Better Know An Instagram: @SGoralnick
A native of Woodstock, New York, avid Instagramer Steph Goralnick first fell for photography at a performing arts summer camp."I learned very quickly that singing and dancing in front of an audience was absolutely not my forté," she says, "but the camp had a darkroom setup, and I found it to be not only the perfect refuge, but also a wonderful way to express myself creatively." Goralnick continued her creative pursuits, later enrolling at Pratt to study graphic design. While there she started to explore digital photography, shooting portraits for a college yearbook project. After a hard drive failure she describes as "tragic and heartbreaking" erased every digital photo she'd ever taken, the Brooklyn resident taught herself how to use a DSLR. Soon, her photos started eclipsing those she'd lost, and she's been happily snapping (and saving) digital images ever since. Today, Goralnick works as a senior designer for Chase Design Group and does freelance photo projects on the side. She also keeps thousands of followers intrigued with her Instagram account. More on that below.
When did you start using Instagram? What do you love about it?
Steph Goralnick: As a photographer and a designer, I communicate visually. I loved Twitter, but it was never quite right for me. I discovered Instagram and started using it fairly soon after it was released. It was the perfect way to share quick photo updates that I didn't want to include in my more closely curated online portfolios. Quick, daily updates using photos was something that I'd been waiting for!
Is there anything about it that drives you crazy?
It saddens me that people rarely browse beyond the one most recent photo. Past images are essentially unreachable; they aren't easily accessed or explored.
You have more than 200,000 followers. In your opinion, what’s driving the account's success?
I started using Instagram pretty soon after it came out and was posting every day, giving folks a peek into my little corner of the world. Just living in New York gives me access to so may weird and wonderful activities, events, and people, so I suppose those are interesting to an onlookers. People have also mentioned that they enjoy and appreciate that I respond to followers and commenters who have something to say or discuss, so that could be another reason.
What are some of your must-follow accounts?
@chrisozer would be one. @vutheara is an amazing photographer in Paris, and @JN in Berlin are two that I've met recently whose work I have been enjoying immensely. I also like to follow people who engage with their commenters and have either funny, interesting or inspiring things to say: @shahkashani, @robinmay and @inkedfingers are three of my favorites.
How, if at all, has Instagram influenced or impacted your career?
Some wonderful opportunities have come my way that have fit in with my interests and the medium in a great organic way. The other thing it's done is widen the network of photographers and great creative people to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of.
Technology is constantly evolving. Do you think Instagram is a fad, or do you believe that is has staying power?
I think it's entirely dependent on how the app continues to grow and evolve alongside people's interests and changing technology. We seem to be enjoying expressing ourselves and showing bits of our daily lives to friends and family and anyone out there who may be interested, so I think whatever app or platform facilitates that most simply and most accessibly will be the one that people gravitate towards.
If you weren’t a photographer and graphic designer, what would you be doing?
Writing, making furniture, scuba diving, cooking and growing food... designing and creating and exploring the world, for sure.
Image by Dan Busta
Gallery Images by Steph Goralnick