Hannah's Critical Studies



Other Influencers

Other Influencers I found have a strong impact on both Instagram and YouTube were primarily beauty gurus with people like NikkieTutorials, Jeffree Star, Manny MUA and Laura Lee to name a few. Many of these beauty guru’s have partnered up with established make up companies to release lines of cosmetics which in turn, they sell via their youtube and IG.


Jeffree Star

Manny MUA

Laura Lee


Jeffree Star by himself has earned enough money through his old music career and through his youtube channel/make up tutorials. With this money he was then able to create his own Make Up company called Jeffree Star Cosmetics. With his make up brand selling so well in the U.S. and overseas he recently held his first collaboration with MannyMUA which was an instant sell out.

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I also met up with a  friend during a photoshoot who opened my eyes to the industry and all of the pressures these influencers are to gain a large following and to sell. My friend Lydia Lane, although a music artist, also create fashion video’s. Most of these have been sponsored by a clothing brand who has sent her the items for free in return for her promoting these products on her channel (See video below – also linking to Mulvey’s Male Gaze). She also told me that she has to go for meeting with management almost every week to come up with a new plan to create new content that will draw in the viewers.

I also found an article which explaining more about these popular influencers.



When looking into YouTube I decided to look into one of the UK’s biggest YouTube influencers; Zoella. I found an article on how much she earns a month through YouTube. It has been revealed that the 27 year old is earning over £50,000 a month just through her channel which currently has almost 12,000,000 subscribers. These subscribers are people who follow and watch her videos. She is able to monetise her videos through having paid adverts within her videos and also by having paid advertising before the video starts. Meaning she is earning a lot of money just from one video.

But from this, the fortune she has earned has also allowed her to create her own range of beauty products for fans available in Superdrug and Boots which is now a new outlet for her to earn money.


Visual and Other Pleasures

When looking into Instagram one of the running themes I found was that women were using their looks and bodies to sell things. This instantly lead myself to Laura Mulvey’s theory of the male gaze. When looking at sources I could use for reference points in my work I found the book Visual and Other Pleasures

When having a read through this, although I have studied the theory several times previously, it allowed me to develop my knowledge of the topic further. Especially with how the theory is often applied to cinema but could be applied to anything. At this point in my essay I used the theory to reference that those on Instagram were using suggestive imagery to sell products as this technique has been proven to sell.

I also went on the hunt to find quotes which would help back up my point and this is when I found Laura Mulvey Quotes. And the first quote on the page was perfect to use. My only issue was that it stated it was from the book Visual and Other Pleasures.

‘Woman, then, stands in patriarchal culture as a signifier for the male other, bound by a symbolic order in which man can live out his fantasies and obsessions through linguistic command by imposing them on the silent image of a woman still tied to her place as the bearer of meaning, not maker of meaning.’

From Snapshots to Social Media

I found a journal on Google Books which I thought would be perfect to use as a source as it covered things that I found necessary to my work. This journal was called From Snapshots to Social Media: The Changing Picture of Domestic Photography. This outlined what domestic photography was. This provided me with an introduction and an opening quote for discussion within my essay.

‘We use the term domestic photography to describe the photographic activities of ordinary people taking and using images for non-professional purposes.’ Sarvas. R and Frohlich. D.M (2011)

This opening quote also explained what domestic photography was. This gave me a starting point to discuss how Instagram was originally intended for users to share their day to day photos with friends and family but how it has now changed into a site primarily used for marketing and bragging rights.

Youtube Statistics

In a discussion I had also been advised to look into YouTube and it’s links and correlations with Instagram. This is when I came across an article stating the site has over 1 Billion Active Users Each Month.

This article goes into detail about how the YouTube brand was created through to Google becoming a shareholder. I did find this article very short and nowhere near in-depth as I needed. I then found an article on TIME which again I found to be very brief but it mentioned a lot of the facts I needed in my work including how much the company was worth in 2010 and included some issues the company has faced legally.

History of Instagram

When looking into the history of Instagram I thought it might be quite difficult as the app is a fairly recent creation. But then I found this video. This video discusses every critical point of the company through its development up until December 2015. I have found this  video again to be another key part of the foundations of my essay as I was then able add more information about the company to my report. These facts were vital in proving how large the growth of the company has become.

Teens and Social Networking

With the essay I was going to write being about Instagram and it’s effects on photography I thought the best place to start looking would be at who uses the sites most.  I then found an article on Top Ten Reviews. This goes into the statistics of the amount of teenagers who use social media with the research taking place between 2008-2010. The statistics have been divided into sections; Teen Internet Use, Teen Social Networking Use, What Teens Do on Facebook, What Else Happens on Facebook, Parental Concerns and Controls.

I then found an article which specifies statistics about Instagram and it’s users. These statistics were taken in 2016. Again the statistics have been divided into sections; History,  Financial, Users, Usage and Marketing. Out of all of these I would find the use of the Users and Usage sections the most helpful with my essay, maybe even the marketing section.


Colour Meanings

This page caught my attention as when we discuss the use of colour we also discuss the connotations of each shade and how they can alter the narrative of a story. Below are meanings of each colour taken directly from the weblink.


Colour Photography

I love this page. It gives a comprehensive understanding on making sure colour in an images works well and isn’t overpowering the subject within the image. Topics such as dominant colours, receding colours, colour isolation and advancing colours are discussed.

Dominant Colours

This section discusses how colours can clash and it may be better to pick one colour to focus on and make sure the rest of the colours complement this desired focus shade.

Colour Isolation

This is similar to the first section but talks about changing the angle of the shot to achieve other shades or tones while also experimenting with various lenses.

Advancing Colours

According to this page, advancing colours are warmer tones like red and oranges. This is because the eye is naturally drawn to them over colder shades like blue and green. These are intended to be the main focus of the image.

Receding Colours 

These are the cooler shades like blues and greens. These colours tend to be better in the background as they assist in directing the attention to the warm tones.

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