in every sense of the word."
You're Just a Feeling
"I wanted to create something outside of the box, utilizing food in a way to alter the way we view women and sexuality."
"It's really refreshing to see the female gaze at work in simple photographer and model combinations - the result is more sensitive and more collaborative."
"Her inner own world, like an astronaut, searching for love on other planet."
"This self-portrait by the photographer is part of a larger series that deals with themes that touch on isolation, objectivity and distance - which allows us a glimpse of creativity as a tool for working through your feelings, as well as simply expressing them."
Styling As Identity As Styling
Breaking down the barriers of model casting and high fashion, these photographer provide evidence that style is eternal and that style is character, indeed.
"In a world of constant and ever-evolving reference, sometimes an arresting image reminds you of the simplicity colour can bring to an image."
"This series is about picking a colour and playing with it. Like a learning exercise, it's just about seeing what happens."
La Vie En Rose
"I was inspired by the song sung by Edith Piaf. Taking influence from 20's fashion and crossing it with classic french accessories, I created an angelic-like old film set."
"I like the fact that I cannot actually pinpoint this photoshoot at a specific time. It can be in the 1920s as the artist suggests, but the colour process is reminiscent of the 1970s or 1980s. It's time agnostic, so potentially eternal."
"So much personality, it transcends the screen. Captivating."
"There's a bravery here - not just to push styling into new directions, but to be defiant in ignoring the reason and purpose of a commercially-justifiable shoot and just doing it for the hell of it."
The Insight programme explores ideas and concepts from across the Frēsh 18 entry pool. Compiled by Tim Jarvis and Villy Devlioti with help from our Curators.