Scott Rankin is a Vancouver-based photographer. His Instagram account (@othellonine) has been featured by Complex Magazine, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, among others and has over 105k followers. The transition from social media influencer to professional photographer can be found on his Format portfolio. [photo by Tina Albrecht]
My studio space is a phone. I take photos and edit them on my phone. I don’t post any photos from my DSLR on Instagram. Those are on my Format site. I happen to live in a beautiful part of the world and I love going out to the mountains to see what I can capture. I don’t go crazy with edits. I just try to capture the essence of the moment.
I started taking photos because it was a way for me and my girlfriend to hang out and do things outdoors. We go on photo walks and take pictures. The app Hipstamatic came out and it was the gateway drug to Instagram. All of a sudden you could post a photo and have an audience. It escalated quickly. Now, we go on photo walks every weekend and drummed up a bit of a following.
You get a feeling right away about a photo. I’ll take multiple photos of the same scene and expose different parts. When I get home, I’ll figure out which one is the best. My editing process involves two apps. Every single photo goes through Snapseed. I adjust contract, brightness and saturation. Then, I put it through a light filter. VSCO Cam is a popular one or PicFX–lately, I’ve been using a new app called Litely. Just light filters. I’m not big on the over-saturated Instagram filters. I just want something subtle that makes it my own.
After we go on a photo walk, my girlfriend and I will just nerd out on the couch together. The TV is on but we’re not watching it–we sit there and edit and show each photos like, ‘Look at this one, what do you think about this one?’ Our Sunday morning ritual is lying in bed with our coffee and editing photos. Maybe, more accurately, my bedroom is my studio.
I’m always looking for an image that will get someone’s attention in a very short amount of time. That’s my reality. When someone goes to a gallery to see your work, they’re generally spending time absorbing the image. In my realm, on Instagram, everyone is scrolling through quickly and if you don’t have and image that resonates with colour or subject matter, they’re just going to skip by it.
I’m very aware of what gets more likes but I try not to think about it. It’s a conversation I regularly have with my photographer friends. We laugh at the face that Instagram is very anti-portrait and pro-landscape. People will skip over a great portrait because they have no way of relating to it.
Another running joke is that the photos you like will get the least amount of likes. When I’m really excited about a photo, it always gets less likes. I try to balance posting what I know people will like and what I like. Ultimately, I still like what everyone likes so it’s not like I’m sacrificing my artistic vision.
–Scott Rankin, as told to Studio Beat
Photos by Scott Rankin aka @othellonine
Visit Scott Rankin’s website here.
Special thanks to Format!