Something I learned in 2016

Here’s a scenario:
Famous photographer “A” took a picture, and nobody “B” took the exact same picture. Given both of them share the same picture on the same platform, the picture from “A” will probably gather more “likes” and praises across, or even get featured by news, get printed and sold, while the picture from “B” will probably just get a few likes and praises from people around him, or probably no one would even notice his picture. And those who liked the same picture from “A” probably won’t like the picture from “B” at all.

Yes, this is something that’s happening around us on daily basis. If you take a closer look and observe, it’s not hard to notice this scenario unfolds around you. This was at least what I managed to observed throughout the whole year. It’s sad but brutal that we are now living in a world that rely so much on social media, connections and followers. The number of likes defines the quality of your work instead of recognition by the professionals. Perhaps if you are famous or handsome/pretty, even your fart smells better.

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So what’s the take away from this observation? Should we stop shooting and sharing since we are not famous and probably won’t get noticed or get any praises by others? Well, not really. Instead, keep shooting. Few months ago I shared a post about a video that talks on “nobody cares about your photography”, and until now I still think it holds true. At the end of the day, what is the purpose of you getting into photography? You really need to ask yourself this question and answer it honestly.

If you aspire to turn into professional or you want to make a living from photography, start building up your network and social presence as it is equally important as your photography skills. A lot of so called “professional photographer” out there are living up their career on social hype, even if their picture sucks they will still get printed, featured and sold. You can’t deny the power of social influence, hence you will need to embrace it in order for you to get noticed. Work equally hard in creating pictures and creating your own social circle. Both will help you to achieve what you needed to become “professional” and make a living out of photography.

For me, I am just one of those who enjoys photography but don’t have any intention to make a living out of it. And for my photography, I’m trying to shoot things that I like, things that I wanted to shoot, and embark on personal projects or assignments that matters to me. What matters to me may not matter to you, and I had grew to ignore the “likes” and focus only on improving myself and creating my pictures. Hence, the social component may not be that important to me.

Creating works that matter to me, that’s all matter.

Sorry about the rather dark and gloomy post. But I just feel like sharing this as it might be helpful for those who feel tired or lost in their photography journey. If you want to get in the game, please be well prepared and tackle it with full force. If you are just a “casual player”, just ignore the rules and play your own game. Till then, happy shooting 🙂

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