In this day and age, most of us share our photos online on various platforms. Most of us use Instagram, some can’t get over Flickr (yup, that would be me), and we have and all sorts of online portfolios. Somewhere along the way, the number of views, comments, and likes became one of the measures of our success.
But do we really need to have our work seen to be considered great photographers? Does the number of likes really determine how good we are? Alex of The Photographic Eye talks about this in his recent video and reminds you why it’s important to enjoy the process and believe in yourself regardless of anyone else.
Alex reflects on Vivian Maier and her work, which stayed undiscovered and unseen throughout her entire life. Although the public never got to see her exquisite images while she was alive, that made her none less of a brilliant photographer than she was.
Another great point Alex makes about our work’s visibility and the attention it gets is the most liked photo on Instagram. Is it a stunning portrait? An incredible and perfectly composed scene from the street? Perhaps a magical landscape? Nope, it’s a photo of an egg. A random stock photo of a chicken egg on a white background.
At the moment of writing this, the egg photo has over 55 million likes. That’s more than Beyoncé’s pregnancy photo or any of Instagram’s most popular images. And by the way, any of those along with the egg photo isn’t exactly a masterpiece.
After watching this video and hearing Alex’s points, I think it’s impossible to still believe that a number of likes determine the quality and artistic value of a photo. After all, the head of Instagram even admitted that it’s not a photo-sharing app any longer. Instagram has become a bit of everything, but even before that – it’s never been a place to evaluate your work’s quality.
So, try keeping all this in mind if you ever feel bummed that your work doesn’t get more recognition on social media. Do your thing, don’t stop learning, and enjoy the process. And ask yourself – would you still take photos if nobody looked at them? If the answer is yes, that’s the only thing that matters.
[Why No One Needs To See Your Photography / The Lie Photographers Believe That Makes Them Unhappy | The Photographic Eye]