CREATE. SHARE. REPEAT.

In Creativity and Inspiration, Pep Talks, The Craft by David84 Comments

A couple large prints would look great on these walls.

Photographers are a funny lot. So easily distracted. I just came back from the camera store where I came within an inch of buying the new Fuji X Pro 1. I resisted and had a cupcake instead. But as I drove home I thought about it. I had been working – happily printing my Antarctica series at the Loft – when I got it into my head that I needed to look at this camera. Not sure what I was thinking. I mean, it’s a nice camera, but I don’t need one. What I need to do is my work. The work. Anyone who’s read Pressfield’s book, The War of Art, will recognize this as what Pressfield calls Resistance, that self-sabotaging force that convinces us that almost anything is more important than doing our work. What is that work?

Create. Then Share. Then do it again.

Sharing is a theme I’m thinking a lot about, and you’ll hear more about it in the coming month. The truth is, I’ve neglected sharing my own work the way I want to, for a couple years. Yes, I put it in books and blog posts, and a monthly wallpaper, but I want to do more. I want to show bodies of work, I want to print large, I want to curate my own collections and, in the words of Rabbi Hillel, though I’m taking him wildly out of context, “If not now, when?”

The amazing thing about sharing our work is that it keeps the gift moving. But it does something else. It improves our craft. The feedback loop that is created when we print our work large, for example, sends us back to the negative to print it better, to be more attentive to the small things. It also makes us aware of mistakes we make chronically; in my case I routinely underexpose by a stop or more, and I pay about as much attention to the cleanliness of my sensor as I do to the Easter Bunny. The only difference is the Easter Bunny doesn’t keep showing up in my final photographs.

Sharing can also force us to heed our edits. Knowing others will see our work, though this is not true, it seems, of hundreds of thousands of people on Flickr, pushes us to be more selective. Printing does this even more. When you know each print costs you $20, you think twice about whether you need to print every one of the 100 frames of your cat that moments ago, while you were posting up a storm on Flickr, were all pure gold. A collection of a dozen well-selected photographs is usually much more powerful than a loose collection that you haven’t taken the time to edit.

Perhaps now’s the time to get your collections in order, cull out the dross, do a second edit to find missing gold, and then share them. In the past 5 years I’ve done Blurb books, put carefully curated albums on my iPad, made large canvases, and made and framed fine-art prints. I’m beginning to put new work up on Google+. Today I saw greeting cards made from MOAB fine-art papers – why not print up a dozen and give them to people as gifts, or one at a time when someone does something nice for you? My new loft has given me other options and I’ve just put a cable up to easily hang a large print on a rotating basis in my entry-way. Where can you show your work at home? I even heard of one photographer who prints up a new collection of work every couple of months, installs it in his home, and does a one-night gallery evening with wine, and invited his friends, many of whom buy and collect his work. Why not take some time to finally get that 500px account you’ve been talking about, and post a dozen images. How about looking into MOO.com to make cards showing your best work. Even if you never plan to work as a photographer, how great would it be to give people a card with your phone number and one of your photographs? Get your work out there, give it room to find a life outside your harddrives.

How do you share your work? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Comments

  1. This is so true. I can so relate to it (OUCH!) LOL! You’re absolutely right. You’ve really inspired me to “get to work.” Thank you. 😀

  2. I have a ton of my work hanging up in my house. This year I don’t feel challenged to share anything outside of my blog. My life is very challenging personally right now, so I am having to think outside the box as far as what I am even photographing.

    This post has me thinking though, thank you David!

  3. A couple years ago I took advantage of a groupon for canvas prints. I did this a couple times because it was such a great deal, but then I had to choose pictures to print…and then I had no idea what to do with the prints – my condo is small and I could only give so many to my parents!

    That began my yearly tradition of donating prints to a local charity auction, but I first hang them on my wall and live with them for a while.

