Observation: Evolution of Instagram followers

I've noticed a couple things since I've been looking at the websites of so many great photographers (mostly through agency websites) (if I really like their work I have a look at their instagram too). Some amazing working photographers have hardly any following and some that aren't necessarily working but are taking social media friendly images have a ton of followers. What is the logic? It's interesting to try and decipher. We've all seen a page and thought to ourselves, how? For better or for worse it's taken as such a benchmark.

In my own tiny Insta I think it started out as friends and family. Then it moved onto following other creatives I liked or worked with. I definitely did that thing where you follow a bunch of people to get people to follow you back but quickly realised that that's a bad way to go. I started following just pages with content that I like, as a rule. For the most part. Since it's social too I also have some that I've just followed for such a long time and I enjoy seeing what those people are up to. I noticed as my photography improved I gained followers that I thought were better too. Now I'm in a spot where I'm trying to take in as much great content as possible, since I think over a period of time you can train your eye.

I understand it but I still think it's weird that you are judged by your instagram, similar to how people are judged by the books that they read. Don't do what's expected. Just read all of the books.

Sherwin Liang