BY AMANDA SONO & LEBOGANG MOKOENA
Instagram is not just a community of more than 300 million who capture and share the world’s moments on the service. But, it is a platform which develops talent. Young people showcase their work and to a greater extent, make a living out of Instagram.
Starting small is going big. Gareth Pon (28) is one such young individual.
He has accumulated a following of more than 200 000 followers on this global photo-sharing app. He is proclaimed Africa’s top Instagramer, Samsung’s electronics 2015 digital imaging brand ambassador and founder of Instagramer South African Community. He has a unique approach of storytelling through photography, using social media Instagram as a means to do so. Gareth’s role within the community involves coaching the local potential of Instagram, seeing communities grow first hand while developing the medium of mobile photography. “Initially, I started it to discover Jo’burg. I feel like there is a negative connotation around the city and I started using it as a way to tell a different perspective. A perspective of what the city is”, he says. Some of his work include short films such Wildly Innocent.
Another Instagram head honcho is Alessio a.k.a Fonz (37), who is born and raised in Pretoria prominent for his superb works on the cyber space Instagram.
He is the founder of Visual Eyes, a company that deals with visual and social content.
It all started with him being a typical Instagrammer , well like an ordinary person who Instagrams- taking pictures then upload them- but because of his creative and eye grabbing photography with his iPhone 4S and camera, he happened to make success out of a social platform. He started shooting random pictures, and uploading them on Instagram not knowing that was the start of a new career. “It all started with Instagram. When my work really started improving, people took notice. They started asking me to cover events for them. The content that I shoot almost always goes to Instagram and social networks”