This week I had the honor of holding the NYCbaton. For those that aren’t familiar with NYCbaton, it’s a collaboration from the NYC instagram community. The idea is that a different New Yorker gets passed the baton (Instagram account) and has a day to shoot through the eyes of a New Yorker’s day. Recently I had the opportunity to hold it this past Wednesday.
After my first shot of the day got over 200 likes, I felt the power trip start to form.
I had the attention of 2,892 people. This was the largest audience I’ve ever been faced with one-on-one. It was terrifying and overwhelming all at once. With the limit of 7 photos for the entire day, the pressure was on. This is New York, I thought, realistically there’s far too many things to take pictures of.
Instagram comes naturally to me especially when it’s on your own terms. You have complete control of your own social presence. You have no one to blame but yourself. The only question you have to ask is, do you want a huge fan base or want to be an authority of awesome. I’d chose the latter. Followers will come when you’re original, interesting, and true to yourself. However in this moment I felt like this was my one shot. It wasn’t until the first few photos that it clicked. I had to ask myself, who really cares and what exactly do they care about? The answer’s simple. They care about your day. They care about a New Yorker’s perspective. As much as I struggled to take those scenic Empire State Building shots, I knew deep down inside people could see that anywhere and at WAY better quality than from my iPhone5. What they really wanted was to see our surroundings, how we live, what it’s like to be a New Yorker. We’re like one of those rare species of tree frogs in the wildness that scientists can’t help but study. And to my surprise a lot of people commenting weren’t even from here. All that was left was to give the people what they want. At the end of the day, my personal Instagram will still be there as my own creative outlet.
Here’s how the rest of my day turned out: