Me, My Photography and Social Networks

In the beginning there was the Internet (or light)

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My Original MySpace Profile Pic Shot on my first ever phone with a camera.

It was back in 2005 that I first joined what is now known as a social network. I would argue though that AOL in the late 90’s was like a social network with the messenger and forums. I met a lot of people mainly those with similar music interests. There were not many metal heads in my area and I did not have cable TV and only the net to find new bands.
Moving forward again to 2005 I joined what is now known as a social network. The site was MySpace and the only reason I Joined it was because a few friends and I were planning an Exhibition and wanted a way to communicate online, leaving posts that others could read and post agreements to meetings. It worked and the exhibition was in our eyes a success, we sold all the work after the opening night.
After the exhibition I kept my account and started linking up with friends from my past. Although people were not online as often as now, I managed to rekindle a few friendships that had become distanced in moving to Uni and different city a moving a life forward.

Same stuff different platform.

After Uni I kept MySpace but also started a Flickr account I didn’t really use it but I had one. I had a photobucket account for when I was using MySpace and posting on their forums. For about a year I lived in a limbo of social networks not really knowing where to go. I launched my own website but closed it down a year later.
Once the decision was made that my future wife and I were going to leave the north of England for Poland, I started thinking again about how to stay in contact. During my Limbo years I had managed with MSN messenger and Skype. My sister suggested Facebook and I signed up with only one friend, after a few weeks of finding people I had already been in contact with and new friends where I worked, I liked it. You could post a status and seeing all post chronologically.

I did move to posting images on Facebook but at a very small resolution. I was in a strange place with my photography being slightly disillusioned with what I was doing and the industry. After 3 years of trying apart from some exhibitions I was not really going anywhere, but I kept trying not thinking about how Facebook could work for me.

Profile Picture while being a Mad Hatter not taking advantage of social media.

Profile Picture while being a Mad Hatter not taking advantage of social media.

Once I moved to Poland I could keep track of the news back home and kept connecting with more people. My photography was still not yet connecting on a large scale on social networks as I was only sharing with my friends on Facebook.

I opened a twitter account on a board day at work between classes made a few tweets and then did not look at it again for a few more years. Facebook evolved and I kept keeping up with the different privacy settings to protect my work.

The Birth of my blog and changing my relationship with social media.

Current Profile Picture

Current Profile Picture

This was my relationship with social media, until I started my blog. The birth of Aperture64 was a turning point in my life as I was coming back to photography. Twitter was used more and I was sharing my posts, as I continued to post my followers grew. I created a Facebook page for the blog and my photography. I became more intense in my social networking, retweeting sharing links and videos. Videos became a weekly occurrence in January sharing videos (primarily for the blog) weekly on YouTube.

I also became an Instagram user but in recent months have used it more sparing just like Flickr. For me these two places are nice to share images but I find that I don’t have connections with people. With Instagram I have met some fellow photographers in my local area some with interesting passions. For me it is limiting just like Flickr, I have posted images but I never got to understanding how to interact with communities.

Communication is the key to a healthy (social network) heartbeat.

Social media is about communities and communicating and although there is a strong visual communication in Flickr and Instagram, Flickr for a time pressed person becomes more of a drain. Instagram though in my opinion is full of spammers, there are genuine people but the amount of spam and fake accounts just really started to annoy me.

Comunicating through images "This hat is apparently not exceptable to worn in public. What do you think? I like it. #hat #fashion"

Comunicating through images “This hat is apparently not exceptable to worn in public. What do you think? I like it. #hat #fashion”

Another social network that was also annoying me was Facebook. It is free and I shouldn’t complain but the change in the news feed has also had a knock on effect to pages. I would expect that each post or status to be in a likers news feed, but with the way the algorithm works, the post could only reach 4 or 5 peoples unless there is more interaction. Facebook wants to connect people with similar interests and likes who most likely know each other and at the same time becoming a closed garden web, with mail, chat, pictures and games in one place.

What Social network do I use the most with my photography?

My photography is shared on my blog, as well as Tumblr (though I have not been using it recently). Twitter is my main out pour about photography along with Instagram for sharing ideas but with Twitters new filters for me Instagram is just something extra. I use Facebook for more personal usage; I do have a Facebook page for my blog but am only keeping it updated with twitter posting to it.

What don’t I like about social media?

I find that social media is working more and more to try and connect more people and  just because you know someone you are interested in their entire goings on, this sometimes is not true.~
When it comes to photography I am getting annoyed with the liberties being taken by social media and apps in using images. I do think that social media is changing the ways that people view images but at the same time apart from fine art photography, photographic images are becoming lessened in value which in turn is having an affect with images being stolen from the net. Social media is also helping create more and more orphan images.

What are my plans with social media?

I will continue with Twitter as I really enjoy the ease and the challenge to fit my posts in 140 characters. Facebook I will see what happens in the future but my Facebook page may not be safe. I want to work more with Tumblr and 500px, to share my images easily. My Flickr account will exist but I am not sure if I will keep it up to date.

Double Exposure, created when I ran a film though my camera three times

Double Exposure, created when I ran a film though my camera three times

Written in response to Daily Prompt: The Social Network

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7 thoughts on “Me, My Photography and Social Networks

  1. I basically use my blog, Facebook and Flickr. I have other accounts – Pbase, Google + but they aren’t used much. I am doing it mainly for leisure and pleasure as photography isn’t an income generator for me. Using Social Fixer on FB has decluttered it a fair bit and I have a good range of photography contacts from wildlife to street. I’d still rather be in the field though! Social Media are here to stay.

    • Social media is here to stay, and i would go out on a limb and say all photographers would want to be in the field more than behind their computer. Social media is like out portfolio and we need to keep active and upto date, where as previously we could shoot and print the best to make our showcase.
      I have made alot of contacts through social media and it is an easy way to communicate with like minded people.

      Do you ever get bored with social media Andrew?

      • Yes and no is the answer to that, Ben. I enjoy the exchange of information, good humour, emotional ups and downs of social media. However trying to maintain a decent standard of contribution does tire me out. It is not so much boredom more just a growing feeling of obligation to find good material, good ideas etc and then translate them into something for publication. To a degree it is a good stimulus but it can just become a chore. I keep finding blogs I like, either on photography or humour based. I track as much as I can in the reader (which is not reliable at times) but I either need to prune my ‘followings’ or accept that I can’t comment as often as I would like. It is extraordinary when I consider that I am supposedly 80% retired that I still struggle for time. I think social media have replaced some of the camaraderie built up in the work place. The acid test will be if it stands the test of time.

  2. I have Flickr, which I don’t update at all, Twitter, which I post when I do a new post on my photo blog, Facebook, both personally and for my business, but honestly I rarely use the Facebook accounts, I’m not into that kind of social activity…I use it as more of a way to contact certain people when I need to…

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