#GuilfordBeauty – An Adventure in Snapshots, Sharing, and Hashtags

Just in case you aren’t an Instagram user, allow me to share with you the developers’ statement from their blog:  “Instagram has become a community where you can capture and share the world’s moments simply and beautifully.” Now, Guilford has started sharing it’s moments using snapshot photography in order to bring awareness to our community.

Let’s be honest, Instagram is usually home to vintage hipster filters, selfies, and food photos, and I – yes I – am guilty of all three.

Anyway, despite the bad rap that can surround Instagram, it has helped Guilford reach the community in a unique and instantaneous way. I sat down with Donna Rasmussen, a 2004 Guilford graduate and our current Digital Communications Coordinator, in the Greenleaf for a pleasant chat about how utilizing the artistic outlet of snapshot photography – and embracing the hashtag-ridden world of Instagram – has brought our community closer together.

“People respond really well to visuals, particularly photos and videos. It’s a great way to show, instantaneously, what people are doing on campus. You won’t kill it or run it into the ground  by describing it in some boring way. The true spirit of Guilford can come out through pictures.” The Guilford College Instagram account began around graduation this year, and the response to the snapshots of the graduates was wholeheartedly positive. In fact, this is when I heard about the account – I didn’t go to graduation, but I got to experience it on my phone in the palm of my hand. Since the semester started, Donna has been snapping quick shots of the beauty of Guilford and happenings around campus using distinguishers like the “#GuilfordBeauty” tag. She said, “The use of hashtags is helpful to expand our reach and see what others are sharing.” If you include a hashtag before a word, it becomes a searchable link to other photos tagged with the same word.

Guilford has a wide reach on Instagram. “Students can follow us and we can follow students,” Donna said, “ It’s a fun way to keep up with everyone. I enjoy being able to share different aspects of Guilford that not necessarily everyone’s seen before. The alumni seem to love it as well.”

Now, you might think this is a stretch for an article about the art department of Guilford. Fear not, Donna read your mind when she stated, “I took pictures of the Inuit Art Exhibit and people responded really, really well to that. I make sure I get pictures of artwork because it shows what students and faculty are doing. It’s different from the pictures of Founders or the new Bryan, Jr. plaza. What other way do you have to showcase the different things going on? Social media is good for that.” This ties back in with the big issue of the week: The art gallery is in jeopardy and although I do not wish to dwell on this because it has been a hot topic for the past few days, I will say that proposing to get rid of or severely cut back the art gallery is a problem. Artwork is often a helpful accompaniment to education even when the education doesn’t necessarily focus around art. Taking away the gallery would not only eliminate the jobs of some fantastic Guilford faculty, but unique and appropriate expanded learning opportunities as well. My point is that here you have Instagram accounts backing up and sharing what the college is doing with everyone, even people around the world, using snapshot photography, an art form that’s becoming a big deal in the world of the arts.

As an artist, I tend to share many, many pictures of my own art, and it’s a great validation when “Guilford_College likes your photo” shows up in your notifications tab.

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Scroll through this slideshow to view examples of Guilford_College in action!

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Make sure to follow @Guilford_College, @GuilfordOSLE, @TheGuilfordian and @GuilfordAlum on Instagram, and keep an eye out for more departments joining the Instaverse that I might have missed!

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