Scornfully side-eyeing club photographers on a Saturday night, I used to quickly dismiss photography as a lazy art. At a time, pursuing photography had virtually no appeal to me, but Instagram changed my mind.

After some encouragement from friends, I downloaded the app around October 2012, not because I saw photography in a different light, more because...whatever, why not? People I knew were doing it, and I wanted to join.

In 2012, the streetwear community had not taken root on Instagram, and it wasn't so obvious to search out your favorite sneaker dudes to follow their posts. Three or so years before Snapchat, there wasn't really a way to keep tabs on the personal lives of people like Virgil Abloh or Ronnie Fieg like there is today.

From a visual standpoint, Instagram's romance with perspective-driven, high-contrast, filtered, vanishing point-oriented aesthetics had not yet manifested either, and it's possible that no one had even dangled their Nikes off a building at this point.

Eventually, I purchased my first DSLR, and naturally doing it for the 'gram was top of mind, as my understanding of photography was developed by thumbing up and down my Instagram feed, all the while taking mental notes on how to compose and edit. I chose Canon's 6D, largely on the basis that it was equipped with Wi-Fi, allowing me to easily transfer images to my phone, then straight to Instagram. It never even crossed my mind to go with an analog camera, how would I ever get all the Instagram likes that way?

Today, the thought of uploading an iPhone image to Instagram feels primitive, whereas when I joined, it seemed a bit of a cheat to upload DSLR images when many were still taking a more puritan approach to Instagram, only using smartphone photos. Seeing how Instagram has become such a popular tool for professional photographers of all walks, uploading DSLR shots is status quo in 2016.

Initially I used tools like Whitagram to fit landscape images into Instagram's signature square canvas, but eventually I started presenting all my photos in 1x1, abiding by the restrictive interface that didn't actually comply with how I was shooting my photos in the first place.

Then Instagram unrolled native support for landscape and portrait aspect ratios midway through 2015, so again I was forced to reconsider how I shoot and crop. Since that particular update, more and more I've found myself constantly adjusting my grip to portrait when shooting, aiming to capitalize on Instagram's display real estate, even though shooting portrait simply feels uncomfortable. If Instagram changed its canvas to a trapezoid, we probably wouldn't think twice about cropping our images to match.

Now I live in Berlin, and when I first moved here, I went on a spree of visiting abandoned buildings around the city, locations which I had discovered through Instagram. Essentially every time I'm in a new place, I can't help but search geo-tags and hashtags, looking for the IG-famous Insta-shooters and where the key spots are. I think it becomes a familiar routine for many photographers. What's the highest view point? Where has the best cityscapes? #letsbuildfam

These days, my camera is just as important as my passport when traveling. Digesting and recollecting where I've been, and reflecting on what I'm seeing all starts and ends with photography. In part due to Instagram, taking photos wherever I go has become a habit for me, and I really never saw it coming. When you see how many guys are hustling on Instagram and creating their own opportunities, you have to wonder what's possible through picking up a camera and seeing what happens.

Plus, I even met my girlfriend on Instagram.

Shout out to the shooters that keep me woke - @jjudelee, @robertwunsch@alexander_wessely@bobbyanwar and many more.

The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those solely of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Highsnobiety as a whole.

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