    I also make calendars for a charity, and this accomplishes the same thing (if not in large size) in that I have to live with my own prints every day, a month at a time.

    It really does give you a different perspective on your own work. It definitely made me realize that printing our work and living with it for a while is something we’d all benefit from doing.

    Great post, and some great additional ideas.

  4. Every room in my house has my photographs on the walls. I even gave some photos of the lake (in the lake community in where I live) to the local deli which displays them proudly.

  5. That’s so funny …I am reading the war of art…again…and thinking of this same topic. Julien smith’s “the flinch” is getting multiple reads from me too. Picking out images to print too. I like your suggestions. The wine party sounds good…well I never need an excuse for that. :).

  6. I recently had a modest exhibit of pictures from India at a local library where, a year earlier, I attended a travel talk that finally got me motivated to go to India. I also use the library a lot, and since most of it is free, it felt great to give something back.

  7. Terrific line of thinking. There’s definitely something so much more to tangible prints. I have a fun new *thing* for hanging prints in my living room, although I probably will only put up 5x7s and 4x6s. Sadly, I can’t find the article where I saw this. But the brief version is that you get three grated metal gutter covers in 3′ lengths (or whatever you want) and spray paint them black (if you want). Hang them vertically from picture hanger hooks (2 at the top – I spray painted mine black also) on the wall. I have three and they’re staggered. Put prints on them with small, strong magnets (mine are from the Container Store). I need to get a blog post done with these.

    They’re quite versatile – at Christmas, I hang the cards we received on these.

  8. Hi David,
    There’s a lot going on with me right now, and I really need to get back to ‘one thing at a time’. But still I need to keep note of ideas outside that box, or they’ll flit away like a butterfly. New cards are on the agenda and I keep coming back to Moo. Takes some of the design element out too, and gives unique cards to.

    As for printing, I’m considering the Hahnemuhle – Photo Tins for a product. The question is how to price them and for that matter, lay them out. I think a digital matte is best, but I don’t know if I should have anything else (bar a signature below the printed edge)-like a printed name.

    Anyhow. The moo call has been made so I better go do it now rather than wait. It really is that important that I do it now, or the natural procrastination will kick in!

    Sean/@lightroomblog

  9. Touché. This affirms what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I’m organizing my collections and using Flickr more often and taking it more seriously. And SHARING more. Your blog post is exactly what I needed to see today. Thank you for SHARING.

  10. I need to do much more sharing of my work via prints.

    The card idea is great though. I have printed moo cards that have about 15 different photographs of mine on the back. The great part is when I find someone who might want one – they get to pick which one they like the best. I’ve found this a great way to have a discussion about my photography regardless of where I am – no internet connection required!

  11. Ahhh…what a great post David. I do share my work on my blog, on Google+, on FB, on 500px but do I really share with those close to me. No I guess I don’t. You made me stop and think. I’ve never given anyone a printed copy…I think its time to start.

  12. I just sent 3 of my favorite shots in to be printed. It will be the first time I’ve printed my work to hang in my house, and I have to say I’m really excited. I had one done in canvas and the other 2 in 20×30 prints. I can’t wait to hang them for ME to enjoy! I also make some of my prints into greeting cards and give them to friends, as well as sell them. I share on Flickr and have made numerous photog friends who have styles that I admire. I’ve even met a few of them! I feel sorry for the next generation who will not come upon that box of old photos to look at. They’ll find DVD and probably have no way to see what’s on them. We all need to start printing more!!

  13. David, I have been making cards since I started photography 6 years ago. On the back of the card stock I print what the photo is or where taken and my name. I package 5 or 6 as hostess gift. I have an ‘around Vancouver’ series and many others. I thought from the beginning that it was silly to leave all my work on the computer. I am also a member of NAPP and have a portfolio there. As I update I send the link to friends. AND I have had orders!!
    PS – I like Debs idea

  14. I started giving sets of greeting cards as gifts a couple years ago. It’s encouraged a bunch of us to actually write notes! 🙂 Several friends have joined in an alphabet project. We shoot a letter/week, liberally interpreting the letter (A is for …). It keeps us behind the lens and we are getting better at constructive comments. Thanks for the encouragement! Maybe next I’ll print large!

