Being a Photographer or rather an artist, what should not ever affect your journey or your aim?
Now-a-days Social Media has become the key channel of outsourcing one's talent. Instead of talent, maybe we can say our skillset which we have realised as our passion and we are chasing it long enough to reach our dreams. But to keep our mind motivated and focused we need to digest some realistic issues about how our work is getting accepted...
What we need to realise is, the method how our work is showcased to the outer world, has changed a lot over time. Earlier if you wanted to produce your work to any publisher or editor or a curator, you simply mailed those to them through post / courier and it was certain that they would open it and have a look at your work. Even if they are not selected for publishing or into any media, you could be sure that your work has been looked into. But now, its the era of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and also the e-mail system.
Are you yourself not tired of boring advertisement mails in your mail inbox? Are you not annoyed by crazy junk mails that land up on your mail Inbox? Simiarly, in this contemporary period, think of how much annoyed those publishers / editors will be! Not only they receive more junk mails than you, in addition they have to filter out the important mails which are of use to them. The ratio? 5:100 or may be to remain on a brighter side - 15:100? Now all of those curators do not have a secretary to do that! So your submissions are having a 85% chance of getting overlooked. Okay be positive - 70% chance of getting overlooked!
One more barrier - The Facebook/Instagram algorithm and group lobbies that constitute the harsh truth. Talking about Instagram : this is one true platform where you can get a proper exposure of your domain, specially photography. Here you can come in touch with the patrons of Photography whom you can interact with but often we get suppressed by seeing the amount of likes we get. THE THING IS, WE INSTEAD OF LEARNING FROM OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS, URGE FOR COMMUNITY ACCEPTANCE OF OUR OWN WORK! If your photograph is not getting enough number of organic likes, even after following all possible methods in Instagram, either YOUR PHOTOGRAPH IS LACKING THE WOW FACTOR (in this case instead of getting low try to accept that you need to learn a lot more and apply your acquired knowledge to improvise. The media will automatically give you what you deserve!!! Focus on your content not on other's acceptance), or the second probability is your work is good but you don't have a favourable group of Instagram friends who will share your work in stories or spread it or mentally motivate you. (But this surely never means your work is not good. It can be exceptional work losing the chances of recognition due to loss of social communication. So you need to communicate more).
Next comes the Facebook groups. Maximum of the Facebook groups are fucked up with rubbish submissions. So if your work is good, it will get easily awarded there. But do you want that? Is that justifying your passion? No right? Now lets come to the harsh reality of well-known groups -
**Now the most important fact : Whatever stated below are just some studies and probabilities which constitute 50% of a well famed group. In a well established Facebook groups you can find out way more exceptional photographs which are inspirational and deserve recognition. You can never feel down for them. You have to just stare at those photographs learn from them, communicate with the artist and add more to your bucket of knowledge! But I am here to give you a head start with what you MAY face in terms of social media posts and in terms of engagement with your photographs. So lets have a look into the negatives and how you may turn those into your advantage!
FIRSTLY, ITS MOSTLY A LOBBY GAME RUN BY POLITICS (POWERED BY WHETHER THE ADMINS KNOW THE PHOTOGRAPHER WELL ENOUGH).
You may see strangely peculiar pictures are getting awarded while your photograph that has an amazing frame is not getting that level of recognition. You may again be confused with THE AMOUNT OF LIKES AND COMMENTS on others' photos.
Here you need to calculate few things - THE AMOUNT OF TIME FROM WHEN THEY ARE IN THAT GROUP, THEY PROBABLY HAS MADE CONTACT WITH THE ADMIN PANEL AND MADE RAPPORT, THEY MAY BE A RELATIVE, THEY MAY ACTUALLY BE WELL RECOGNISED PHOTOGRAPHERS AND THUS THEIR PHOTOS ARE RECOGNISED WITH EASE AND LIKED BY MANY, EVEN ADMIN PANEL MEMBERS ARE AWARDING THEM TO SUSTAIN THEIR PRESENCE!
So what we may understand to make our progress more shaped, is:
INSTAGRAM FOLLOWER COUNT IS JUST A NUMBER. IF YOU ARE SOLELY TRYING TO INCREASE THAT DIGIT, WELL YOU PROBABLY HAVE RUINED THE MOTIVE BEHIND YOUR PASSION.
FACEBOOK / OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA LIKES AND COMMENT ARE A MATTER OF TIME AND COMMUNICATION. YOUR WORK AND ADMIRATION FOR YOUR OWN PASSION SHOULD NEVER BE AFFECTED DUE TO THESE FACTORS BECAUSE THEY MAY PROVOKE YOU INTO OPTING FOR UNETHICAL MEANS FOR ACHIEVING FAME.
REACHING TO CURATORS AND PUBLISHERS BY EMAIL IS TIME TAKING AND WE SHOULD REALISE THAT 30PERCENT OF OUR MAILS ARE READ THE REST ARE OVERLOOKED. SO WE NEED TO CONTINUE THE SUBMISSION PROCESS WITHOUT GETTING TIRED OF NOT GETTING A REPLY BACK. PERSEVERANCE YOU SEE?
LASTLY, NEVER GET DEMOTIVATED BY ANYONE WHO SAYS FOUL ABOUT YOUR WORK WITHOUT GIVING A JUSTIFIED SUPPORTING STATEMENT OR IMPROVEMENT SUGGESTIONS. THEY MAY JUST TRY TO BURN YOU DOWN.
ALL THE BEST AND HOPE YOU WILL BE ABLE TO REALISE THE CONTEMPORARY SITUATION AND WILL KEEP YOUR PASSION ON TRACK ALWAYS, IGNORING THE BOTTLENECKS. KEEP SUPPORTING!!