How do I stop caring what others think and take pictures for me?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by nerwin, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I really want to get this off my chest and ask for advice.

    Social media has really stressed out lately, more than probably ever at this point. I've become so addicted to getting those likes as validation on my photos that when I don't get any or not very much, I automatically feel that the photo has no value, it must suck and so I usually end up deleting it and sometimes permanently off my hard drive.

    I know I shouldn't care about those likes and just take pictures for myself and not care what others think. That's how I felt when I first got into photography but social media has poisoned this for me. It's all I think about now everytime I go out and shoot, "will people like this photo?" and when they don't....man I feel bummed out. Almost like giving up.

    I've deleted Instagram because of this problem and I felt better for a while. I never cared how much of attention I got on Flickr before Instagram and now it ruined Flickr for me as well. I almost feel like giving that up as well.

    It's not Instagram's fault or Flickr's fault. It's my own damn fault.

    Giving up on these isn't going to solve the problem.

    I'm really lost on what I should do so I'm asking for advice. I want to stop caring about getting likes and stop caring whether or not someone will like this photo and just take pictures for me. What would be a good step in the right direction?

    I'm sure there are others here that have had similar feelings and hopefully understand how I feel and if you did, how did you overcome it?

    I often get asked the question "What does photography mean to me?" To be honest, I don't have an answer anymore. I've seem to have forgotten.

    Thanks for listening and any advice will be appreciated.


     
  2. Dean_Gretsch

    Dean_Gretsch Always looking... Supporting Member

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    Social media itself is the root of your problem. It creates the atmosphere that feeds itself. I have this forum and a forum for another hobby of mine. No FB, no Twitter, and no Instagram. This is MY life. I make myself happy. If no one else likes it, their loss, not mine.
     
  3. nerwin

    nerwin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You're not kidding about the atmosphere.

    I think the likes, favorites, follower counts are designed to get you hooked and addicted. If they didn't exist, I think people would be happier. But I don't think these are going away anytime soon.

    My worst habit is constantly checking the websites over and over.
     
  4. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Can you turn off the 'Likes' and the hit count?

    When I was very active processing and posting often to my website, I was getting as much as 100,000 hits a month. But I have to dig through a few menus to get to where that number is reported. Of late, I know the count is very low so ... but I have weaned myself from looking. I haven't check my hits in over a a year or more. I am sorted over it. I think that by not looking at your hit count, over time it will become somewhat meaningless ... at least less meaningful to where it become easy to ignore.
     
  5. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    PS- I like your stuff.
     
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  6. Peeb

    Peeb Semi-automatic Mediocrity Generator Supporting Member

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    It's dopamine.

    Social Media Triggers a Dopamine High

    Your brain gets a pleasant jolt with each 'like' so you go back for more. I certainly agree with the article.

    It never occurred to me that I should stress when a posted photo gets no attention. I just go snap another! ;)

    Sorry to hear that this wonderful pastime is getting you down.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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  7. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I am not an expert. For me, I just don't think highly of my photography. I felt the same way about my paintings too. I have a very high drive to create. It's the creative process that does it for me, not so much the results.

    At the end of the day, no one gives a crap about your photography, your art work, or even you. I know this sounds harsh but it has been my experience. It is rare for someone to be truly interested in you or your work.
     
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  8. pendennis

    pendennis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Since I stopped doing any photography for commercial purposes (weddings, portraits), my photography has all been self-serving, -pleasing, etc. I do post some of my work on various blogs, and even on Facebook, but only if I believe it's the best of what I do in a particular instance. If it get criticism for good or bad, it's what I expected by exposing my photos to the public. The constructive I take with seriousness, the ad hominem I ignore.

    I shoot a lot of film as well as digital, so I go through the extra step of scanning. But, it's all about how I saw the image, and my interpretation. Frankly, I couldn't care what a lot of people think of my photos. If they hired me to shoot a particular scene, event, whatever, I'd worry. Since my photography doesn't put food on the table, I'm quite immune to the comments of others. I put a lot of my photos into folders for use as screen savers, and rotate them frequently. I print, frame, and hang the ones I want, and my guests see them when they visit. I'll even print and frame one as a gift if a friend really likes it.

