Apr 02 2019


Photo by Mike Vos

I was blogging the other day about IG again. I know I know we heard it all before.

In summary, I was saying that I think I figured out one the main problems for me. That is spoiling my prints, zines, and books by showing the photos first on Instagram.

The easy solve is to only post photos that have been published already.

The whole concept of social media is to be sharing in real time though, so this defeats the purpose. But what is your main purpose is what I’m getting at it.

Nick sent me a message talking about the fact that back in the day, magazines didn’t want your photos if they have been seen before.

He was submitting to Transworld who published skating, surfing, bmx, and snowboarding magazines. Coincidentally, I worked there in the mid 90’s as their darkroom guy.

And he is right. If you sent photos in, it was assumed you have never shared them anywhere with anyone.

Even after publishing, photogs might use a different frame for an ad or even reshoot something differently but this was heavily frowned upon. It was considered “double dipping”.

Of course the internet changed all this. And we are talking about action sports, where new tricks were still be invented and new spots discovered every day back then.

For H.E., I post only photos that we have published. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t already been posted or published somewhere else.

For my personal stuff, this is where the tension is. If I am visiting NY, it’s fun posting my adventures in these foreign lands. But when I get home and wanna make a new book, oh shit all that stuff is already on IG and thus spoiling the surprise.

It probably isn’t ruining it really, but when editing layouts it is kinda deflating, for me anyways.

Again, I figured out that I’ll just post stuff after I published it, or use story mode more often. This is a pointless conversation if you aren’t printing and publishing on a regular basis. (Which you should be if you are reading this.)

I’m an over thinker. But the sooner we can figure out the flow, the sooner we can get to work.

The sooner we can figure out the outcome, the sooner we can figure out the income.

I think I just wrote my first quotable nugget.

8 thoughts on “Sightings

  1. So I haven’t published any of my work yet, although I will, and I guess I’ll be able to relate to this dilemma a bit more then. However, reading through this I did have one idea.

    Instead of using IG as a post-publishing zone, maybe it could be it’s own publishing zone. So if you’re on a trip and are taking photos, you’d distinguish between photos for IG and photos that you’d publish later on, without any overlap. There are a lot of ways to approach it, but one example that comes to mind is Ed Templeton’s IG for Wires Crossed. According to the pages bio it’s mostly made up of outtakes, so what he ends up publishing in the book won’t be spoiled.

    One issue I see with this is that it would require some on the spot decision making, which I know isn’t something that can always be done with photos. Like you could take a picture and decide to post it on IG, and then a few weeks later realize that it’s perfect for a book your putting together. I mean I guess this is the problem you’re running into here. Without digging myself into a hole, the general idea I’m getting across is that your IG could have it’s own form, theme, or something like that. Hope this is helpful somehow.

    Nice quote too.

  2. True. But I think since I started shooting everything for publishing I’m stuck for now. It’s hard for me to save a photo for one or the other.

    And I tried to theme out my IG. I was posting portraits only, then I ran into the publishing problem.

    Currently I’m running another theme, posting only beach photos that have been published already. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    As for outtakes, personally I edit harder and don’t show outtakes or second frames. Unless its for a specific story.

    But again, this is all my crazy brain processing out loud. I know its different for everyone.

  3. Ray, I started to worry about the same stuff a while back, but then I had photos published or exhibited that I thought were already totally over-posted, and all these people told me they loved them and didn’t see them when they were posted (multiple times). I have learned that what feels like over-saturation to me is only seen by a fraction of the people who follow me, and a portion of those don’t mind seeing them again if they’re good. In other words, yeah, probably we overthink this stuff.

  4. You’re right. Not that many people are paying that close of attention if any at all really. And come to think of it, I would totally enjoy a book of your photos even if all the photos I have seen on IG already.

    This could all be a subconscious “waiting for film processing” thing. You would shoot, sit on rolls for a week or so, then process edit print. Then maybe publish which is a whole different edit. So the incubation period for an image nowadays is non existent.

    Maybe I just miss sitting with images for a while before showing them and that’s whats really going on.

    But I do think we are in the business of communication, and the quicker we can send out our messages, the better but at what cost? This is a different topic for a different day, lol.

  5. dont overthink it Ray. most people on instagram dont care. they ‘like’ the photo for the 2 seconds it takes scrolling through and then its forgotten. I’ve reposted the same image at different times for different reasons and once it got more likes the second time yet another time got less likes the second time than the first time i posted it. so who (really) knows.

    to be honest I do care what i post and what not, this year I have posted very little for similar reasons you have (publishing/exhibits/zines and waht not) but… at the end of the day, the few that do care about your work or others work are also the ones that buy your zine anyway. therefore I care about those and not the instagram mainstream.

    about ‘sitting’ on the photos before posting, for a few years now I have been doing the following. I shoot without chimping at all (you ‘feel’ when you get it anyway) and only dump the photos on my computer each sunday night and have a quick look (no edit). Then the week after when I get a minute or two I start going through previous weeks images. After a while and depending on how much you shoot, you might end up with a backlog big enough that every week you’re only checking on photos taken a month back almost, which helps having more of a ‘clear’ mind and not to attached to the moment of the photo. That has helped me a lot.

  6. Thats a good process Chris! Maybe the images have to marinate for a while before they can come out the oven.

  7. I am not sure the problem is a real one. I think the presentation of an image in print and on line is significantly different and each offers its unique set of possibilities. Each will have its audience, both overlapping and not. Immediacy is the strength of social media. Considered sequencing and formatting is the strength of print. Each couches the image in a different way and speaks with it in a different way. My Two Cents.

  8. You’re right. I guess my problem is the overlap and more of a personal flow / working environment type thing. Thanks for your 2 cents and everyone here! I feel less bad about it , lol.

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