There’s no doubt that the fashion community has embraced Instagram whole-heartedly. In fact, Instagrams have become so important to fashion coverage, that, according to BuzzFeed, even Getty, arguably the biggest and most important wire image site, has embraced them. And they’re selling them for $49 a pop.
One of the reasons Instagram has become so popular is because it’s instant, has cool filters and, perhaps most importantly, it’s free. (Not incidentally, Hipstamatic, a similar photo-sharing app which launched around the same time costs $1.99 and is not nearly as popular). This means that regular non-photographer folk can snap decent pictures without needing professional gear and can share them quickly, easily and cheaply with anyone who follows them.
So it’s a bit baffling why Getty would employ professional photographers to take photos with their iPhones, apply the filter, then send them to the wire photo behemoth to sell them, with some lag time, negating both the timeliness and cost-effectiveness of Instagram. (According to Buzzfeed, three photogs are taking pics using their phones and one snaps with a traditional camera and then puts them through Instagram on his iPad.)
However, that’s exactly what’s happening. Or at least starting to. So far Getty has only dipped its toes in the Instagram market–of the 20,000 fashion week photos, for instance, just 73 were taken with Instagram. But considering the way fashion week coverage is going–and with readers expecting a more personal and less contrived peek at the week-long event–the amount of Instagram images available for purchase on Getty will likely increase. The only question is: Will people buy them?