On Reflection: Week 3, Module Four

‘“I am a photographer, I take photographs,” that is and has always been the spine of any photographer’s professional practice. But is it enough today?’ (Scott, 2015).

Those who are in a position to commission work are aware that images are no longer always still, and they are aware of podcasts, and post-production techniques. They are aware of a whole range of methods by which photographic work can not only be disseminated but also created as a result of new technology.

They are also aware of social media.

Fundamentally, Scott writes: ‘they may not be fully informed about everything but they will expect you to be. They will expect you to be exploring the opportunities that the new environment brings and to be doing so passionately and with excitement.’

Time, then, for me to embrace the entity described as ‘social media’.

Distilled, social media is simply a variety of software packages. It is the user-generated content which prevents such applications from being little more than digital code.

It is no longer, in my view, sufficient for a photographer to be able to operate a camera. Instead one needs to be a social animal, one needs to understand how social media software works. And in order to understand that, one needs to understand how people work.

Social media is now an extremely cost-effective method of marketing. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. fundamentally operate by the creation of communities of like-minded individuals. Key to harnessing the power of social media in a marketing campaign is to understand how to identify these communities and direct them towards your website. The crucial element then is understanding how to successfully convert site visits into page views, and page views into revenue.

These are areas for ongoing research and development over the forthcoming ten-week period.

The phrase ‘absolute narcissism, and crippling self-doubt’ is, for me, very apt.

Whilst an idea may stay fresh in my mind’s eye and have perpetual visual appeal, the reality that quite often sits before me is somewhat different.

The dissonance caused by first looking at an image and thinking it to be excellent, then seeing the same images on another occasion and thinking it to be second-rate at best is remarkable.

But how would we progress, evolve, develop as artists without the self-interrogation that arises from such dissonance?

Where else would our critical thoughts come from?

 

Reference

Scott, G. (2015), Professional Photography: The New Global Landscape Explained. Oxon: Focal Press

 

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