3 years 6


Last week, I was on an English course with some work colleagues. Our English teacher asked us if we had any particular activities outside of our work. For me, it was quite simple, it’s Street Photography. They asked me if I exhibited or shared my photos and told them that other than my website and YouTube, I didn’t express the need to share more than that. The next day I brought them the two photo books that I had printed and was quite happy that people could see my photos in a book. The purpose of photos is to end up printed on paper, and there it was.

 

 

For a few months now, I have been working on photo books from previous years. I have already printed 2019 and 2020. I have since ordered 2018, but I do not have it in my hands yet. I will have 2017, 2016 and soon 2021. I have decided to do them year after year. It allows me to have a year’s work in the same book. The selections so far have about 40 photos for each year. Which makes the overall quality quite uneven, but it gives a good overview of the year. Making these books forces me to work on Editing and Photo Sequencing. I pay particular attention to it because I know that this tedious work will help me when I tackle a book a little bigger like the one on Aix-en-Provence.

 

 

My photos got good feedback and people were amazed that I didn’t want to share them on social media like Facebook and Instagram. It was all very well to explain to them that these media were not made for photography, but they still considered that it was a way to get in touch with other photographers and also to highlight his work and that this It was a shame that it remained confidential. I already had this reflexion a few years ago and clearly, for me, I do not see the usefulness and I consider Facebook and Instagram more as distractions or even nuisances than anything else.

 

 

The idea of social networks is appealing. They allow you to connect with street photographers around the world, influencers in photography, gallery owners, editors … Your photos are seen all over the world. In short, I’m too stupid ! Why am I not there ?? Like I said, the idea is good, but that’s not really how it works. Unless you have a strong enough network, it’s virtually useless. Your photos are just drowned in the millions of photos shared daily. But if you have a strong network, social networks are clearly of no use to you.

 

 

But by not being present on social networks at all, I completely disappear from radar and my photos remain very confidential, not to say anonymous. You have to make the effort to come to my site to see my photos. and for those who do not know my site, I rely on google referencing to bring people to my home … In recent years, I have made myself known a little because I was the one who pointed out the questionnable behaviors of others. Moreover, it was when I was present on social networks that I was the most active on my Blog. I just had to look at what was happening on social media to find ideas of article to write. But since I left Facebook and Instagram, I cut myself off from all the behaviors that gave me blog ideas !

 

 

Some still have to wonder why this title ? 3 years ? Well, it’s been almost 3 years (December 2018) since I left Facebook (I deleted my Instagram account the following summer …) that I made the decision to no longer play the game of social networks. It’s been 3 years since I decided to follow my path on my own. At the time I was fed up with it, but I was nonetheless aware of what it entailed. I was still a little scared because in the end I didn’t know if I was really taking pictures for myself or if subconsciously it was not just a question of ego and that I was taking pictures so that people could see ME on social networks. These three years show that my work has matured a lot since 2018 and that it was the right decision to make. I don’t think I have had, at any time, a failure to no longer be part of this huge circus that are social networks.

 

 

I feel like I blogged less this year. At the time of writing this article the counter indicates 32 publications this year. It’s not just an impression … But on the other hand, I still photograph as much and that is the most important for me. I’ve been hanging out in the streets of Saint-Denis for two years since our arrival on the island. Early next year, I’ll be working on my book Street Photography 2021. Funny thing is that the one I just had printed (Street Photography 2018) was my second year doing street photography in the streets of Aix-en-Provence. There is no question here of comparing what is not comparable. The experience is different. I will soon be entering my 7th year of practice. Michael Ernest Sweet wrote that he got around to it after 7 years. I will tell you what it is for me in a year …

 

 

All the photos were made with the Ricoh GRD IV.

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6 thoughts on “3 years

  • John Harper

    Instagram gets absolutely everywhere…it’s practically unavoidable and even makes an appearance in the penultimate shot in this post! Btw, the fact I wrote that sentence demonstrates how closely I study your work. It is also most definitely absolute crap and that’s also an unavoidable fact (Instagram not that photo or your work obviously). Furthermore Instagram is utterly futile, there is no point to it. Where is it taking any photographer? Nowhere is the easy answer to that. We, and by that I’m not including you Jeff, post our work for free and in return we get nothing except for adverts for cameras. It’s like the Californian Gold Rush, no one made any money except for the people selling spades and for that we can read : Instagram and Camera manufacturers.
    I’ve been thinking about books a lot in the last few weeks, I am going to do one. Who cares about that? More importantly where are my copies of the “Jeff Chane-Mouye Street Photography Annual”? 😉

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      They say that if its free. You’re not the customer, you’re the product… You summed up the idea of instagram and other social network. They don’t care about you. They just want you to spend time on theirs platforms so they can feed you with tons of ads… The more your stay, the more money they make!
      Making a book. That’s the thing! Go for it. I just make personal books for myself. I ‘m testing the quality and I must say that blurb is top but way too expensive… Peecho is good, but you need to work on Indesign first to make your pdf. You can have a very good book of more than 40 pages at a price of 25€ delivery included! You have to pay more than 45 € at blurb…

      • John Harper

        I’ve made a couple of books on Blurb in the past, you’re right they are expensive. Depends on how many pages? First comes the curation nightmare and then I’ll want to write something too. I made a start on selection, changed my mind and it’s been left on the back burner for now. I won’t be doing an annual, it’ll be a one off or perhaps a period of five years, mixed with all my different genres of photography…or maybe not and specifically Street or family …you see, I’m already sinking in the murky depths in the sea of indecision!!

        • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

          The easiest way to make a book for me was to gather a selection of the annual photos. Otherwise I would have to find another topic for the book. The one on Aix-en-Provence makes sense and it’s supposed to be about the 4 years spent over-there on the streets. I can’t find the idea of making a book on Réunion Island. For the moment the annual selection in a book is just an overall look to my work. That’s all. It’s hard to find a decent reason why to make a book. I’m waiting for my 10 years on the streets. It won’t make any sense but it will be at least linked to something

  • Deborah Swain

    Just a quick hello and to let you know that I DO make the effort to check out your latest photos on your website. I’m a huge admirer of your work! I have toyed with the idea of leaving Instagram too. Not done it yet though! Greetings from Rome, Italy.

    • Jeff Chane-Mouye Post author

      Hello Deborah, it’s funny to hear of people folllwing my work. I still think that all these blogs or photos are read and seen by very few people. I know that some people I know read them but I’m still happy to see some new followers like you. I have to thank you for that!
      I don’t have the legitimacy to ask people to leave or not social media. I just explain why this thing is just a crap to me and why I gave up on being a product for Facebook. Everyone have to question themselves to see if there’s a meaning in staying on social media platforms.
      Personally for me, it’s pointless but i’m not everyone
      Cheers!