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You Won’t Believe Why Instagram Removed This Photographer’s Work

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Note: Within 24 hours of publishing this article, all three of Kenny’s accounts were reinstated.

When a small creator amasses a following on social media and develops that into a lifestyle, it’s nothing short of impressive. To have flocks of fans follow your work on any level is a goal which often seems out of reach to many. Bodybuilder-turned-photographer Kenneth LeRose, otherwise known as Kenny, found a way to tap into his talents. He successfully built up a fan base of Instagram-enthused photography buffs interested in landscape and nature imagery.

Recently, a copycat account appeared on the scene, stealing Kenny’s work and some of his followers. So, Kenny did what any level-headed, self-made social media entrepreneur would do—he reported it to Instagram. Who could have guessed it would result in Kenny’s legitimate Instagram account being effectively removed from the platform? The shocking turn destroyed years of effort and the grass-roots following he had developed for his imagery, courses, and photography how-to tips. It left the photographer’s work dead in the water.

You Won't Believe Why Instagram Removed This Photographer's Work

Photo: Facebook/KRL Photo

LeRose had spent the better part of the spring and summer of 2018 exploring Texas. He traveled the Lone Star State with a 16-foot Airstream trailer in tow and his companion Sabu, a beloved rescue pitbull that Kenny has the pleasure of caring for. Now in his mid-30s, Kenny has spent a large part of his recent years behind a camera, capturing unbelievably life-like images that tell a story with each snap. Last year, he took the leap many of us dream about and purchased his travel trailer to head out on the open road, touring the lower 48 states, taking photos of whatever caught his eye. To support his lifestyle, he set up one-man shows along the way, displaying his work in the trailer, where folks would listen with keen interest as he described how his creative process became his life’s passion.

Photo: Facebook/KRL Photo

The foundation for his social media following on Instagram, the popular image and video-sharing network owned and operated by Facebook Inc., was obliterated through no fault of Kenny’s, leaving him powerless to maintain the online presence he’d worked hard to create. Upon discovering that a fake account had been posting his material and growing its own following as a result, LeRose reported it to Instagram. Since the social network platform is largely managed by machines and algorithms as opposed to people, the common recourse took place in which not only the imposter’s account was taken down, but all three of LeRose’s professional Instagram accounts were deleted. Having no actual person to deal with on the other end, LeRose’s pleas for assistance have fallen on deaf ears. The fate of a small creator in the sea of online influencers appears sealed without alternative measures or means to negotiate. What could be done differently?

You Won't Believe Why Instagram Removed This Photographer's Work

Photo: Facebook/KRL Photo

While LeRose feels the call of the open road, adventure, and photography, he also feels unequivocally crippled by this recent move that the social media gods have deemed suitable for their protection. Not keeping in mind that the actual premise for an online entrepreneur’s existence may invariably be tied to Instagram as a lifeline, the “bots,” or the system, have effectively negated anything LeRose set out to accomplish. Without the audience he gradually built from the passionate pieces and creative craft he shared, his means of making a living have effectively been cut off at the knees. The contacts for photography classes, the fans of his one-man shows who follow him to purchase his work, and the future generations who become inspired to take a similar leap and purchase his services to inspire and motivate them in their own mobile media empire have all been wiped from the system. LeRose continues to try to make a connection with an actual person on the other end of his calls to the company, in hopes of recovering his accounts, intact, with all images and followers as they were. However, to date, that hasn’t happened.

You Won't Believe Why Instagram Removed This Photographer's Work

Photo: Facebook/KRL Photo

For now, LeRose continues on his way, sharing his imagery when and where he can, diversifying his social media portfolio to avoid the same pitfalls, and teaching the skills of composition, editing, and post-production in imagery. His work will continue to take his clients to the ideal locales to achieve that perfect picture they’ve longed for, much like LeRose longs for the marketing base and homegrown fan group he toiled to achieve. Where he gives one-on-one attention to his clientele, he wishes the very mediums through which they find him and his services would do the same, saving time, energy, and much exasperation.

You Won't Believe Why Instagram Removed This Photographer's Work

Photo: Facebook/Kenny LeRose Jr.

To continue supporting Kenny LeRose and take his workshops, you can email him directly at [email protected] His workshops are mobile, and if a client has a specific location in mind, he’ll make the arrangements for it. You can also view his work at www.krlgallery.com. In the meantime, LeRose has started a new backup account on Instagram where fans can contact him at this link. He’d love to hear from you, but he’ll be busy building his networks, climbing a mountain, or camping out in a lush landscape somewhere, capturing and compiling everything he sees through his lens as he goes.

If you want to help out, see his Facebook post here:
How to help Kenny

For more updates follow his pages:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KRLPhoto/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krl_photo_backup/
Website: https://www.krlgallery.com/