I’d like to follow up on this because I think a post of mine might have influenced David and NPNs decision on this. lm responding strictly from my life experience , a millennial who has been self employed as a photographer and videographer for almost 10 years, but only really started dedicating my work towards Landscape in 2012.
First off - I dispise what Social Media has become. I have been on Facebook since 2006ish (my college was the one of the first ones to get it). I also was on MySpace (RIP) and Geocities (remember that?!). I’ve seen it grow from something that was truly groundbreaking into the mess it is today. It’s really a shame how it has been used to influence society in negative ways. But it is here to stay (unless a huge coronal mass ejection wipes out our planet) and actually can have a positive effect when used in a communal way (NPN is in some ways Social Media…)
I bring up the “millennial” fact because most of the people been critical of social media (in many discussions) are an older generation than me. My generation and younger have had social media more ingrained I their lives and beginners are faced with an uphill battle right off the get go. It’s not as simple as it’s used to be, and one has to “feed the beast” to get seen.
For example - I got into landscape photography only a few years ago (I’ve been shooting concerts and events prior) so I missed the original NPN, Flickr, 500px and by the time I got into Instagram, the “algorithm” had been changed. Fine Art printing and Stock Photography as a business has basically tanked and it’s really been an uphill struggle trying to make it as a new photographer in the Landscape game. Everyone has a camera on their phone, and unless you have a half naked “Wanderbabe” dawning a Patagonia beanie in your photo, it’s dam near impossible to get any traction on social media.
I was excited to see NPN comeback and gladly jumped on board and paid my dues. But SM isn’t going anywhere and sticking out heads in the sand is not going to help anyone.
I would suggest a different means than just “send me a photo for consideration” - that could get messy real fast. I think it’s worth it to come up with a creative way to involve the NPN community (who want to be) in the selection of featured works. I do understand we would need to start getting some work out there so the bar should be pretty low. But I for one would enjoy a monthly or weekly contest of some sort, maybe with different categories specially for Social Media. (Or featuring the winners of weekly challenges ect)
I will also say it’s sometimes pretty quiet over here at NPN and it’s important to get the word out about what we’re all trying to do. We need to draw in more photographers that want to pay a premium, and I think cross promotion is the only way to make it in today’s world. Bottom line is - Social Media is the best way to do that. It’s not like we can stand on the corner with handbills in front of Trader Joe’s…
Anyways - with the new generation of NPN, I think it’s vital to also tap into the new generation of photographers and get them to see the benefits of joining.
Just my .02