Meet the #SGFgram: 90% Photo Story, 10% Instagram Madness.

One challenge for our team: How do we tell stories that lack the depth of those we’re giving the full treatment? Our solution: #SGFgrams. Our founder explains.

story by Dan Oshinsky / photos by Dan Oshinsky
published May 4, 2012

A wild assumption: You’ve read a newspaper before. Specifically, a newspaper front page. And you’ve seen a story like this on the front page, something like:

Stockton Record front page

That weird image at top is from last Sunday’s The Record, in Stockton, Calif. It’s the kind of image that appears on front pages across the country nearly every day, a little snapshot of life that’s often not connected to any written story. It’s there because it’s a cool photo, and people like looking at cool photos on the front page. But it’s not hard news.

Our friend Bob Linder — a Springfield-based photographer who (full disclosure) will be doing some photo work for this summer — wrote a lovely essay earlier this month about one such front page photo he took two decades ago for the Springfield News-Leader. You’ve almost certainly seen a photo just like this before in your hometown newspaper.

The team is going to be out in the Ozarks this summer with our cameras and our smartphones, and we’ll be coming across stories just like that. Maybe they’ll be photos of sights around town. Maybe they’ll be quirky events. Maybe they’ll just be little moments.

But whatever the case, they’re going to be photo stories that don’t have a proper home on They’re not the long-form journalism we’ll be publishing here on the site.

Stil, we want to give readers a taste of what we’re seeing on the ground in Springfield. So on our Facebook page, we’ve started posting something we’re calling #SGFgrams:

  • “SGF” is the Springfield airport code.
  • And “gram” because these photos are all being taken with Instagram.

I’m not sure what this mini-photo series will become. But I know that we want to tell the fullest possible story of this region, and I think that these #SGFgrams will help readers fill in the rough edges between stories.

Plus, by targeting #SGFgrams specifically to our Facebook fans, we’re giving people pictures on a site that they already turn to for photos. It’s a logical place for photo galleries, I think.

Maybe this’ll turn into something big for us. Or maybe it’ll just be an excuse for me to post photos from brunch.

Either way, it’s something to keep an eye out for from

Until today, I'd never really tasted hash browns. Because these are Galey's sweet potato hash browns, topped with just a hint of brown sugar. Breakfast will never be the same after this. (Neither will my cholesterol level.) #SGFgram”