  15. I always love to see your work David, the more the better 🙂 Google+ has been huge for me both in terms of socializing with other photographers as well as getting excited to share it with a community that is paying attention. Hope you share more of your work on the service.

    One question that I always struggle with in regards to gifting actual prints, whether the person would really want that print on their wall. I’ve given stuff to people that I thought was cool, to see them not know what to do with it.

  16. I just found your blog from a retweet… Thank you. I actually just sent off for my first Moo.com cards and am very excited about sharing my work. This post though makes me want to share more.
    ~Mike

  17. Great post…

    From the trip to Kenya, I made sets of 12- 4 x 5 blank note cards with various images from the safari…and artfully wrapped them up with envelopes in raffia ribbon – I sold them successfully at the slideshow I did of Kenya at the African Restaurant down the road from me in my neighbourhood.

    I’ve since sold more and they are also perfect gifts – people absolutely love it. I’m presently working at making a new batch with my images from Italy…..plus deciding on which ones will hang as large canvases in my house… 🙂

    I’m really liking the idea of the wine and art show at home…brilliant – thanks for sharing that one!

  18. A great post, but, you can still get the Fuji X-Pro1 and share… It is just another tool and VERY different than the BIG Nikon gear you’re shooting. Come on… from a fellow Gall Bladder sufferer… SPLURGE and then share from both! 🙂

  19. Once again a blog post that seems to arrive just at the right time. Thanks David!

    …and I think I finally need to read War of Art.

  20. At the end of the year I make a book of the best photos from that year (in my opinion) and give it to my loved ones as a tardy holiday gift. (Tardy because it may include photos I shot all the up to the end of the year.)

  21. Thanks for the much needed kick up the proverbial David. A 500px account has been on the cards for a while now, so why don’t I just hurry up and do it?! And I’m fortunate enough to live in a rental house that came with walls peppered with picture hooks, so have no qualms about adding a few more. I’ve got most of the hooks filled with my work, but it’s been the same work for at least 6 months now – time for an update and I love the idea of having a one night home gallery viewing. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  22. I’m guilty of not sharing the little bit of work I have been doing. I have a mentor that is hard on me or rather very direct with his critique of my work. It’s all things I need top hear to grow and develop as a photographer but that doesn’t make it any easier to hear. So I haven’t been showing him any work. Logically I need to, but my fragile ego won’t let me. Resistance is the devil!

  23. a couple of years ago when I started my design business, I threw a party for all my friends (any excuse, right?) and somebody suggested I make an iMovie from photos I’d taken that year. I did, with music and all and they showed it on a huge projector screen. I’d never seen my work so incredibly BIG but it was so cool!! A completely different perspective. now I make an iMovie at the end of every year for family and friends with photos that capture the “year in review”. I have fun putting it together and they look forward to seeing it.

    I also keep a magnetic string hanging in my office and hang 8x10s on it that I swap out every few months. It’s kinda neat.
    Another great idea generating post David. Thanks!

  24. I’ve had the 500px account for a while now, but it hasn’t seen much activity. Most of my online sharing is done through my blog at http://denziljennings.wordpress.com/ where I’m doing a 365 day photo challenge. In terms of sharing actual print, a let close friends and family pick their favorite photos and build a calendar for them. I’ve also donated matted 8×10’s to local benefit auctions. One friend of mine is a big fan of my work and is decorating his new loft apartment in large metal prints. It’s been really exciting to see my work in such a large format.

  25. I have been getting select images printed on coffee cups through SmugMug. They do a great job, and are a delight to those who get their hands on them.

