Portrait: A Documentary About a Popular Instagrammer and a Pro Photographer

Portrait is a new 20-minute documentary film by Columbus, Ohio-based filmmaker Andy Newman that explores the question, “In the age of Instagram, what sets a professional photographer apart?” Newman compares the lives and work of two people who are both crazy about photography, but who have chosen very different careers and mediums.

The first is Andria Lindquist, a Seattle-based lifestyle and wedding photographer who makes a living with her photographs. The second is Cory Staudacher, a Seattle-based web designer who has attracted over 174,000 followers on his Instagram account @withhearts.

When asked about Instagram and the term “photographer”, Lindquist states,

The core there is: [Instagram] changes the way [people] look at things and how they watch things, and that’s a photographer. So maybe that’s the definition.

Whether you’re doing it with your phone or you’re doing it with a $3,000 camera, it changes the way you look at things, and so I think that is the thing that ties us together.

The project was funded back in May after 68 donors contributed $2,655 through Kickstarter. At the time, Newman wrote,

I recently connected with Cory Staudacher, a web designer from Seattle. He’s friends with Andria Lindquist, one of the professional photographers I had hoped to feature.

As it turns out, Cory has never owned a DSLR and is in no way a professional photographer. Yet Cory, going under the name withhearts, has over 50,000 followers on Instagram.

What a better way to […] explore the creative process than to compare two friends: one professional photographer who makes a full-time living at what she loves to do, and an avid Instagrammer who has risen to some level of fame in the digital age due to his creative eye and iPhone photography skills.

Newman succeeded in creating a beautifully shot documentary that may remind many of you of why you fell in love with the art in the first place.

P.S. Back in May, we shared another short film by Newman: a BTS look at the work of street fashion photog Nick Fancher.

  • Djambel Unkov

    Never worry about offending people.

  • Djambel Unkov

    saying these two are better than any of us is a bold and general statement. I personally am a hundred times better than these two.

  • Djambel Unkov

    There is nothing more disheartening than when your photos are used in a way you did not envision or desire. I am fairly certain that all Andrea can do is look attractive.

  • Djambel Unkov

    Just for once I would like a photographer who gets an interview to say something of substance. I don’t respect these clowns. I respect guys like Art Wolf or guys who take their craft to the limit every time they go out. War zone photographers, photo journalists with skill. The difference between a pro and a joke is that.

  • Djambel Unkov

    Actually a pro is someone with experience and skill who doesn’t suck at their job.

  • Djambel Unkov

    Its just another story about a monkey with expensive equipment and an average eye for shooting.

  • Bold Soul

    There are people who shoot pictures and there are photo gear dorks trolling around the internet criticizing other people who are actually out there doing it. I would bet that her work is better than 90% of the people here talking trash.

  • Henry Stradford

    He’s not really part of a ‘community’, he only follows 416 others. :(

  • Tokyo 多才 Electronics

    I really enjoyed this!

  • David Vaughn

    Best in what capacity? Her pictures are good, and some are really good, but most appear to be pretty girls shot with soft natural lighting or sun flare, which isn’t really that…interesting…

    Her blog post about the Australian wedding she did had some really good photos also – that bridal portrait is awesome – but at the same time, most of them are not too far off from what I’ve already seen.

    Also: VSCO. She seems to VSCO many, many of her photos…or something similar.

    She’s good at what she does, but saying she’s one of the best when many of her showcased photos are uber-cliched is a stretch.

  • David Vaughn

    I don’t want to sound hateful, but at the same time: If they’re going to put themselves in the spotlight, then I believe some criticism is O.K. as long as it isn’t a personal attack without anything to substantiate it.

    I made the claim that many of her photos are cliche. She uses a lot of sun flare and many of her photos aren’t much more interesting than “what a pretty girl against a contextless background.”

    BUT: many of her photos are really good and a bit different, like the recent bridal portraits on her blog. That still doesn’t change the fact that a lot of her photos do seem cliche to me.

    If that’s what pays her bills and if she loves it, then more power to her. Keep on shooting.

    However, I’m not going to praise her just because I don’t want to seem like a big meany. In my opinion, that would de disingenuous.

  • Tony L.

    I enjoyed the documentary. After listening to Andria talking about the whole idea of being born a photographer (can’t remember what she said exactly), I am wondering how many photographers out there would still be photographers if it was still the era of film and developing. Just a thought…

  • Thomas Casey

    I’m surprised she gets sharp pictures holding the camera like that. Interesting documentary, I liked the music.