Like It?

In Community, Film, Inspiration

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.

Maite

PS. For this post, I picked random film images that, somehow, never got the love they deserved, not even from me.

 

17 Comments

  1. I love every single one of these images, and I totally know how you feel! We shoot, and share, because we must. What we do afterwards depends on us being true to ourselves. xo

  2. ah, social media…such a tricky beast. I know exactly how you feel!
    thanks for sharing these beautiful film images with us…such wonderful elements in each.

  3. You’ve written my thoughts exactly, and I agree with every word. And yes, I fall in love with images just like these, ones that speak to me for some reason I cannot quite express, and yet are often not loved by others – simply because they are not me. And then too, I try to remember, that the stories I make up in my head, about whether my work is well-received or not, are often just that – stories. Thank you for this thoughtful post which serves to reinforce the value of showing and sharing our work – to stand up for what we see and how we feel – with pride. Every image here makes my heart sing!

  4. Great post, Maite. I’ve recently rethought my whole strategy (for lack of better word) for sharing my images on social media. I rarely post to Instagram any more and I don’t share as many of my images to Twitter, either. It’s much more freeing for me to be building connections and relationships than yielding likes and followers.

    Sidenote: WOW. That first photo (Chocoholic Hill) intrigues me to no end.

    • Yes, I have noticed you are not posting as much. That’s unfortunate for me because I’m always in awe of your work. It may be freeing but don’t you feel the need to do something with those images?

    • Sidenote to your sidenote: It’s the inside of a chocolate shop taken from the outside store window and looking in 🙂

  5. Gosh, I love every single one of these images and find them interesting, and with a fresh perspective. I totally get the way social media sucks us in and has us posting for the applause, and not for the joy of sharing our art. In fact, I would go so far as to say when the need for validation really kicks in, I end up posting things I know my followers will like instead of choosing an image that moves me somehow, and may not fit into my gallery quite so seamlessly.

    Someday, somehow, someone brilliant will find an application for true sharing of art and photography without keeping score.

  6. I have been going through photo’s from last year when I started really shooting and posting. Yes, there is an improvement and I want to delete some of them. I have stopped myself as I want to keep them as a reminder of how my eye has changed. I mean that in all sense of the word. Change comes in many faces and it continues to do so.

  7. It’s always interesting to me which photos I post get attention and which get none. And yes, it’s tricky to navigate the world of social media…posting for self or others is a fine line!

  8. I loved every one of the pictures on your post. I loved the picture of the children together. It looked like they were enjoying their walk and I love their reflection in the water puddles. I post on my IG things that I enjoy through out my life. They make me smile and I remember the memory behind it. My last group of flowers I took and posted have the memory of spending it with my friends at the local nursery and how much fun we had together that day. I do it for my enjoyment and yes I hope other people enjoy it, too….

    • Thank you, Michelle… I think that is the main reason why I post – for the memory. Sort of like our diary, right?

  9. I really really do not care if an image gets the likes or not, but inevitably the ones I think – even know – are the strongest routinely get ignored. They are not the strongest images because they are the most beautiful and certainly not because they are the most accessible. They are often strong because they are complex, and I think, a fraction of a second on a tiny screen is much more about accessibility than complexity. That’s my theory, anyway. Shoot from your heart, share as you wish, and don’t pay attention to the hype. That’s my motto, anyway. I’m glad you gave these photos an airing and another chance. xxoo

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