‘It is important to remember that numbers do not translate easily into significance. There is a tendency in content analysis and cultural analytics to assume that if something occurs very often, it is more important than something that occurs rarely’ (Rose, 2016).
As a concept, this can be applied equally well to how we measure not only the success of our images, but also the success of our marketing activities.
Is an image which is posted to Instagram and attracts 100 likes better than an image also posted to Instagram which attracts 1 like from a photographic agent?
How are we measuring the success of our images? And how are we measuring the success of our posts to social media?
If we post to a social media account and our image attracts likes, who is it that likes our images? And why?
As previously discussed, the old adage ‘horses for courses’ applies – is the best platform for a commercial photographer really a Facebook page? Or is an Instagram account which can be seen by agencies and businesses with commercial photography opportunities a better option?
Philosophically, if I pick up a camera and operate the shutter, does that make me a photographer?
If it does, at what point do I cease being a photographer?
On this basis, no level of skill is required and no quality of output.
By what name do we call someone proficient in the art of photography and having quality of output? Artist perhaps?
What is the quality that defines an artist and differentiates them from being a photographer if we take the above definition of a photographer to be valid?
Clearly the answer lies in much more than a name.
Prima facie, not all photographers are created equal …
What lies at the very heart of these questions (what underlies this line of questioning) is a desire to realise my identity …
Who am I?
What am I trying to achieve?
How am I trying to achieve it?
How successful am I being?
I am constantly trying to define (and refine) my identity …
Is my identity as a photographer separate to my identity as a person? Should the two be discrete?
This is fundamentally important because it relates directly to how I describe myself to potential clients (how I brand myself).
It is, therefore, a worthy investment of time.
Rose, Gillian (2016). Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to Researching with Visual Methods. London: Sage Publications Limited