There is no denying the popularity of Facebook and Instagram. They are great social services that allow us to keep in touch with friends and family, and I enjoy seeing what my friends are up to. However, I find that these great social platforms are not-so-great when distributing my photographs (other than the occasional family picture or interesting snapshot.) Let me explain…
For those of you who know me well, you know that photography has been a passionate hobby for at least the last fifteen years. I enjoy taking both digital and film photographs, and I have put a lot of time, effort, and $$$ into making photographs. I like to share my work with others who enjoy photography as an art form or creative outlet. Because of this I have shared my photography using Facebook and Instagram (and sometimes Twitter.)
Facebook and Instagram are great social platforms, but they aren’t great services for distributing my photos. I’m not interested in “likes” based on a one or two second preview of an image I have posted. I take my photography more seriously than that. I also note that the same friends frequently “like” a photo, but there are also an increasing number of “likes” from people I have never heard of. The algorithms of Facebook and Instagram distribute my photos to others who glance at my photo and “like it” and follow me hoping I will like and follow them. It has become a game that I am not interested in playing. For some this becomes a vicious circle of getting “likes” to build an audience, with the temptation to provide similar photos based on what the audience likes. I’m not willing to play that game. I’m not in this to make money or establish a reputation as a popular photographer. I am retired and make the kind of photographs that I want to see — and I share these with others. Some will like a photo and some will not. Constructive criticism is ALWAYS appreciated and will be considered when I respect the source of that criticism – but I won’t make and share photos trying to please a large crowd. I would rather have ten people I know and respect spend ten seconds looking at my photograph than one thousand unknowns “liking” my photo and hoping I will reciprocate.
This is not a blanket condemnation of Instagram and Facebook. For what they are, they provide a good medium for social interaction (when people don’t go nuts on their beliefs or try to use it as a political platform!)
Other than the occasional snapshot of family, friends, or item of general interest, I will no longer post my “SteveMuncyPhoto” photographs on Facebook and Instagram. Instead, I will be posting photos to my website every month or so, and will notify friends who want to see them by an email when new photos have been posted. I hope that friends who like to see these photos will respond to a link in an email, visit the site and spend five or ten minutes looking over the newly posted photos. I’d love to hear comments and criticism, but that isn’t required. If you don’t want to visit the site, just trash the email and consider the next one you receive. If you don’t want to get the email notifications, just let me know and I’ll drop you from the list.
Use the “Contact Me” form on the website to provide your name and email address and just say “subscribe” in the message section to start getting email notifications.