If you are addicted to social media like I am, you will know all too well what this post is about. It’s so easy to become trapped in a vicious circle only posting shots that gain you the most likes or followers. I have been stuck in that spot many times, and to be 100% honest with you, it sucks the freaking creativity right out of you and can land you in a bad place.
We as humans are an odd bunch. Yup, I said it.. we are a very odd creature that needs self-verification. We want to be accepted by our peers and those around us, and we don’t like it when our self-esteem is hurt.
Enter the digital age, where it takes one second to upload a photo, one second to receive one comment that can make you doubt your skills as a photographer. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “photographer”, it still sucks when your shot doesn’t get as many likes as you had hoped or maybe gets a bad comment. But the question is, why should the views of anyone else matter? I mean yes, they do matter, in the grand scheme of things I think that everyone’s views and opinions matter. I guess what I am trying to say is that we need to pick and choose what we read and decide how to process it all depending on importance.
For me, a comment from someone that I know and admire will carry more weight than someone I don’t know. And let’s be honest, everyone has an opinion on something and there are heaps of people that like to troll the internet for no reason other than to cause mayhem.
Virtual vs Reality
So you post photo you love. I mean like you really really love it and you want to share it with the world for everyone to see how super amazingly awesome and rad it is. And it fails. Not only does it fail a little bit, it’s an epic fail. Now before you start freaking out wondering what you did wrong and questioning your entire existence… stop…take a breath.
Now, consider a few factors.
- Whoooo cares if other people don’t like it if it means that much to you.
- Maybe no one liked it cause they are busy living their lives outside of the little virtual world. I know.. what? People have lives outside of the virtual world? Shame shame…
- We all have different styles of what we like and what we don’t like. I mean if you bought a new pair of shoes and no one commented on them when you wore them, would you throw them in the garbage, or would you keep on wearing them cause you loved them? My bet is you would keep on rocking them whenever and wherever you wanted. The same should be said for that photo you just posted that did lousy in the ‘likes’ department.
Writers suffer from writer’s block, but what do you call it when a photographer suffers from lack of creativity?
Photograph What you Love
A while back I didn’t have the desire to shoot anything. All the photos on my computer were lacking ‘something’ but I wasn’t sure what. I looked through hundreds of photos looking for something to inspire me, and nothing did. So I turned to Instagram and asked my fellow ‘grammers what inspired them. The response to my question was somewhat overwhelming, but the theme throughout all the responses was “photograph what you love, and nevermind what others think”.
So, I decided once again to discover what photography means to me, and why I started taking pics in the first place.
- Slowing down my hectic life and seeing the beauty in all the small things around you
- Getting off my ass and going out to explore new places because I want to see them.
- Not getting upset when I go out with a vision in my head only to return home when the shot hasn’t materialized
- Capturing a moment in time no matter how fleeting it was
- Being able to share a little piece of my world with others
It’s funny you know, as soon as I decided that I wanted to photograph what I loved it was like a light switch went off in my head. All of a sudden all the creativity I thought I had lost came flooding back. The images I had in my computer looked new again and I remembered why I took them in the first place. I now enjoy going back over them and processing them to match my current state of mind. I stopped looking at the numbers and started to post what I wanted again, even though I knew they may not conform to the usual Instagram shots.
When I am out shooting I take shots of everything that I find fascinating. Not one genre, but many different genres. I don’t post them all to my Instagram, some I post to stock sites for stock photography, and some I keep private.
I think we all need a reminder once in awhile that social media can be a fickle beast at best. Take what is said with a grain of salt. Photograph what you love, and just remember that somebody is interested in everything.
Feel free to follow along with me on Instagram as I explore the word around me, and thanks for reading!