Why I don't post (many) square images to Instagram

Why I don’t post (many) square images to Instagram

I often get asked “Why don’t you post square? Instagram is meant to be square!”

While I agree that photography is the art of omission, and that focus should be on the subject, I hardly ever post cropped squares.

The reasons are two-fold:

  1. I shoot “full-frame”. When composing my shot, I already select elements for inclusion or omission. There are many instagram(m)ers who shoot square only (hi @RoyWrench) purely for the sake of convenience (no cropping later), and they find it ensures their composition is spot-on for the square format, with no awkward cropping later on.
  2. I shoot mainly landscapes and urban scenes. Context is everything, as the situation or location of the subject within the environment often makes the photograph. The eyes need to travel around the picture before settling back on the subject. If I were to shoot portraits, I would be more likely to omit context via a tight crop or square format.

Here is a good example of my rhetoric:

Square Format - lacks context
Square Format – lacks context

 

Full Frame - context adds interest. Notice how your eyes travel around the picture?
Full Frame – context adds interest. Notice how your eyes travel around the picture?

 

In the end, it’s a matter of opinion and style.

TL;DR: I love context.