Self reflection : Where do I find myself. 4


 

(English version at the bottom of the page)

Dans un précédent Blog, je vous parlais d’une introspection que je faisais sur mon travail. L’occasion de me poser et de sortir quelques séries de toutes mes photos. J’avais réussi à regrouper certaines photos dans la série #RGPD que je souhaitais proposer au Festival de Street Photography de Saint-Raphaël. Malheureusement, le Festival est annulé cette année et sincèrement je ne pense pas qu’il y aura une édition l’année prochaine … C’est compliqué de monter un festival de photographie. Ça m’a bien effleuré l’idée d’en monter un à Aix-en-Provence, mais je préfère ne pas me lancer là dedans. 

 

 

En tant que photographes, il y a ce besoin de montrer son travail. Même si la plupart des photographes vous diront qu’ils photographient pour eux même, l’avènement des réseaux sociaux montre bien que c’est devenu un moyen pour exister. Il y a quelques semaines de ça, un ami me demandait si je continuais à faire des photos car il ne voyait plus d’activité sur ma page Facebook. J’ai trouvé ça amusant comme réflexion car derrière cette remarque anodine, il y a bien ce dont je parlais un peu plus haut. Je poste donc j’existe !

 

 

Depuis pas mal de temps déjà, je ne partage presque plus de photos sur Facebook. Je me suis dé-inscrit de tous les groupes comme Street Photography in the World, Urban Street Photography ou encore Ricoh GR Street Photography. Je ne vois plus l’intérêt de poster. Certains diront que c’est pour avoir un feedback sur son travail. Mais franchement, qui a déjà eu un feedback sincère et constructif sur une de ses photos sur un de ces groupes ? C’est juste une multitude de pouces bleus avec des “Great one !”, “Awesome !”, “Nice one !” … Je suis coupable aussi de pas être très disert sur les photos que j’aime bien. 

 

 

Le problème c’est qu’on est submergé par un flot ininterrompu de photos dès qu’on va sur Facebook ou Instagram et pourtant je ne suis pas beaucoup de personnes. Pour tout vous dire, je dois avoir 200 followers sur Facebook et je suis moins de 100 personnes sur Instagram. Et uniquement avec ça, je trouve que c’est déjà compliqué de voir le travail de tout le monde. Je me demande juste comment font les personnes qui suivent plus de 1000 voire 2000 personnes ??? 

 

 

J’ai commencé avec Facebook il y a 18 mois de ça et rapidement je me suis lassé de cette plateforme. Le seul truc intéressant, c’est de pouvoir garder contact avec certaines personnes et de pouvoir interagir  avec les autres. En ce qui concerne la Street Photography, je ne m’en sers que pour mettre en avant mes articles de Blog. Je ne poste pratiquement plus de photos et j’y vais de moins moins souvent. Comparativement, mes Blogs sont plus lus quand je les partage sur Facebook que lorsque je ne les partage pas. Je pense que je garderai ma page que pour cela. 

 

 

Je vais plutôt privilégier Instagram. Par contre il y a truc qui m’agace avec Instagram. C’est de ne pas pouvoir visualiser une photo en plein écran. Mais ce qui me plaît plutôt bien  avec Instagram, c’est de pouvoir toucher une audience plus large avec les hashtags. Et contrairement à Facebook, vous choisissez qui vous suivez. Quelqu’un peut vous suivre sans que vous ayez cette obligation de le suivre aussi. Néanmoins, ça reste du réseau social et ne vous attendez pas à des interactions ou du feedback sur vos photos. Ça reste relativement superficiel. Mais ce n’est plus vraiment ce que je recherche. Je sais où je vais. 

 

 

Alors pour ceux qui se demandent si j’ai arrêté la photographie, il n’en est rien. Je continue de battre le pavé dans Aix-en-Provence avec mon Ricoh GRD IV en main. Je photographie toujours aussi frénétiquement et les photos s’empilent sur mon disque dur. J’en montre de temps en temps dans mes Blogs ou sur Instagram. En tout cas, je partage plus sur mes Blogs qu’ailleurs. Si vous voulez être tenu au courant de mes prochains articles, n’hésitez pas à souscrire à la newsletter. Avec juste un peu plus de 40 abonnés, vous allez dire que peu de personnes verront les photos et liront les articles que je poste. Sincèrement je photographie et j’écris tout d’abord pour moi. Je suis déjà étonné et flatté qu’on puisse s’intéresser à ce que je fais. 

