Just be yourself. Keep it real 6

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.

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6 thoughts on “Just be yourself. Keep it real

  • John Harper

    It’s a loss for Ricoh/Pentax. They could attract a lot of attention if they allowed you freedom to evaluate their gear how you see it as a user and promoted your images. What they should be doing is offering you a paid assignment.
    There’s very little moral or ethical responsibility on Social Media. It’s a circus, a fairground ride that I want to get off. It’s imminent, any time soon I’ll cease posting. At the very least take a break for a couple of months.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Would they accept someone promoting a 9 years camera ? Not sure. They want people to talk about their latest bankable camera aka GR3. I’ve said all I want on this one and not sure that they are pleased with that … But I love the GR series. I just don’t like the last iteration of their camera. Frankly I was sure that I would miss sharing on SM, but in the end, the more you stay away from SM, the more you enjoy your freedom. I’m working on something more interestingr now. Vasco gives me the will to work on a book, but I can’t find a way to present my work. I’m studying how some photobook have been made to understand the sequencing. Gonna write something on what I found on The Americans from Robert Frank : my Bible

      • John Harper

        I have that book too and I suspect I’ll own yours at some stage. A book is really what I want to do. In the meantime I thought I’d upload a slideshow to YouTube. Man that was way more difficult than I thought!!

          • John Harper

            Everything!! In the end I made it on iPhoto, but had to use the free music. I was trying to do a ‘best of’ and of course once I’d spent hours looking through (trying to find) and eventually selecting the photos I played it back on YouTube and decided I didn’t like the ones I’d chosen! So, trouble making it and curating…

          • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

            I have a pretty simple app for the slideshow. You just have to add the photos, your music and that’s it. But it’s on Windows…
            I don’t care much about the sequencing. I should definitely as I know that you can catch the attention of people in the first 90 seconds, than a lot of them just don’t look at the end of the slideshow… Too bad but it’s a reality