Why Social Media & Internet is Destroying Photography
Social Websites & the Internet have been around for a very long time now. Once advertised as a means to connect with long lost friends & loved ones to catch up on things past or just keep up with what they are doing. Nowadays, it just seems to be sites that are now full of adverts or people hunting for friends just to get that extra like. I use social sites myself, it has been a great way to connect with others, share your photography with a larger audience, and just keep up with things.
But until recently I have been a little withdrawn as to how people use (or should that be abuse) social media so they can get all the glory. As the saying goes it’s a dog eat dog world out there, but you always get that one who wants to bite off more than they can chew. I must admit I did post a lot a little while back and perhaps maybe too much at times, but I have pretty much taking posting my stuff to a standstill right now.
Also having recently read a post by Jimmy McIntyre, I felt compelled to write this as I feel he has hit the nail in the coffin as to how Social Media & the Internet in general is today.
The Person that Posts Everywhere
Yes, we have all seen it on Facebook, Twitter etc. The person who just has to post that one image per day even if it is rubbish just to get those likes so their day is complete. Not only do they post in every Photography Group available to Facebook mankind, they also tag every man and woman on Twitter. They probably think they are doing the community a favour, but in reality, many people just see it as an average sunset or image.
These types of social media people will also never like anyone else’s work or comment on anyone else’s work. They simply look at their own work and think it is the best on the planet because they have the most likes. Kudos for that I must admit, but having a large collection of friends is not necessarily the answer.
Facebook Group Admin
Ah yes, the Facebook group admin, the person you want to be a friend of and like their stuff otherwise you will be out of favour. These are the ones that likely get the most interaction in a group, after all, they are admins. Then when the time is right, they advertise their products, make keyrings or mugs, then sell them to members. Get it?
There are also the admins who, if you get on the wrong side, will do their best to give you little exposure. I was a friend on Facebook to an admin of a group and when I got on the wrong side, after he had given a load of abuse, wanted me kicked from the group. He and his little army of followers are now the enemies of my social media life. Pretty childish right? Yep, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The Commenter who wants to Comment on Everything
This one is great, they comment on everything and like everything in the hope that they perhaps someday be your friend. All well and good and nice to have. until you see some of their stuff on their timeline. I have seen quite a bit on other people’s timeline such as racist comments, threats, Jeremy Kyle style arguments. It may be fascinating to some but for me, I really am not interested. I grew up deciding my own views on things in life and reading someone else’s views will not change that.
That Same Scene.. Again… Again… And Again
Oh dear, where to start here. I live in Pembrokeshire and the number of times I have seen Carew Castle or a beach has just become commonplace. Don’t get me wrong here, I love these places, but there are only so many angles you can take of the same place. I have actually moved on to other places as I feel I cannot get anything else from the regular spots. Pembrokeshire has so much to offer, so when I see the same image posted again, and again, and again by the same people, I get so disappointed.
Can we use your Image with a Name Credit?
No. I have been a victim of this. A news agency or Facebook Page contacts and asks if you could provide them with an image for a name credit. Yippee!
Well, not really. Here is the reality. The named agency or Facebook Page use your image, you get a credit in small writing. A few hours have passed and everyone has forgotten about the image. Oh, and they couldn’t be bothered to remember your name too… That was a couple of minutes of the post passing.
Seriously, if you want credit for your hard work, then push for a fee, if they refuse then you have not lost anything. Letting someone else market your images for free is what these agencies want, they do not want to pay unless it is necessary. They see the average photographer as a means for cheap media.
Never forget that it is YOU that has spent the time and money to get what an agency is looking for. If you want to give it away for free, then be my guest.
What am I Going to do About it?
Well, I have actually taken what Jimmy Mcintyre has taken on board in his blog post and start taking a step back in social media. Let the usual crowd on social media do what they usually do, it really does not affect me at all.
But what about your Photography Business, it Will Suffer?
Well actually no, there has been no change in sales or interest from agencies outside of social media. I still get messages from customers & agencies such as magazines, third-party image libraries etc & it has not affected my sales at all. In fact, if anything, it has improved my visibility to a new type of customer that I never met on social media.
I think the moral here is that it does not matter how many likes you get or popular you are on social media, if your content is not good enough to attract interest major interest then you must be doing something wrong.
I Hate You!
Your not the first and you will not be the last. Social media is full of people who want to hate you.
On a more positive side, I am trying to help you. Read this properly and you will understand that I am actually helping you out.
Thanks for reading and good luck, it’s a weird and wild world out there.