A few weeks ago I posted a photo I took in one of the Facebook film groups I am part of. It was certainly not the best I have shot, but I was pretty happy about the way it turned out. I also posted it on Instagram and Twitter. I waited a while to see if it would get a reaction – I truly believe it’s a great photo – but I didn’t get the “likes” I thought the photo deserved. In the end, I deleted it because I thought it wasn’t good enough to share.
Which brings me to these thoughts: did I really post that photo to get ‘likes’ and ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs? Did I share that photo because I wanted to brag about what a great photo I (thought) I took? Or did I post the photo because it genuinely meant something to me/I felt proud and wanted to share that with you?
One of the reasons why I left Flickr a few years ago was because I got tired of liking and commenting on how great other people’s photos were all the time, even if they weren’t. And, yet, I’m doing it all over again on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! What’s worse, I am craving it myself. What’s EVEN worse, it’s leading self doubt about what I shoot, how I feel about the way I shoot, and how to present my work to my audience.
One thing is certain, I DO put that image out into the world to engage with my community (it’s perfectly normal to admit I like to show you my work) but I definitely feel I want the feedback, even if it’s not the one I expected or the one I’d like.
What I never want, though, is to feel that the reaction (or lack thereof) my photos echoes is defining my photography. I want to continue shooting what I like, what I, myself, think is beautiful. If it, for some reason, goes unnoticed or people appreciate it too much or too little, I need to learn to not care. I need to be able to make peace with the fact that I found that image particularly beautiful at the time, it is meaningful to me, and that is the reason why I am sharing it with you. Like it or not.
PS. For this post, I picked random film images that, somehow, never got the love they deserved, not even from me.