Then and Now: Instagrammers Take Us Back

Then and Now:

Take Us Back

There is no denying that Instagram has changed the influencer landscape over the past couple of years. A platform that was once used to instantly share your most memorable moments with friends and family turned into a whole new business venture for photographers, bloggers, and everyday people who have an eye for visuals. But before they were influencers, who were they? 

What did their feeds look like before they started monetizing off of them? We asked our networks of influencers to share the change in their content since they started thinking about themselves as influencers. Take a look below to see what we gathered.

44K Followers — October 11, 2015

44K Followers — October 11, 2015

Jeff Mindell Photography


The key things that changed for me would be a true understanding of the Instagram landscape, community and value in terms of what it is today. And also editing techniques! When I first joined Instagram back in 2012, it was just a new photo sharing platform in my eyes. A means to keep in touch with friends and family on the East Coast (Kelly and I had just moved to LA a few months before). Fast forward to today and I am utilizing the app as a means to grow my photography business and personal brand.

1500 Followers —   August 21, 2012

1500 Followers — August 21, 2012

If you told that guy who took the photo back in 2012 that he’d eventually use the app to meet amazing people, clients, companies and work with incredible brands (to bring in really good money), he 100% wouldn’t have believed you. I rarely get a business inquiry today that doesn’t begin with “We found you on Instagram”. That’s a very powerful statement to me. On a more superficial level, the first photo is much darker then my example of a more recent post. I try to keep up with “personal filters” for my own feed, meaning rules that I keep to. One being no dark images, really ever. A brighter, more colorful feed is what I want my followers to know me for and I stick to it.


38% Sponsored vs.

62% Non-Sponsored


800 Followers — July 7, 2013

800 Followers — July 7, 2013

Emari Traffie Photography

These two photos are roughly two years apart and I picked them because they were very similar yet, different in so many ways.The first photo of a cappuccino on the lobby room table of the Portland Ace hotel was taken while on a family vacation to the Pacific Northeast. I had recently met some friends, @Cabell_Coffee and @annajepson, who were taking Instagram seriously and they inspired me to see what I could do with it. I was into this trendy desaturated faded look (VSCO preset T1


54K Followers — August 29, 2015

54K Followers — August 29, 2015

to be exact) but the general composition and content of the photo is similar to something I would post today. The second photo depicts me in an entirely different place in life, an additional 54 thousand followers, a bachelors degree, living and working in Los Angeles and starting a magazine with dear friends I hadn’t even met two years ago. My aesthetic and taste has become cleaner and more minimal. I now lean toward a high contrast, sharp, cool image for my personal work and since being in LA have adopted the city’s all black uniform (it’s so convenient!). 


40% Sponsored vs.

60% Non-Sponsored


Need to finish!!!