 

 

 

~o~

 

Self reflection : Where do I find myself.

 

 

 

In a previous blog, I wrote about the self reflection that I did on my work. The opportunity to pause and try to figure out some series of all my photos. I had managed to gather some photos in the series #RGPD that I wanted to propose to the Street Photography Festival of Saint-Raphaël. Unfortunately, the Festival is canceled this year and sincerely I do not think there will be an edition next year … It’s complicated to set up a photography festival. I had the idea to start a Street festival in Aix-en-Provence, but I prefer not to get into it.

 

 

As photographers, there is this need to show his work. Even though most photographers will tell you that they are photographing for themselves, the advent of social media shows that it has become a way to exist. A few weeks ago, a friend asked me if I kept taking pictures because he saw no more activity on my Facebook page. I found it amusing because behind this innocuous remark, there is what I spoke before. I share so I am !

 

 

For quite some time already, I almost do not share any more photos on Facebook. I have removed myself from all the Facebook Groups like Street Photography in the World, Urban Street Photography or Ricoh GR Street Photography. I do not see anymore the interest of posting. Some will say that it is to have feedback on his work. But frankly, who has already had a sincere and constructive feedback on one of his photos on one of these groups ? It’s just a multitude of blue thumbs with “Great one! “Awesome! “, ” Nice one ! “… I am also guilty of not being very talkative about the pictures I like.

 

 

The problem is that we are overwhelmed by an uninterrupted flow of photos as soon as we go on Facebook or Instagram and yet I am not following many people. To be honest, I must have 200 followers on Facebook and I follow less than 100 people on Instagram. And only with that, I think it’s hard to see everyone’s work. I’m just wondering how do people who follow more than 1000 or even 2000 people ???

 

 

 

I started with Facebook 18 months ago and I quickly got tired of this platform. The only interesting thing is to be able to keep in touch with some people and to be able to interact with others. Regarding the Street Photography, I use it only to highlight my Blogs. I post practically no more photos and I go less and less often. Comparatively, my Blogs are more read when I share them on Facebook than when I do not share them. I think I’ll keep my account for that. But I guess that if I’m less active, my account will be less seen …

 

 

I will rather privilege Instagram. But there is something that annoys me with Instagram. It’s not possible to view a photo in full screen. But what I like about it is to be able to reach a wider audience with hashtags. And unlike Facebook, you choose who you follow. Someone can follow you without you having that obligation to follow him too. Nevertheless, it remains of the social network and do not expect interactions or feedback on your photos. It remains relatively superficial. But it’s not really what I’m looking for anymore. I know where I’m going.

 

 

So for those who wonder if I stopped the photography, it is not so. I continue to roam in Aix-en-Provence with my Ricoh GRD IV in hand. I still photograph frantically and the photos pile up on my hard drive. I show a few from time to time in my Blogs or on Instagram. In any case, I share more on my Blogs than elsewhere. If you want to be kept informed of my next Blogs, do not hesitate to subscribe to the newsletter. With just over 40 subscribers, you will say that few people will see the photos and read my Blogs. Sincerely, I photograph and write for myself first. I am already surprised and flattered that we can be interested in what I do.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Self reflection : Where do I find myself.

  • John Harper

    First the positive; We meet interesting and inspiring photographers through social media. It also allows us to keep in contact with family and friends (that applies to Facebook mostly), for the most part I’m just having a laugh on there with a few people. Other than those two positive points concerning Social Media it’s a total waste of time, because none of this is for serious photographers, those genuinely interested in photography. Why anyone would wish to post to Instagram puzzles me. Take Hashtags for example; I presume these are simply Groups in all but name, entering a hashtag puts a photo into a group or some form of curation which begs the question who are the curators/creators of these groups or hashtags? It’s basically Facebook and it’s Groups only without the ability to see a frame properly and if you can’t see a frame in the way a photographer intended then it’s pointless. The advice from the “experts” is that a photographer needs to stay relevant to get noticed. Well in order to do that you would have to post at least once a day to every platform known to mankind. Unfortunately you’re only as good as your last photo which expires after just milliseconds before the hoards move on to the next “great shot!”. Unless of course you’re a celebrity with a zillion followers of mostly fake accounts. The other problem is that (and I’m a prime example of this) the end result of continually posting is that images which really aren’t good enough are presented, in fact it’s often absolute crap that should never be shown publicly, quality is diluted and add to the sea of mediocrity already out there. I used to think that I’d be getting some inspiration and that was reason enough to be involved, but in reality investing in some photography books is the best way to do that. Of course people like the buzz/addiction of that brief attention, but we’re simply feeding the machine, allowing these platform owners to make money out of our work. Hypothetically, perhaps they should do away with advertising and charge £1 to post a shot, I wonder if people may consider more carefully what they upload or actually bother at all, especially if to see that photo or “like” it there was a charge of 10p to the viewers! I don’t know the answer Jeff, I’m feeling very disenchanted with the whole process. I put a photo of my daughter sat in a cornfield with one of our dogs running past a couple of days ago, I hate myself for doing so because I don’t want it to be representative of my photography, but my mother will see that photo (via a family member who’ll show her it) and it’ll make her very happy, what I should do is print it and send to her. I’m thinking of posting a photo once a month, if I feel it’s good enough. Self editing is an art and I think my blog may need a bit of that too!

