09/12/2018 at 5:40 pm #14711
The past few years I have grown less and less fond of social media and have always thought overly promoting yourself on it was mad corny. I try not to really care what other people are doing but I’m really interested in knowing why people think its the photographers lord and savior. Am I wrong for thinking its wack? Am I wrong for not wanting to show off my work with a long list of recycled hash tags? Am I wrong for not wanting my work to be seen on two inch wide screen? I don’t know. I don’t really know where I’m going with this thread but I wanna hear peoples opinions about the internet and photography.
09/12/2018 at 7:57 pm #14712
certainly you’re not alone with that sentiment man. Personally I’ve been wondering the same thing, and have long discussed the same with Ray as well. Yet, here we are.
I am guilty of all of the above and sucks. Its even worse when your work changes slightly, then the reaction is different and therefore the whatever algorithm punishes you by not pushing your ‘content’, which might even make some of us confused if its really the work that is no good, or simply that the platform is perhaps not 100% made to share ‘work’ and is simply made to share ‘latte art’ and ‘half naked chicks’.
Now, on the flip side, for me at least, I wouldn’t be writing you this, if it wasn’t for social media, through which I ‘met’ Ray and he got interested in publishing some of my work on Hamburger Eyes. so… yah.
From where Im from, Chile, and now, New Zealand, I feel like this are way too small places to push/share your work out of your family circle, so in that case, I feel that social media has somewhat ‘helped’. There’s a general feel, that you guys up in the states or in Europe have it ‘easier’ to share work (other mediums/channels) and potentially hanging some of it on some nice white walls. I dont know, ultimately there more of ‘us’ up there, than, down here for sure.
As im writing this, Im working in shutting my website down to a ‘selected work’ only slideshow with a link to my current zine I have on sale for the few interested. And my instagram account will become more of a blog to let people know, what im working on, than sharing my work. Its impossible for me to feed the beast everyday with good shots for the 3 seconds it takes to someone to say ‘cool shot bro’ and move on.
im not sure if any of what I wrote makes sense, but I thought of sharing my thoughts about it which are very close to what you’re feeling. Sick of the social media. but we kinda ‘need’ it if you want to push your work further as in ‘letting people know’ what you’re up to.
09/13/2018 at 10:42 am #14715
yep. i think about this all the time.
i overdosed on social media a couple months back. i had 2 tumblrs, 2 twitters, 3 flickrs, 7 instagrams, 2 facebooks, 5 websites. and one day totally spazzed out and deleted everything except for 2 websites. actually 3 websites counting my online store. it felt good, it felt great. i was free.
first off the distraction sucks. second off the workload sucks. thirdly the behavioral programming is really fucked up. but yes the number one reason is the vanity. if 99% of the platform is for vanity, then by simple math if i have an account on there then it must mean i am vain. but it is more complicated than this. i want it to be simple. but it is not.
as a creative person / photographer i want to share my photos and meet like minded people. i have done this all my life before social media and the idea is that social media will expand this concept. but having your social circle open to the world which includes your mom’s coworkers, your nephews and neices, your neighbors, etc and people who dont and wont understand your projects then this actually creates isolation and the whole platform is then doing reverse of what it supposed to do.
for instance, when someone asks what i do and i say i do photography and then they ask for my insta account and they see it and don’t really get it and i start feeling their judgement and then i get angsty and then i start judging them and its this mosh pit of egos. or vice versa, they are a famous photographer that i look up to and i’m an idiot etc. this is why teen depression is at all time high and scientists can correlate levels of anxiousness with how many minutes spent on social media.
anyways, feeling like i’m not sure where i’m going with this long rant either. am i really that fragile? maybe my business is? when i deleted all my accounts, i thought my email list was enough. i just need enough sales to pay my bills and then i can freelance and do odd jobs to pay my rent. i can send out an email when i have a new release and usually it adds up to most of my sales.
i told my friend who owns a restaurant that social media only accounted for like 7% of my monthly sales. he said he only profits less than 5% a month and if he can squeeze out 1 more percent then it is worth it. he said i was nuts and that i would feel it sooner or later. i said nahhh. but then 2 or 3 months went by. started feeling the squeeze. can this really be? the answer is yes. what seemed to be happening for me is that while the email blast will get me an initial wave of sales, it only lasts a day or 2. and i am not gonna send an email blast out every other day. but with insta, posting daily, i can sometimes get a few more sales per week and those are the ones that count when looking at a whole month or 2 worth of sales and pushing towards the next release.
ok this is getting long. definitely overthinking this but it really is a big pain. i had to make a firm hard core decision that i want to do hamburger eyes for real and try to make real grown man money and have purpose. i have been cruising too long. i’m ready to level up. if i choose this mission, then i will need to use all the tools and all the outlets. so i started insta back up but this time with a new mindset. the experience is a lot different.
before it was “hamburger eyes – some weirdo sharing weird photos from other weirdos” but now it is like “hamburger eyes – explorers”. haha i think something like that. as for my personal account, i wasnt going to do it. but defining hamburger eyes as a legit business made using insta easier and so i made a new account for myself. so i had to define myself. i dont go by “photographer” any more i gave that up. i’m a “blogger” now and insta still difficult but slightly less than before.
