Social Media Is No Longer Part Of My Photography Journey
It’s more than just muscle memory that had my thumb reaching for the usual phone icons; for the inescapable worlds of social media. It was mental, psychological. I tried deleting the apps and only accessing through a browser, but too many times on the job someone wanted to connect on Instagram. Also, I often will use Instagram for tangible photography things: finding talent, finding a location, referencing an image. Eventually it did happen for me, though — I went from Instagram being my most-used app to among my least. Not through any behavioral “hack,” but in re-prioritizing my entire approach to my photography business.
But let’s back up and talk about how we got here to begin with.
When digital photography emerged — not the first round, but when it became viable, professionally — I was all in. My photography journey began young, in my teen years. I had a photographer’s eye at an early age, but there was no chance of me becoming a professional. In my day, you needed to be in the right circles to get photography jobs. If you didn’t have someone to usher you in, you needed to buy or bully your way in. I had neither the money nor the muscle.
So I went off to make art. It was cheaper and a lower bar for entry. Everything I did, I did for me with the excuse that doing it commercially was a privilege I couldn’t afford. I focused on my themes, my ideas, my experiments, my photographs. Few people ever saw them. I found myself in that hazy place one ends up in when you do a creative endeavor with no assignment, no audience, no feedback… in a lot of ways, it’s right where it felt professionals of the medium wanted you to be in. Nowhere, really.
With digital photography came a breakdown of those very barriers I experienced growing up and I saw an opportunity to reimagine what photography might be for me. I could jump the fence.
I made photography the main thing I did when I wasn’t working. I wandered the street in search of good light and good moments. I did this every chance I…