  26. I actually print a lot of my work, and I’m having a blast experimenting with new papers. I just discovered the wonders of Epson’s Fine Art Papers and Moab Slickrock Metallic. I love them all. I think it’s very important to think of a body of work or a portfolio. It allows you to step away from the “one hit wonders” and look at your work more holistically. For me, I also find it liberating. A portfolio of 10 – 12 images allows me to take more chances and experiment more. When I’m focused on executing that one perfect “money shot” I get myopic in my vision. Not only do I have a portfolio I’m trying to get into a gallery or two, I’m actively working on getting a publisher for another project (with little success so far — but I remain undaunted.) Start a personal project now! It’s so worthwhile.

  27. Three years ago, I started posting at least three gratitudes a day on facebook. About half a year ago, I began adding a daily photo with each gratitude posting. It’s been a great way to get feedback on the photos I take – and to see the patterns and evolution of my the subjects of my images.

    (And at Christmastime this past year, I gave framed 4×6 prints to my friends – and had personally selected the images based on what I thought they’d like. It was great to see from their reactions and comments that, more often than not, my final choices were serendipitous!)

  28. I have taken advantage of making wonderful cards through mail order, and gift them to friends on all occasions. More recently, I have started printing cards on watercolor stock – ethereal and new look! Photo books and calendars for family, yes….but over the last few days of your postings, I got back in touch with a friend who has been pestering me to do a joint show with her in some coffee shop or another around town. She has been telling me, “you are ready, you ARE ready!” why not? just a matter of choosing a few… thanks

  29. I totally need to read Pressfield’s book, I’ve been putting it off ordering it for whatever reason… Squirrel!

    I like where this is going. My dream is to do curated shows of my collections (many of which are in various stages of completion). I’ve been in 7 showings (one a museum) since starting 14mos ago, and hoping to complete a collection and get it out there soon for a solo show.

    Please do it, your work is amazing and deserves to be seen up close and in person.

    ~K

  30. Hi David, I’m so glad you’re back in Vancouver and making more frequent blog postings. Like others have already said, they’re really thought provoking. How do I display my work? For a long time I was nervous about printing my photo’s in case the print was a disappointment compared to what I saw on my monitor! I’ve since moved on from there having learned about calibration and other techie things, and love to see my images in print – the bigger the better! I have several images on display in my apartment sized home, and I like the idea of “living with them” for a while, before gifting them on (although my bear photo’s I’d be hard-pressed to give away). Photo’s, like wine, though seem to be a really personal choice, and as much as I’d like to gift some to friends, what if they don’t like them????? LOL.
    I’ve recently started to have some of my images put onto canvas and I just love the results – so unlike a printed image stuck behind glass. I also love Moo business cards and try to keep a small selection on me at all times. Having the business cards on me, each one with a different photo I’d taken, enabled me to later open a small exhibit at Pekoe Tea Lounge.
    That was a couple of years ago, and since then I’ve not done a lot, or more likely I’ve just not been very pro-active. I’ve a few images on display at the gym/physio complex I attend, but haven’t promoted myself as well as I know I could (or should).
    I’m not a full-time artist (ie. it’s not what I do to pay the bills), but like many artists I have a certain reluctance to push the self-promotion. While the subject of self promotion and having a business sense, might not be directly related to your original question, these aspects do occur to me as I read your blog. Why do we print our work? Why do we want to record a single moment in time at all? Is it purely for our own enjoyment, or to share with others? And in sharing our images (our view of the world) how do we wish to go about that? Gifting? Charity? Sales?
    Sorry to ramble on – it’s just a sign of the 12 hour night shifts I’ve finished so that I can afford to create, share and repeat 🙂

  31. I create then share but nobody gives a hoot. Ok, well maybe 5 people. I am a single oxygen molecule in an ocean of photographers.

