Big ol’ rant incoming! TLDR: moving to quarterly batch image releases in an email newsletter, unsure how to handle posting batches to flickr and instagram. Curious of others’ thoughts, and strategies they have for posting images online in general.
You know how when you’re in a beautiful natural place for a few days, and life priorities seem so much clearer? How you can zoom out and look at the big picture with lots of space and time to think?
On my recent solo backpacking trip to Utah, I think I crossed some kind of threshold. I got home, edited a ton of images I was excited about (because unpacking and cleaning my gear can wait several weeks), and then put a plan in place to move away from Google and Facebook products as much as reasonably possible. The biggest step I took was deleting my Facebook account. I don’t need to get into my rationale here but feel free to ask if interested.
Now, the main reason I hadn’t left FB for so long is because I loved to share my photos with my friends and family, and they seemed to enjoy the photos. I also enjoyed the occasional civil discussion about photography in various groups and on people’s pages. I feared that if I deleted my account, people would forget about me and my photography. Far worse though is that I was afraid that if people didn’t care and I didn’t get external validation, I wouldn’t care about photography and would stop doing it. When I was out in Utah, I took an internal stand and said “dammit Brent, you love taking photos because being outside and being creative is awesome. You didn’t start doing this to gain anybody’s approval!”
The idea struck me to create a very low impact, awesome email newsletter. That way, people could sign up if they really cared and I wouldn’t have to worry about bothering friends that don’t really care about my pictures. I realized that I really enjoy email newsletters from other photographers; those and going to their actual websites are my favorite way to consume online photography. I created the newsletter, and the first one will go out in a few days now. Way more people signed up than I expected, and I am super excited about that!
I am very happy now; I feel like I got a double benefit. The newsletter sign ups show that some people really do care about my photography, and I have so much more free time and anxiety-free mental space with one less social media network to manage and check and think about. With that time I’ve already gone through and tweaked all 106 images on my website to look their best, which was quite a project.
I’m now left with the newsletter, instagram, flickr, and NPN. I’m still debating how often and where I want to share pictures. A big batch of images will go out in the newsletter at the end of each season of the year, so 4 times per year. With NPN, I think I can just post as I feel, both before and after the newsletter release. This place is pretty chill.
The other two though I feel are not conducive to just dumping 20 or so images 4 times per year. They work better if you “feed the beast” every day, or few days, or week or something. They have algorithms for peoples’ news feeds that may cause a big dump of images to go unnoticed, which would be a shame. I fear the images will have less impact in an infinite scrolling feed if they only appear once every 3 months.
Am I mistaken? Does anyone have ideas or strategies for how to post to these popular social media networks without getting caught up in them too much? I want to share my photos with a wide audience but just don’t want to devote the time and mental space to them too much. Am I just thinking and worrying too much? Any and all thoughts are appreciated and I’m curious how you fine people handle this kind of stuff.