President Barack Obama has joined the insanely popular photo sharing site Instagram, a favourite of Hipsters. The first uploaded picture, posted by the U.S. President’s staff, shows Obama video-conferencing with supporters at the Iowa caucus.
The Instagram app allows the user – in this case the leader of the free world (or his staff) – to apply retro filters that make the image look like it was taken with an antique camera. The photos can then be instantly posted to the user’s Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter accounts. Obama has been called everything from the Facebook President (he was the first POTUS to join the social network) to the YouTube President (when he came to office Obama began posting weekly ‘fireside’ chats on his YouTube channel). Now with Instagram, people are calling Obama the Hipster President.
In the short time the Instagram account (@barackobama) has been live Obama has posted six images, and amassed over 50,000 followers, though he isn’t following anyone (think of all the retro images of cats he’s missing out on).
The Daily Mail newspaper have ‘used the popular iPhone app’ (I think that’s a bit of a fib; they probably used Photoshop) to ‘give a vintage look to some favourite White House moments’. The writer enthuses about the Instagram treatment, the distinctly hazy Sixties and Seventies feel to the images, and how relatively ordinary moments seem more important, almost like historical documents. Imagine if you gave extraordinary moments the Instagram treatment. How important would they seem then?
One of our twelve predictions for 2012 (rendered in twenty words) was that, with the Presidential election dominating the news cycle, images of political figures and Americana – stars and stripes, bald eagles etc. – are inescapable. We stand by the prediction, though we didn’t expect the images to be quite so hazy.
And for super-sharp, non-retro images of political figures, look no further than our politics stock photos.