With 1.2 million photos tagged with #nofilter in 2015 – and with that number increasing year by year – this filter free hashtag is taking the globe by storm. More and more people are stripping away the Instagram filters, shutting down Photoshop, and choosing to hit the web au natural. Whether they’re beauty bloggers or travelling the world, #nofilter is a phenomenon that shows no signs of slowing. But what is the real benefit behind no filtering? Can taking away the glam from your photographs actually help you as an Instagrammer? The answer is YES! Here are the top four reasons why you, and your followers, could benefit from the no filter hashtag!
Shows That You're HumanOften times as Instagrammers, we pick and choose what we put on our feeds. Whether it’s that amazing photo shoot, or that filtered travel pic, we are very selective about which pictures we choose, how we choose them and, most importantly, the image of ourselves that they present to the world. And while it is important to be picky about the pictures we post, as these help to create a coherent brand and style, it can often create a disconnect between the Instagram you – that your followers see – and the real you. Put on too many filters and you may even be accused of being a poser, fake, or simply trying too hard. That’s where no filter comes in. By posting an unedited picture with #nofilter every now and then, you help show your followers that you are genuine. That there is a human side to you, behind the glamorous photos that you regularly post. It also shows that you have the confidence to show yourself, and the world around you, without the need of a filter. Using #nofilter will give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes – one that might be less pretty, but one that is heartfelt, raw, and genuine. And nothing is more attractive to a follower than a fantastic person behind the camera.
#nofilter is a Popular HashtagThis is the most obvious reason. The no filter hashtag is incredibly popular on Instagram, with millions of people adding to it every year. A hashtag this popular will help your unfiltered photo travel further than it would without it. This will help to boost your account’s traffic and help bring in new followers. However, it’s one thing to use a popular hashtag, it’s another to get noticed on it. Posting an unflattering selfie or a blurry picture of your dog will only get you so far. If you’re going to use this hashtag this way, then you need to make sure you can take some amazing photographs without the need of a filter. Which brings us on to…
Makes You a Better PhotographerNow that you don’t have filters or colour correction to rely on any more, you’ll have no choice but to brush up on those photography skills. Lighting, angles, foreground, background, colour contrasts – these are the elements that genuine photographers need to consider before they even think about pressing shoot. All the filters in the world won’t fix a messy shot. By using the no filter hashtag, you are forcing yourself to get creative with your limitations. By learning how to take a fantastic shot naturally, you will not only see a boost in the number of likes you receive, but will also develop a nice set of skills for when you do return to Photoshop. Sometimes, in order to push ourselves, we need to set ourselves a challenge.
Mental HealthInstagram is predominantly used by young people. Teenagers, new adults, and people on the cusp of adult life. However, because of the highly edited, filtered, and often unrealistic photographs posted on the site, Instagram is often considered to be detrimental to a young person’s mental health. The constant flow of edited photography places a heavy and idolised bar for young people to reach, which can lead to poor body positivity, anxiety, and self-doubt. As an Instagrammer, you want to make sure that all of your content is benefiting your audience. Whether it’s a gorgeous selfie, a beautiful sunset, or a delicious meal, you want your photos to look good to make others feel good. Especially if you have a large following, it’s important to remember how your image and brand may influence the lives of others. So an unfiltered selfie, or an unedited behind-the-scenes shot of the kitchen, or even just a cute cat photo, may be just the thing a young person needs to make them feel safe. By showing that there is beauty in the unfiltered, you are not only reducing the stigma many feel against Instagram, but are also teachiing your less-confident followers a very important lesson: Beauty is in the photo, not the filter.