Feeling Social

Apparently Joerg Colberg has had enough of the social media thing

I don't blame him. It can be totally overwhelming and distracting. Ultimately, screen time is time away from making pictures. Photographers are already spending more hours in front of computers than ever before, and it's hard to justify more.

Thus far, I've mostly avoided social media. I haven't spent much time on Facebook, composed a tweet, or checked in. I still have no clear idea what a hashtag is. Most of what I share is right here on this page -- which I stopped calling a "blog" because the word "blog" bugs me. It has a fast-food sloppiness to it, as if the person that created the word couldn't be bothered with more than one syllable. 

I think of this as a journal, and I'm writing this for me, as a way to get thoughts out of my head in order to make room for other stuff. It's also for my girls to read someday when they want to know more about what their dad does (or did) for work. And if an AB, AD or PE wants to learn a bit more about me before sending me out on a shoot, then this is for them too.

With respect to social media, I think I've finally found something that works for me. While in Chicago a few weeks ago, my friend and techincal consultant Matthew turned me onto Instagram, which I like for several reasons: I love shooting with my phone, because it's hard to make light look really good on a phone. I love the square format, it reconnects me to my Hassy days. It shares to everything at once. It's an ongoing visual journal of moments I want to remember. It's easy.

Furthermore, it connects me with my visual people, and does so on a level playing field that everyone uses and pushes in their own unique way. I feel like I am reconnecting with photography again, where I am more consistently aware of my surroundings, which is what photography is all about. 

Instagram also reaffirms that while it's easier than ever to take pictures, it's still as hard as it has always been to make beautiful pictures.

I agree with Mr. Colberg that we should be taking pictures instead of building social networks. I also think it's possible to do both at the same time.