A while ago I saw a question on Facebook from a renowned photographer. It went like this: “Would you still be taking pictures if there was nobody to share them with?”
I would, for sure. I have been taking pictures for years and most of them have never seen the light of day on any social medium. For me, taking pictures is a way to preserve memories. Some day, perhaps, I might lose some of that excellent memory I have today. I hope that that specific day will never come, but in today’s world nothing is a given. I will be happy to look at my own pictures, hopefully adding the memories back into my brain where they belong, associating them with happy times.
Sharing some of them on social media is mainly for the fun, for the little excitement of a moment of recognition. Who will remember a picture that I posted a year ago, a month, a week, or even yesterday? Social media is there to be consumed and digested quickly. In some cases the material presented seems to have been already pre-digested already as well as ready for the sewer.
Is it worth it to make sure that my photography is then swept on the same heap as that of everyone else? Am I so in need of that momentary recognition that everything I post should garner hundreds of “likes”? Should I tailor my photography to the whims of Social Media consumers?
I don’t think so. My photography is for me first, for those who can appreciate it second and third… there is no third. If people I have never met put a “Like” on my pictures or not makes me warm nor cold. However, genuine interest from anyone in my photos is highly appreciated. Even more if I have met that person in person. Will I be catering to these people first?
No. If I do that, my own vision and feelings when I take the pictures will be tainted by the approval of others. My own feelings will then be lost somehow and the memories I might so desperately need later in life would not be my own. Let’s say that my photography is mine first. Anyone else’s to appreciate, but never to influence.
Would I do photoshoots for others? Absolutely. And I’ll do them my way. Photography is a medium for me to convey happiness and special moments in my life. Photoshoots for others will have that touch of my happiness or feelings in them as well, that is what makes my photos special for everyone. Including for myself.