  32. Lots on my walls… some from many years ago and some recent… I love giving them to family and friends and I use them to make special event cards for friends. Based on your New Year’s challenge I have now published a book… copies for my boys and family and now a second book for me…
    …and based on Cynthia’s encouragement I have printed a photo we discussed after spending too much time procrastinating… and love the idea of the personal “Gallery” shows… may make that a next resolve… a good excuse to get friends over…

  33. I’m on my second lap of a 365 on Flickr. Word has gotten out and there are people at work and now family members following my photos. This keeps the pressure on to not miss a day and to try to turn in something decent. It’s very frustrating when it’s end of day and I haven’t had a chance to shoot, but that’s how it goes with a daily grind.

    Create. Be frustrated. Learn. Share anyway. Then do it again.

  34. So true. How flashy those websites seem, but in the plethora of fantastic images, your own images seem to drown. My own exhibition? That’s a thought.

  35. Last year I started to take my prints to my office and put them on the wall. A lot of comments, which pushed me to go on because I learn a lot of it.
    Even printed some of them again, in order to improve the qaulity based on the reactions, but only those which triggered me and which I agreed.
    Sometimes the comments are not in my expected (hoped) way but after thinking about it, all worth a lot to me!
    Learning is also within photography dearing to open your “personal door”. Sometimes it doesn’t feel really fine but al last it can help you, it did to me 🙂
    Gr Stefan

  36. One of the most inspiring words. I had a talk with some friends some days ago & i was trying to tell them that it is not about “taking” pictures but about creating and sharing:being generous. It had a great effect on them because days after they asked if I would make some shoots for them and their kids. Also one wishes to help me creating a serie on her job with children. When sharing, being generous , giving back something are the energy of creativity then the process becomes a factor of beauty already. Wathever the result there is already an appreciation & inspiration. Thanks again David for your blogs and sharing inside.

  37. I have put up some photos at photo.net and on Facebook, and really want to make some photo albums, but I guess I make the wrong time priorities – never enough avaliable time… 🙁 However, I have just started to work on a new website with dance photos – and that has to be ready in 10 days, when the next dance competition takes place 🙂

  38. For me sharing inspires, in turn this leads to improvement. I have been inspired by the work of others who have shared, inspired to improve, inspired to try new subjects and techniques. I have shared the results and received the feedback which has inspired me to continue and hopefully by sharing my work I have inspired others in some small way

  39. As always, thanks for the inspiration David! I ordered The War of Art just the other day. It’s never too late to get in gear. I recently returned from a photo safari in Kenya and made 4×6 laminated flashcards with rounded edges for my wee grandchildren. I created a photo card as a backing that was dark brown with the name of each animal in bold white letters. After sandwiching the animal pic and backing together I ran them through an economical laminating machine. I’ve had canvas prints made for my office, (Canvas Pop did an awesome job,) donate matted and framed prints to charities for silent auctions, create photo books on themes, (I really like the results from Apple.) I make sets of greeting cards and put them in a pretty see-through box and tie them with a ribbon for gifts and also donate them to charities raising funds for school children in Kenya. I write a blog with Photo Quick Tips and share my images just “because”. In May, I’m giving a presentation to my local camera club on the steps I take to choose my next photo travel adventure and how I learn from other photographers. I will include three short slideshows of images from Morocco, Italy, and Kenya. I not only find many ways to create and share my photographs but like to give shout outs to professional photographers that willingly share their knowledge with us by including links on my website and blog.
    So glad you’re back in town. It’s a long time since I attended your Kelby Photowalk in Vancouver. I’t would be great if you’d give a workshop or seminar sometime in the near future. Please keep us posted.
    – Marion

  40. I share my images mainly through my blog and am very closely editing which ones to post there (and then cross-post to my facebook page and G+). I also create a photobook for relatives with photos from the year, but those have often the purpose to share memories of moments. so the images in these albums are not necessarily the best images, but the ones that document situations, make the memory.
    When I edit my own albums, the ones where I document my life – I will put in my favorite images as well as my favorite memories and it is quite a mix of images. I guess purpose/function of print influences selection/ editing of images.

