It’s unfortunate that we live in a society where the value of people is quantified by likes, followers and views. So many people are seeking attention for the wrong reasons. I think we should all be doing our best work without looking for accolades or seeking reward (…). Your worth (invaluable) should never be based on other people’s approval (ephemeral). Just be yourself. Keep it real. Keep it moving. Do all things with absolute purity, love and joy. And always do your best.
These phrases are not mine, but Sufjan Stevens, an American songriter/singer whom I really appreciate. During a discussion about an extract from his next album, he explained the theme addressed in the title Video Game. He does not talk about photography but, in the end, he sums up very well our society which has become what it is with the advent of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or other social networks … Moreover, the video welcomes as a guest star , Jalaiah Harmon, a 14-year-old dancer/choreographer who created the Renegade dance that went viral on TikTok. Finally for several months, this dance was attributed to someone else on TikTok. This person never bothered to credit Jalaiah. All this of course to have millions of views and followers on TikTok.
Just return of things with the NY Times which denounced the fraud. Sufjan asked to Jalaiah to appear in his music video creating a choreography for his title Video Game. You can find out more here. These words of Sufjan have a very particular echo with me, you must suspect it. He summarized in a few sentences the reasons that led me to completely turn my back on this gigantic circus that is social networks. It is the same in my often without concessions remarks on the Ricoh GR and the policy and behaviour of Pentax/Ricoh. I have been told that my photos have caught the attention of some people at Pentax/Ricoh, but my strong and very harsh opinions about the brand have sided me on the category of the photographers to avoid. No need to draw attention to this kind of troublemaker …
I keep this freedom of speech which allows me to criticize things when they are open to criticism and to speak without filters. I don’t have to please or be held accountable. As Sufjan put it so well, I just stay myself and I keep it real.
All photos were taken with the Ricoh GRD4.