The “Like” Trap

This was posted on G+ the other day by a photographer I follow:

“I may have hit the inevitable conclusion that more I try to find a fit for my photography in other’s lives, the more unhappy I become. Social media has inevitably turned from the place of hope to just the typical empty echo chamber that it is. I really need to find a way to go back to shooting for myself and not others.” ~ Anonymous

After reading the comments it seems that he is looking for validation for his photographs in terms of “likes” and favorites. It is easy to fall into the trap of having lots of followers who give feedback to feel like you are moving in the right direction. But this is an ugly trap.

Social media, be it Twitter, Facebook, Google, Flickr or whatever, will not give you the feedback you need and most likely crave. (Let’s be realistic, we all have egos that enjoy an occasional stroking.) I talked earlier about the sheer volume of photos posted daily to FB and G+ here. With this volume of photographs being posted you need to find your motivation from within yourself or from with the work you are doing. It’s near impossible to be seen in this onslaught of imagery. Lets face the harsh reality, more than likely you will be making work that no one really cares about except you.

So stop chasing “likes,” chasing followers, chasing the latest photo trend and create the work that makes you happy. If it’s photos of babies and cats, then make them the best photos they can be. Be it toys or water droplets it doesn’t matter…the only one who is setting the rules is you.

And you know what, if you do the work you love, you never know who is going to start following you. Sometimes miracles do happen.

~ xxsjc

I used an image of a Chima because I have noticed that they usually get 50-100 less “likes” on Instagram than any other image I post. If I was going for the most likes per image I wold post only Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle photos. But I love Eglor and all the characters of the Chima tribes and I will continue to explore my universe with them.

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KristinaStefan MatthiesLyn Miller-LachmannShelly CorbettRawful Recent comment authors
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Rawful
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Beautifully said. I think this is really good advice. My favorite photos are ones where I can tell the person was having fun!! :)

Shelly Corbett
Guest

Thank you for your perceptive comment. You are absolutely right, the viewer can always tell the difference. If the photographer is having fun then the viewer will too!

Lyn Miller-Lachmann
Guest

Didn’t that poor Sparkles the unicorn get fewer likes than anything? And chased away followers? Nonetheless, he had his dedicated fans who were sorry to see him go. Anyway, your point is important, and you stated it well. Various people have suggested I give up my Instagram stories because they’re taking too much time away from my other writing, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to do it. I’m having too much fun with the minifigs, and I know that at some point these story threads will work their way into a book.

Stefan Matthies
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So true. Do what makes you happy. That way it´ll be honest and worthy…

kalexanderson
Member

I couldn’t agree more