09/14/2018 at 12:43 pm #14737
I’m in hard agreement with all of you.
I literally don’t know who would see my photos besides my close circle of people if not for instagram. I mean they’re really the only people that like my stuff. A few random people will like the occasional photo. I get fed the fuck up with the machine of the whole thing. Every time I do think about deleting it I remember that the few teeny tiny opportunities that I have had, come from Instagram. There’s like two people who followed me randomly from Europe that buy my zines. That’s rad as hell. It would only be my closest friends/family if not for that. The only time I get new followers (3-6 follower bursts) is when Ray is rad enough to post a photo of mine from HE. Thanks Ray!
I wish I could just shoot and make zines and not care about people seeing them. Just do it to do it. But like Ray said, these things exist mostly for vanity. There’s only gonna be one Daniel Arnold who blows up and sells thousands of dollars worth of prints in a day. That’s not gonna happen to anyone else, but we all chase the dragon.
I’m not a super outgoing person. I’ve never been a part of a scene. I tabled at one zine fest and met a couple rad people, but it’s just not my thing. If I don’t post on Instagram my shit will literally go no where.
I get so sick of seeing my photos on a goddamn screen. I get prints made for friends and family just to see them. I’ll get engineer prints of a photo I like and hang it in my house for a month or so before taking it down and getting another one just to see it huge and hanging.
It’s like y’all said whats the point of going through all the work just for someone to say, “cool” and scroll on. I don’t do that to other people’s photos because I want to study what people are doing and appreciate it, but that’s not 99% of people on Instagram.
Instagram can be rad and it can be total shit just like everything on the internet. It just shouldn’t be the end point. It is nice for people to see your shit without the barriers of putting stuff out.
i.e. knowing people to get into a gallery, upfront costs for prints/books/zines.
It’s all a dumb fucking headache.
And I want to be clear about how fucked this all is. I worry about all this shit like it’s the end of the world and I’ve got 299 followers on instagram. What a waste of my my time and mental headspace.
09/17/2018 at 3:16 pm #14741
It’s immensely frustrating, and like everyone else who’s written something on here, something I think about deleting almost daily.
Yeah IG has helped me meet some people, and I’m always kind of surprised when I’m reminded that there are folks out there who have become genuine “fans” of my photography and drawings and stuff. But is it worth it? I don’t interact with these people much or anything, and I’m not even hugely interested in selling my shit. Half the time I just give it away if someone asks. I dunno. Maybe I need to ask myself why I’m really there. I’ve always assumed it was some kind of goal to “keep up,” but sometimes I feel like it just gets me down and makes me less productive. You’re constantly barraged by the mess of artists and “influencers” or whatever, some good and lots bad… man, it’s just draining. It’s not like I ever asked for a “Linkden for artists” anyway.
Trying to avoid getting into a rant here, but basically what I’m getting at is that this whole slant toward social media being the way to share worries me. The joy of having the finished product in your hand doesn’t really exist in the same way. Then there’s all the stats and “link in bio” stuff and “swipe up to purchase.” Where’s the fun in all that? It feel like an obligation instead of a release. It also seems like it’s teaching people to make their image-making a business first and a passion second. It just ain’t right, y’know?
09/17/2018 at 6:00 pm #14749
Wow this got a lot more traction than I thought it would. Glad to head more people are on the same page as me. I’m over two years off social media and it feels so good. I didn’t really post my actual work on there much anyways but its great to just be focusing on my work in print form. The slow process suites me much better.
I don’t have the mental capacity to talk bout what everyone else said right now but I’ll be back here soon and make comments. LETS KEEP TALKIN HERE.
09/19/2018 at 10:47 am #14751
in summary, looks like we are all in agreement that social media totally sucks. the cons out weigh the pros.
and societal pressures are extra increased for us since we are “photographers” and instagram is a photo sharing platform.
so this is the tension. we are free thinking free wheeling photo rangers and instagram is mainstream kardashian bullshit.
my proposed solution. exit amateur status of lifestyle sharing, enter pro status of selling shit.
as photographers we sell our service (client based commissions) or we sell products (prints, books, and zines). i always had an easier time selling products.
while my accts dont really look that different from before the reset, this new mindset is way different and has changed the experience for me. at least for now.
with hamburger eyes acct, i’m selling zines.
with my personal acct, i’m selling zines.
that’s it. i dont care if you had a baby, drank a margarita, or saw the grand canyon. but MAYBE i will care if first you like my zines and books.
09/19/2018 at 11:02 am #14752
i guess it may be for another thread but realizing my comments only pertain to the conversation if you have made the decision to do photography as a living. i have no other job and no back up, so this is where my desperation comes from. but i totally get it, and i say delete that shit if you are not selling anything. i was there 3 months ago. i didn’t care to sell my stuff there, but now i know people want to shop there.
09/19/2018 at 6:36 pm #14761
interesting comment Ray, as a matter of fact, I deleted everything on my website the night before last and only left my current zine on sale up plus links.
09/21/2018 at 3:52 pm #14762
09/25/2018 at 1:40 pm #14776
I totally know what you mean. One thing did was disable my data on my phone. Has helped me so much to detach a bit. Chris made some great points though! Living in Wichita, Kansas I doubt I would have ever found Hamburger Eyes or the photographers without social media.
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