    I've seen thousands of photos posted on other blogs, and the majority of them look like grab shots from vacations or birthdays. Not a lot of thought went into composition, lighting, and post-processing. I know a piece of that is the human desire to communicate with others, and those viewing the photos won't be very harsh on the photographer if the photo isn't particularly good.

    However, mass media gives a lot of anonymity to those being critical. It's very easy to hide behind a screen name. I do criticize others' work, but only if they ask. People are making themselves vulnerable by posting images in public, and we're always at risk for hurt feelings when we do so.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree that getting likes, watches, views, comments is rewarding in itself - there is a joy in the acknowledgement that others like what you produce; that there is a value (in respect/enjoyment) in knowing that others like what you do.

    It's one of those things that is half pre-programmed into most of us (through a mix of nature and nurture) and its part of what makes us human and is why we work so well in groups; because many people have a desire to contribute and better the group and their own gain within the group.


    That said there is a healthy and unhealthy level for this and it sounds like you've tipped teh balance into unhealthy. Now the reasoning for this could be varied and might not even have anything what so ever, to do with your photography (ergo its a symptom of another thing). Another could be self confidence in your own ability, which diminishes you power to enjoy your work for yourself (esp if you are a naturally very self critical person).

    Cutting yourself out of the system can sometimes help; it can at least cause you to change your behaviour patterns and actions and see if you can improve your overall enjoyment by shifting things around and approaching things from another angle. Another can be to set yourself your own goals nad tasks and projects to achieve things which are not reliant on likes etc...



    I would honestly say if you are reaching a point where it is causing you significant trouble and you can't find a way out then consider some counselling support. Sometimes the right questions and viewpoint can help you re-evaluate what is going on and how you view the world and could give you some better tools to work through this. That would also work better if the source for this problem is outside of photography and likes (ergo its highlighting and underlaying problem that you might not be fully aware of).
     
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  10. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Same here. I started out with photography as a hobby and enjoyed it immensely. I turned that passion into a career. That took all the fun out of it. So I chucked it all and did something totally different to pay the bills.

    I now use a camera for me and me alone. Yes, I still sell my work through on-line sites, but I flat-out refuse to do any commission work of any kind.
     
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  11. Fujidave

    Fujidave Blue eyed and Beautiful Supporting Member

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    I use to take photos for people to like and not worry, then I thought UP This I am going to start taking photos for my self only and if people like or comment then that`s nice. My main photography at the moment is the singers/buskers, I totally love it and when I get them telling me they are chuffed someone is doing that, so it just makes me well chuffed even though I am taking them for me.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Well...you asked how to stop caring what others think.Answer: STOP the behavior that causes you to feel the need for Likes and Shares and Followers. Social media is based on likes, follows,shares,re-tweets,etc, depending on the platform. So...if you want to stop the bad feelings, then either 1) go all-out and hashtag the heck out of your Instagram posts, and spend an hour a day liking and following new people, and really,really,really "work" the IG system or 2) STOP posting and looking for validation.

    Let's be real: sex sells. Lots of skin, cute girls, handsome men, bikinis, lingerie, cleavage, puppies, kittens, sunsets, sunrises,fantastic food: these are much of the subject matter that is almost guaranteed to resonate with social media viewers. Social media is about copying successful,popular photos...it's all one big copy-cat circus. If your photos follow the popularity curve, subject-wise, you'll have Likes galore. Original work, serious work, depressing work,serious artistic endeavors: all are almost guaranteed to bring in low Like counts.

    You need to realize: if you want high like counts, you need to hashtag the heck out of every IG post, and show a lot of skin,skimpy clothes,etc. You have to follow a lot of people, and leave comments on the pages of many people, and hope that others see your name on the comments you leave, and check into your site. You have to post on-schedule for huge population numbers like say 5:30-7:30 AM Eastern time, hoping for commuters in the east, and you need to post at lunch time, and after-work train-time home, etc..

    I assume you know much or most of this. But, if not, well, maybe it'll help. Then of course, there's the easiest course of action: STOP doing social media. If you have a compulsive habit of checking the sites over and over, then you've got a problem. You're getting way to much of a reward for far too small of a behavior. If all you want are Likes, then shoot the kind of crap that gets automatic Likes.
     
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