  41. Each year, for Christmas, I pick a theme and create a photo calendar for friends and family. It forces me to relook at my images in order to find 12 or 13 (months + cover) photos that are applicable to whatever the theme is.

    More widely, I share all sorts of photos on my blog (nickpotter.net) and my travel photography on my dedicated portfolio site (importedlight.com).

    I’ve also printed about half a dozeon of my favourites which are hanging around my home for visitors to view.

  42. Pingback: CREATE. SHARE. REPEAT. « National-Express2011

  43. Nice post David!

    I agree with Nick P above – I did a calendar for family members for the first time and it really made me think about what pictures to put in, and then how to arrange them (some pages had more then one picture).

    It made a massive difference to me to see them in print and really inspred me to work harder. Plus it showed my family why I’ve been carting around my camera and lenses all year!

    I think I’ve become more selective this year – the downside to this though is that I feel like I haven’t taken enough shots yet this year as I haven’t put as many on Flickr as I had done by this time last year.

  44. I recently came to the 25th anniversary of my arrival in Taiwan. To celebrate and also, ideally, to help keep me working at creating new images I decided to do a blog (formosainsight.com) displaying some of my images from around the island (and I allow a few from my travels as well). I started to investigate getting thank you cards made but have yet to follow through on that. And I inflict them on friends and family from time to time :). Perhaps I should try to find a good print lab in town.

  45. I’m clearly out of wall space. I’ve had stuff printed on metal, on wood, on stone and on canvas. I do my own printing now and can go to 13 inch wide paper although I generally do 8×10.

    When we (my wife) redecorated she and the decorator bought 6 black frames from ACMoore with 8×10 openings in larger white mats. They’re mounted on the wall in a “T” shape (rotate right 90 deg). I had been changing all 6 after each vacation (2 or 3 per year; we’re retired) but I recently read a blog post about printing more often and have decided to change a photo every 2 weeks. That will keep me printing more often and with more care for the one great print of an image than for “print 6 today”.

    My images are nearly always landscapes, but when I travel with a group I sometimes get a nice candid shot of a fellow traveler. That always goes out as a present after I get home.

    I also just bought sample packs of paper from Canson and Moab and am working on a project now to pick something textured rather than only going with the premium glossy I’ve been using.

    As for cards, I’ve been doing my own Xmas cards for years. I sometimes give away a set of 4 or 6 as a present, too.

  46. Thanks for your thoughts David. Would like to take this farther. What are some of the ways we can share our work. Here is a rough list of ways to share our photography. if anyone can add something it would help us all.
    1. Social media
    2. Magazines: Print and online
    3. Gallery: Home/business
    4. Videos
    5. Contests
    6. Calendars or Postcards
    7. Presentations/Shows

    As always David love your posts and the way they stimulate a conversation.

  47. This is such a fantastic post – thank you. I started out earlier this year with a similar goal in mind.. get my images out there more.. As I am not a full time photographer, work and life took over and I lost site a bit.. Thank you for inspiring me to do this again..

    I do post my work from time to time, and print a few as gifts when people have told me they like them, but I do not do this enough

  48. I’ve just started doing a limited edition large print series of six pieces at a local framing shop/gallery. I’ve done a few other large prints for friends but I’ve been thinking of other ways to print more for myself as well. I’m excited to hear what else you have to say on the subject as well!

  49. Thank God for you David!!
    I’ll be buying all the books you wrote…I’ve already bought Vision is better and will buy rest of the books incoming days!

  50. This was just the post I needed to see. Thank you, thank you, thank you David for giving me the impetus I needed to get me going! I’m going to print your word and hang them by my computer to read each day.

