The rise of social media platforms, such as Instagram, and the improvement of cell phone cameras has led to a rise in student photography. At PHS alone, there are at least three photography Instagram accounts with over 400 followers. The accounts were started for a variety of different reasons.
People of PHS, known as “@_pophs” on Instagram, originally began as a Facebook page run by the photojournalism class, and was modeled after a New York blog, “Humans of New York”.
“Humans of New York attempts to find the story behind what it means to live in New York, and also what it means to be human in our world,” photojournalism advisor Jody Weverka said. “The premise is that everyone has a story, and that story can told both through pictures and a small snippet of that person’s experience, so that’s what we try to do.”
People of PHS is special because it gives the photojournalism class an opportunity to publish on a weekly basis.
“Being in yearbook, we don’t get the satisfaction of people looking at our work until the end of the year,” yearbook’s student life editor senior Claire Mansell said. “[People of PHS] is a way to get a short term reward for the work we do.”
Sophomore Ethan Argue created his photography Instagram to separate photos from his personal and art Instagrams.
Argue said that he prefers to use iPhone camera to photograph.
“You know, I’ve had a Canon DSLR for two years, but to be really honest, I think the pictures with the iPhone are better,” Argue said. “I just kind of figured out the iPhone camera really well. The actual very involved DSLR has been harder to figure out. Now, I have a much better camera, but it hasn’t necessarily translated to better art.”
Argue’s photos are very popular in Piedmont. Currently, his account boasts of over 1,500 followers.
Senior Keith Sibal said he created his Instagram account, naturetranscendence, to promote the small things we overlook in nature.
“Naturetransendence started gradually, by an interest in nature in general. One time a certain plant caught my eye and I decided to take a picture of it,” Sibal said. “I keep sharing it to people on my Instagram to give people greater appreciation of nature.
For millennials who spend more time on screens than outdoors, images of nature can be calming and relieving.
“I guess in a way it’s refreshing just to see pictures of nature,” sophomore Nathan Chin said.