I wonder ……

I wonder when “we” meaning professional and amateur photographers alike will learn to “stop” uploading our work to social media sites and galleries that are designed to CONvince us that we will be able to promote ourselves and be successful at photography. We wake up to find that “we” simply create a vast body of photography for others to exploit by changing the small print.

Me included I do it several times a week but for the benefit of whom?
I have shut down my Facebook account and deleted my photos. Instagram, 500px, photoblur, flickr etc are to go. I will learn to run and control the right use and promotion of my images via one site only. The platform for now will be WordPress and probably just blogging. The rest will go. Less is more so they say.

I have come to realise if I am not the go to photographer in my own postcode with the work I produce then I have little to no chance making something of a ripple in the rest of the world. So why should we continue to contribute to these sites for others to exploit and profiteer…?
Rant over.


6 thoughts on “I wonder ……

  1. Hi Simon, I can totally see where you are coming from. I was determined to make it as a pro photographer and build up my business over a few years so I had a job in my retirement from what I do now. Unfortunately it didn’t work out for me the way I expected, the work dried up, I was sat on a pile of expensive lights and cameras, so I sold up, depressing, I know eh!! ….We’d all love to be that go to guy!!

    I have gone most of the way you speak about, I have pulled my subriscriptions on all of theses sites, although I still have images on there, I mainly now shoot just street photographs, all my commercial/social images are gone. I just use the sites (and it’s mainly just Flickr and Facebook now), as a sort of friends thing, to stay in touch, talk about gear and look at other work for street inspiration.

    It’s good to have a rant about it now n again, get it out in the open how you feel…. I had a big meltdown not too long ago as you probably saw! I still have not got my confidence in it back fully, but time will tell and I will keep on shooting. Just enjoy what you do, is what I learned, and as long as you enjoy it keep on truckin’!….. It is what it is.


    1. Hi Bob, Thanks mate for taking the time to comment, I guess I realised back in 2011 that I would not make Photography replace the day job, but I sort of kept going, thinking I was not working hard enough on marketing and media exposure type of thing, but realising I spend too much time “feeding” the system that is making money from my efforts. The disappointing thing is that 1000s of guys like us are “feeding” the process, as a result actually making it worse for ourselves. Its just ironic. Sorry to hear you had the same experience fella, but don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter about it, just saddened that its happening to a huge number of very talented photographers trying to make it in their own areas.

      We should find a way to turn it on its head so I am making a start, bystarting to understand more “why” I am learning photography… and the truth is…. its for “me” first and others later.

      Like you I will continue to share and have friends via my blog but spend less time feeding the other groups (mainly imagegalleries, and FB) where I find my images being “borrowed” “usedelsewhere” and spend the time more enjoying shooting trying to get better at it.

      I guess its why I throw my small projects at myself and give myself stupid tough challenges like this years “one camera one lens” project …… its so tempting to deviate…..or buy new gear …..but I know if I stick to it I will get better at making a photograph…. hey and save 100’s along the way ……yeah ….. liberating Simon Peckham http://www.simonpeckham.co.uk Blog http://www.simonpeckham/wordpress.com

  2. Hi Simon, I have similar feelings. I was really getting caught up in how many views, likes, and comments my images were receiving. I was obsessing over whether an particular image made into Flickr Explore. I realized that I was spending more time worrying about counts than my actual photography. That was the end of 2012. I joined a B&W photography group on Google+ and spent all of 2013 working on improving my photography. As the year progressed I spent less time in Flickr and more time taking pictures. I now use Flickr primarily to host my images for my WordPress blog and rarely add an image to a group or worry about the comments. It was liberating to remove the “shackles” Flickr had on my photography.

    1. Hi Jake, Thank you for taking the time to comment, It is a strange thing that we are led into, I am sure using media and the internet works, I’m just not sure the things I am doing with it are the right thing to be doing. I realised probably back in 2011 that I would not be making a career out of photography, but I did not give up. I guess I am realising I spend too much time “feeding” something that is essentially giving very little in return. Therefore in should “feed” something else. Use the time to learn the craft in more detail and experiment rather than seek approval by publishing. I think also its a shame that so many talented Togs are doing the same, “Feeding” the “system” and not profiting from their efforts as much as they should deserve. Don’t get me wrong I am not bitter about it …… just starting to understand more “why” I am learning photography and the truth is its for “me”. Cheers Jake Simon Peckham http://www.simonpeckham.co.uk Blog http://www.simonpeckham/wordpress.com

  3. Hi Simon thanks for the reply, I think also that the reason we thought the need to feed the system was that it was what we were told we needed to do. As an aspiring pro photographer, all I read was ‘use Facebook, use blogs, use twitter, use SEO all of this will get you on the map, and get your work out there’.
    It becomes at first an obsession, then it becomes the norm…. Just something you do automatically. I see guys now who are much more talented and experienced than me and they are having a hard time as ‘pro’s’ so I wonder how can I possibly make it if these guys are finding it hard?….it’s not an easy industry to be in, is it?

    Until we take a step back, like we and a lot of others have done,it’s not until then that we look back and see where it all actually got us………. For me, that’s when I thought, it’s actually not brought me a great deal of work, it’s take up a hell of a lot of my time and energy, but for not much in the way of returns. Like others, it’s a weight off the shoulders now, and I too am enjoying my photography for me….. You never know what’s round the corner, and never say never!!…..

    Good luck mate, keep up the great blog, I enjoy reading it, and I shall be keeping my blog going too.


    1. Hi Bob.
      Some wise words mate. I am really enjoying my street work and and keep to really work hard at it as I get some much back. The same goes for my blog it’s a bit like a public diary and that’s quite cool thank you for supporting it, most kind. I look forward to creating more and reading more of yours and other. It’s a weight off for sure. Thanks Bob.

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