Self-inflicted baggage

Since my last post, I have been thinking more about my decision to remove myself from posting images on social media and I definitely feel that for me, at this time, it is the best thing to do. 

After making that decision I felt relieved, which I realise, is a strange thing to say. No one makes me use social media. No one makes me prepare, process, tag and upload my images. And yet I felt that I wasn’t being a “proper” photographer if I didn’t do so.

Everything about the art of photography in these times is about getting your images viewed by as many people as possible and social media is the best way to do it. Most enthusiastic and professional photographers must be affected by the pressure to join in with the millions of other photographers who use Instagram, Facebook and Flickr to expand their presence online. Is there that forlorn hope by photographers that they may be “discovered” and therefore become famous and wealthy? Most would probably deny it, but I would wager at the back of their minds, there is the tiniest hope that this amazing opportunity will happen.

Well, the odds are, I’m afraid, that it won’t because: 

Up to three billion images are shared on the Internet daily.
(Sources: The Atlantic, DIY Photography)
More than one trillion copyright images are being created every year.
(Sources: Drumbeat Marketing, Copyright Laws)

So, looking at it logically, with these numbers, there is virtually no chance of a photographer being “discovered”.

I can see why many photographers post their images online to get likes, thumbs-ups and congratulatory comments and there is nothing wrong with that if that’s what you need or require. Up to a couple of months ago, I used to think the same way. But then I had a paradigm shift in the way I thought about my photography – my art. I realised that I actually didn’t mind if no one saw my images, or gave them a thumbs up or waxed lyrically on them. 

Removing all that self-inflicted baggage of wanting peer approval has really impacted me. I now feel that I am making photographs for myself and I am free to experiment and not make pictures just to get approval for them on social media.


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