Social media creates boost in cellphone photography

Gareth Pon Picture: Gareth Pon/ Instagram
Gareth Pon Picture: Gareth Pon/ Instagram

ALMOST everywhere you go, there is someone taking a selfie and posting it on social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

As most people today have cellphones, it’s easy to snap away wherever you are.

Instagram communities such as igerssouthafrica and coloursofyousa are honing that trend by pursuing the potential of mobile photography and using unique and creative ways of sharing images with meet-ups, called Instameet.

An Instameet is described as a gathering where photography and Instagram enthusiasts meet and capture certain parts of the city.

Top 2014-15 Instagramer, creator and administrator of igerssouthafrica, Gareth Pon, said it was the country’s first internationally recognised Instagram community. Founded by Pon in 2013, igerssouthafrica is now part of a wider network of communities known as @igers.

Currently based in Chicago, Pon said his idea of starting a South African community began towards the end of 2012 but only became official in 2013.

“I selected community managers in each major city in the country and over one weekend, we launched the community by hosting Instameets in each city.

“My original intention for starting the communities was to help South Africans rediscover the beauty in their cities again,” Pon said.

He said anyone, especially those who wanted to see more of their cities and were interested in photography, could be part of the igerssouthafrica community.

Closer to home, coloursofyou is one of the many communities on Instagram where aspiring photographers share images, whether it be amateurs or cellphone photographers.

Coloursofyou founder Gerard Addison said the group had been running for three years.

“It’s a nice space where artists can create, meet and collaborate while sharing ideas, all the while bringing communities together to interact,” Addison said.

Initially, coloursofyou featured “hidden beauties in the city” but through popularity and growth of the community, they have now partnered with Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism.

“We go to destinations such as historic or iconic spots that we can explore and capture.

“Most of the guys are self-trained and include anyone and we are open to the public and anyone who wants to join us on one of our Instameets,” Addison said.

Pon said that Instagram communities such as igerssouthafrica “grow a lot quicker than traditional clubs” because they are “so organic and there are new communities with meet-ups happening all the time”.

As someone who was given the title of top Instagrammer for two years in a row, Pon said if Instagram users wanted to get more followers, the biggest part was getting involved.

“Maintain an appealing Instagram account with high quality images. But interacting and engaging with your community is a very big factor,” Pon said.

To view Gareth Pon’s images, go to


[supsystic-gallery id=11 position=center]

Leave a Reply