by Drew Beck
I have fallen out of love with Instagram. It was bound to happen at some point. Our love once burned hot and fierce but now … I’ve grown weary of the square.
Initially I found the square exciting. Creative constraints get the mind and the eye working and the square inspired new looks and new approaches to photography.
Over time, though, I started to notice that only certain photos worked well when cropped square and others just didn’t work at all. When I nailed the look my photos felt like magic, but when I didn’t the whole image fell apart.
The square privileges symmetry and simplicity above all else. The square laughs at your attempts to make your slightly off-axis photo look right. The square takes your dynamic shot — look how the composition leads the eye around the image! look at the space your subject can walk into! — and renders it static and flat.
I am over the square. These days I use an app (Squareready) to place my images on a square background suitable for Instagram. It works but the images end up feeling small and out of place in the Instagram feed.
I still appreciate Instagram for all that it is — I wouldn’t see nearly enough pictures of my friends’ babies without it — but I long for a photographic outlet that allows me to share these photos in all their unsquare glory.
All photos taken with an iPhone 4 or 5.◥