TIMEWIRELESS Instagram username Identification Project

Image courtesy of mylifesatrip.com

Travel blogger Jen Pollack Bianco, who writes the travel blog My Life’s A Trip discovered that she had five uncredited images on Time Magazine’s recent Wireless Issue cover. Her latest project is an attempt to identify and credit as many of the usernames of the Instagrammers from the cover as possible.

From her blog:

In August, I was surprised to discover 5 of my instagrams on the cover of the TIME magazine’s 2012 The Wireless Issue. I was lucky to notice my instagram because it wasn’t font blocked by headlines or letters, as most of the images were. Font blocking is nothing new for photographers who shoot magazine covers. A magazine cover image is always just a background for headlines. The bigger complaint I kept hearing on social media was that very few of the instagram users whose images were used were given any credit by TIME Magazine. A small selection of “editors favorites” made it into a slideshow on the TIME website, with those photographers credited.

Just because TIME Magazine didn’t tell you if your instagram was chosen for the edit, that doesn’t mean My Life’s A Trip can’t (or at least try to)! So I decided to have my assistant, Anastasia, lead a team of researchers fromDev-Pro to try and identify as many of the instagram images and users as possible.

We covered the call for submissions on the Time Magazine project. One of the questions/complaints from iPhoneographers about the project was about image credits. Turns out that Time Magazine didn’t. This project will go a long way towards rectifying that omission.


If you submitted images to the  project, you should definitely check out this link, help out if you can, and follow the progress.



About Marty Yawnick 1808 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • http://twitter.com/lax2nrt @lax2nrt

    Thanks for posting about this, Marty. I wish we could have identified more images but I'm glad we were able to identify 63 additional IGers in the second post today. It would be lovely if someone from TIME would reach out and explain the no-credit situation. I'm sure they had their reasons. But it felt really good to be able to notify so many IGers who had no clue their instagrams were featured on the cover. It was a lot of work, but even when we share on mobile photography and contribute to a project, it's not that hard to give a photographer credit. Again, much thanks.

  • Miki Ballard

    Not to be the the grumpy old man here, but I don't see what the fuss about this is. When TIME first announced this "wireless issue" contest, a lot of people criticized it for this very reason. They said "are you going to compensate the featured photographers?" and "are you going to credit them?" and when TIME was mum on this issue, they stayed away.

    Their concerns were drowned out by thousands of people eager to be featured, and ultimately used. People said "oh its TIME! If my photo is there, it's great either way!" People should have known that TIME's silence was a sign that they were just going to use the creativity of others. They should have listened to the criticisms of the contest instead of labeling them as unpleasant trolls just wanting to ruin some goold old internet fun. Now we see that, actually, everyone is in the same boat. People are wondering why they weren't credited, why they weren't given a bigger piece of the publicity pie. If people were more critical of media using their photos, more aware of their online ownership, projects identifying ownership and doing the labor in correctly tying photo to photographer that big media should be doing would be unnecessary.

  • http://twitter.com/lax2nrt @lax2nrt

    I hear your point, Miki, and quite frankly I never expected to be compensated (magazine covers rarely pay much to the photographer or subject). Nor do I feel used. Credits wouldn't have been difficult to include in their lame e-features in the magazine and I don't feel used by TIME. What I think the bigger issue here is that TIME proved themselves to be a #socialmedia fail at the very and emerging technology they were attempting to cover in their very own wireless issue. This project wasn't a "contest" to begin with, it was a project. I was lucky to find my image on the cover and felt that I had resources to research the project in ways others did not. So I spearheaded this project for the #Timewireless team, and it brought up some interesting technical issues about Instagram's "mobile only" platform.