One of the things I hear most from beginning photographers is that they can't seem to get engagement on their social media platforms or that every time they post something the only feedback they receive makes them want to not take photos or post anything.
I fall into this same scenario all of the time because it's natural for us as creatives to want to put out something that does spark an emotion and get feedback that makes you feel good about the art that you are putting out. The truth of the matter is everything is subjective as we all know from client interaction that what we as photographers love they client may not and what we think is a throw away the client may love. This leads me to the title of this post which is do not let social Media kill your creativity or drive if it is something you truly enjoy doing.
So far in 2018 I have taken photos at the Tidal Basin/National Mall/Capitol Building/Monuments a total of 12 times out of the 19 weeks in the year and I have countless number of photos that are the exact composition and of the same subjects. You may ask yourself how I can continue to go and shoot the same things so many times in the year and the truth is for some of those outings it wasn't about the art it was about trying to fit into a social media post that I could get engagement on versus just going out to capture a photo I wanted to capture. This is the pitfall that leads so many people to burn out or a creative rut because it's about what other people think versus why they picked up the camera in the first place, because they enjoyed capturing photos. So that is my simple question to anyone that puts a camera in their hand, why do you want to take pictures? If it's Money, you will fail. If it's to create a following, you will fail. If it's simply because everyone else is doing it, you will fail. The best photographers I know are the ones that are not the ones that have the best gear or a million followers (though some do because they are awesome) but it's the ones that still go out to capture a photo because it is what they truly enjoy doing and have fun doing it.
I am not a professional photographer, I do not make a living with my camera. I do however take more photos before most people are awake because that is the style of photo and the time of day I enjoy shooting. I am starting to grow and refine my style of shooting but I have realized at the end of the day that I am not setting out to capture an image because it will be the next viral photo but I am going out because photography is something I love and honestly is my stress relief.
So my challenge to the budding photographers or even the experienced photographers out there, get out and shoot for YOU and forget about how it fits into your world just for a day so you bring the love for that shutter sound back into why you started shooting in the first place.
Of course I want to share a few photos from a few of those 12 trips as well.
Wake Early. Drink Coffee. never stop chasing the light and always get out and shoot.