Social media! It’s one of those things that has now become a part of day-to-day life for everyone and being a photographer is no exception. Back when I started learning photography things where very different, for example, we respected my lecturers because of the time they put into each shoot from loading film through to the dark room processes. Nowadays it seems that everyone on social media sites has a friend who can do it cheaper with the same camera, is this a bad thing?
I’m going to let you answer that question and continue the route I intended this article to take, otherwise I will be here for hours rattling off nonsense from my head. For me portraits have got harder to market, however, seeing what others are doing is great because it allows our creativity to flow, it’s a catch twenty-two I guess. Landscapes on the other hand I really couldn’t thank social media enough…
A few years back like most I joined google+ beta and from that moment realised that this whole community of photographers where ready to unite and share ideas, images, techniques and locations. After a rough point in my life a true friend I had never met sent me a message kindly offering me a place to stay and a travel buddy if I visited Canada. I don’t know why but that night using messenger we planned a time that suited both of us and I booked my flights! This until that moment was fairly out of character for me, but there I was flights booked and ready to get on a plane to meet a complete stranger.
I now consider Ryan Fisher an incredible friend, he is there when I need him and we are always bouncing back and forward ideas. You can find his work here…
A couple of years back I got a random message on facebook from a guy who live a fair few miles away from me asking if he could come out photographing some time, obviously my answer was yes! So a few nights later on a photography walk I had arranged we all went out… Strangely the guy who had contacted me is now one of my closest friend, I have photographed his wedding and am now an Odd (yes odd) parent to his little boy. Now every Christmas Myself and him travel somewhere new last year being the Isle of Skye in Scotland, which is where the great John G Moore comes into my story…
I have always followed his work and also admired his larger than life landscapes, it wasn’t until I signed up to Google+ that I realised how great of a community was on there. Within one week of opening my account I was connecting worldwide to some of the photographers I have been studying for years, John being one of them. When he saw a post about me thinking of a visit to the Isle of Skye he was more than happy to guild me to some great locations and being a local to the area definitely helps us in knowing the great shots.
When I got back off this trip I was straight on twitter and e-mail trying to share my work with the world and amazingly Digital camera picked up this image (below) for an article they were writing up. Which again without social media and e-mail would never have happened.
I think you will all agree without the way social media is today we probably wouldn’t have such a strong industry and the boundaries wouldn’t have been pushed as fair as they have. Maybe though without it photographers would still be seen as creators of great work rather than the quote I hear a lot… “I can take, that I have a camera”. I know I enjoy looking through others work and wondering how it was done and before social media it was a case of waiting from month to month for the next magazine to come out and even then they couldn’t fit in as much as we now see daily.
This article featured in 2013 in the on landscapes online magazine
2016 Update: So in 2016 I met some incredible people on my travels more so than any other year. The two that really stand out are Arild Heitmann and Jeff Bartlett. I have appreciate these guys for years via social media and last year had the pleasure of meeting both while travelling.