I’ve said this before, photography has a big appeal to me and it’s my main hobby outside of my career.
I take it seriously too, as in, I throw quite a bit of work and some money - amateur graded money, still it’s something - into it. The biggest outcomes I’ve had from it have been long lasting memories, a nasty habit of looking at details, people’s expressions, patches of light and weird angles to everyday places and strangers on the street and a deep desire for the day I can buy an augmentation that allows me to take pictures straight from my optical nerves.
I bought my first digital camera 13 years ago, but an old Minolta that my uncle gave me was really what got me hooked - it’s called Stockholm Syndrome, or how waiting days/weeks to see the results of the shots you took and realize you messed things ups gets you hooked. It’s probably my longest running relationship!
There are a number of online platforms to “expose your work” and I - as per character - am a user in a few of them, although I use them in slightly different ways, I don’t have a service that uploads one picture to all places at the same time, I don’t approach the communities in the same way in any of them. I think they are unique in their approaches and I try to respect that - or at least what I perceive of them.
The one I have the biggest social engagement with, although it’s probably ironic given the features were never explicitly geared towards building communities - despite the recent changes to group messaging, stories and such - has been Instagram. In the past couple of years, I’ve been meeting regularly with people and visiting certain places all thanks to the people and community accounts I’ve met through Instagram - again, this is circumstantial I’m sure, Flickr has explicit tools geared towards Communities, it just happens that I never engaged it in the right way.
So with that in mind, I themed November 2016 around photography and worked on three projects:
Where I showcase other people’s work. This isn’t exactly new - not by a long shot - but I opened it up to a few more fronts here and there and I wanted to make a point of announcing it to more people.
Just on the stats side, I’m now publishing 5 posts a day, I’ve posted around 10.000 photographs and I’ve got a combined number of around 1200 followers.
This is a cliché I know, but I think it’s an important marker for me. I’me spread around a few platforms like I said, but this is my anchor, my official home and I can give it the individual attention and respect it needs - never-mind what my Web Design skills actually produced , it’s the though that counts. I launched this over November and I’m happy.
No stats worth mentioning on this one. From the technical side it’s all Jekyll with a couple of plugins that I wrote to expose the Exif data and such.
Finally, the one project that excited me the most. The internet is a Fine Place, but we’re tactile beings for now and I like to take things into the physical world, and Photography is perfect for that. So with that in mind I printed a few postcards with my own shots and over the course of November I offered them to people.
This project was also the perfect opportunity to use the voucher for Reads I won a while ago. The guys were amazingly patient with all my newbie questions and I was super happy with the result, so this was a win-win and it makes me happy that some parties of my hobby can actually be self-sustaining.
November finished with 17 people asking for postcards, from the United States to Russia, about half the people I never met in person and half of those are completely new. I was hoping for more people, but I’m very happy anyway.
Now we’re back to non-business as usual, I’m pretty happy that I accomplished all that I wanted from this November project, I know the numbers are very very poor, but this is a hobby and let’s say that engaging with people is my biggest challenge, I’m happy with what I got :) . I still have a few postcards lying around so I’ll definitely do something with them, if anything, I might re-re-kindle my eternal Postcrossing love with my own postcards.
I’ll also keep pursuing whatever opportunities I have to photograph new places and meet new people, whatever makes me a more sociable Human is worth it. And I may also give in to my urges and give in to the amazing new Canon EOS M5 to replace my original EOS M. If I do, you’ll all know about it of course :)