    Well, there’s my rant over with :-)) Cheers for now.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Ah ah ! That’s a brilliant rant ! 😉 More seriously, most people know that it’s all about bullshit. I guess that pesonnally speaking, I’m not very good at interacting with people and social media is just about this. That’s why I’m more comfortable now with Instagram instead of Facebook. You’re right when you say that this “hashtag” thing is just like any other FB groups. The only difference is that there’s no filters. By adding a hashtag, you just appear in the flux of photos of the hashtag. The FB groups work differently with some kind of moderators allowing your pictures to enter the group. But as I said the best thing is to allow you to be followed without forcing you to follow back. Of course when someone follows me, I go to check his work to see if I might follow him. But there’s not this compulsory follow back thing. May be I like Instagram because it’s damn impersonal and deeply that’s what I was looking for.
      FB as you said is great to keep in touch with people non related to photography, like family. But one thing I can’t stand anymore on FB is people talking about anything and everything as if they were experts. It’s just like being at a bar and everyone express his or her opinion without any filters as if it was the truth. That’s one of the major drawback of FB. Freedom of expression I say yes, but being behind a comptuter or a smartphone give people some strenght to be mean, to tell bullshit. Let me tell you an recent example John. Just after France won the World Cup. I was scrolling down myfeed on FB and ended up on a post of a guy named Philip Houtekier or something like that. He shared 3 pictures. One of the Belgium celebrating their third place with a crowd of people. Happy and joyful picture. The second one was the croatians celebrating their second place on the pitch. Happy and joyful picture. And of course the third picture was about France and what he shared was a picture of outbreaks of violence that happened in Paris after the victory … I was pissed off to see that and I wrote a comment telling him that his post was offensive and a dishonest shorcut. The only answer I got was, “do you mean that didn’t happen ?”. I told him that it wasn’t the point but resuming France to that was dishonest. My comment got erased. This episode is symptomatic of what often happen on FB. People just think that they are the truth and that they have the freedom to speak of whatever they want and fuck the others. I’ve never been a huge fan of hanging aroung in bars listenning to people talking shit. I guess that’s why I try to flee away from FB. My parents and most of my friends don’t really use FB. I just use it to highlight my Blogs. I won’t miss it. I’ve done like you some Social Media breaks lately and the truth is that I’m ok to be away from it. But as anyone, I still need to share some of my work. That’s why this impersonal platform called Instagram is good for me. But my Blog and my website is my place.

      • John Harper

        France won the World Cup? Really? I had no idea 😉 Ah yes, Bar Room Lawyers…experts on everything, offensive to all, Facebook is full of them and it is a problem. Once they just had their cronies in the pub to expound their views to, now they have a potential 1.2 Billion audience! I “unfriended” someone recently because there was a very slight racist aspect to one of his posts. It is a problem and this Houtekier guy is evidently part of it, he’s entitled to his view, but as is nearly always the case not prepared consider an opinion that differs from their own. I mostly see only photos in my newsfeed. Anyway, I’m about to take a break until September, I’ll consider my participation in Social Media during that time. I looked at Instagram a few years ago and decided it wasn’t for me, perhaps I’ll take another look one day.

        • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

          Bar room lawyers ! What a nice expression. Love it ! What I should have done is being more careful about who ask for friendship on Facebook. The problem is that when someone asks for friendship, it’s difficult to say no. May be I should start from zero again and erase my FB profile and just keep in touch with people that really matter. Anyway as you said, summer is here and I’ll be off with the kids so far from FB. We keep in touch on messenger, mail, Blog or what so ever John ! Enjoy your holidays with the kids !