  51. I have read “The War of Art” and (if I had it in my hands and the $$$$ to pay for it, neither of which is likely) I’d have bought the Fuji X-1 and then gone home and worked. 🙂

  52. I have shared my photography on my blog and on Facebook. Last year I saved about 40 shots that I didn’t share with anyone and published a book, giving it out to 15 of my closest friends and family members. I also have my pics enlarged and hanging in my home and for the first time gave some framed prints as Christmas gifts.

  53. David:
    great advice and some excellent thoughts! I have started submitting work to local area art shows or art commissions, and recently been selected for a solo showing! I have printed some small photos and cards to sell at the reception, and to use after. Have been doing a ton of local marketing not only for this but my work in general. Time comsuing – YES! But if you want to make a go of being a photographer, you have to spend the time being a business person as well. So BRAVO for you knowing and doing this!

  54. Great post David. I usually put together a photobook after a trip to give to friends and family as a gift. Currently I am working on a slide show presentation from my trip to Myanmar to show at some local camera clubs. Not just to present the pictures but also to tell them something about the country and the culture. This will be a whole new experience for me. A lot of work putting it all together, but I am enjoying it. Just hope that the viewers will also 🙂

  55. David seems like you’ve struck a nerve with a lot of people, me included. I’m wondering if you have suggestions for someone who is interested in starting to print some of their own work as to equipment.

  56. I started sharing my pictures about three years ago in facebook. I don’t have much time to post anywhere else, so I create albums of the trips I take and the events of my life. There are some friends who like to look at my photographs and I usually get 20 to 30 likes and comments on every album. I don’t do it for the “likes” but I do it to share my work, to see what it makes others feel, and to see if what they feel is what I meant to express when I pressed the shutter, edited and posted. People will always look at images in different ways and it’s interesting to hear what they feel.

    One more thing I like about facebook is that people prioritize their feelings. They see the picture and snap! they react to it and write whatever they want. Not being a photographer-exclusive kinda website is positive because I don’t get comments on light, composition, etc. I found that when I used to post in flickr photographers were usually mean with their comments and they only interpretet what they thought was merely “bad” composition. The were very technical and, from what I saw, never allowed themselves to react to the image first.

    The comments I got from photographers were like:
    I like the light… I don’t like the line on the top right corner, I think the subject was too close to the edge…

    People write things like: That baby is so…, where is that?, That’s a wonderful place!, I want a photograph of my baby like that one.

    Hell yes, those photographer comments are healthy. But when people react to your images naturally you rawly amd straightforward know if your message was transmitted effectively. If people talk to you about a church and you were trying to talk about solitude, then you gotta adjuswt your voice.

    Of course, there are images that never get any comments or likes at all. But they are still part of what I wanted to express in the album. So I guess that people comment on them when they comment on the album as a whole.

    All this is the main reason why I prefer facebook.

    PS. I don’t like to make 100-pics facebook albums. I like to post 10, 12, 20 pictures tops. I’d do a bigger album but only once in a while. Albums with less pictures usually get more views than albums with lots of them. I guess it’s because people don’t want to spend an hour looking at pictures. So facebook is cool enough post in the home page “Carlos just posted 12 pictures”. That encourages people to enter my gallery and see.

    I agree with you David. We ought to post our work.

  57. David, You are absolutely right. In my opinion the photographer job is only finished with the printing (and hanging) of the photo. What a pleasure it is to see it there!!! Far greater than the web.

  58. I do print and hang photos around the house, Costco can’t be beaten for the price but mpix delivers visably better results. I also asked a local Starbucks and they allowed me to have a space on their wall where I rotated different photos. I also work for a non-profit and attend a coop preschool with my son. For their fundraisers I will donate a family portrait session. It is wonderful to print your work and especially rewarding to see it in public. Also, it has been a great experience to donate my services, the families love it and it is more practice for me.

  59. Sharing is a great concept! Sharing photography and benefiting charity even better!

    I recently donated a 14X52 inch panoramic image to our local CASA organization. A charity that benefits children who are involved in the court system. Stands for Court Appointed Special Advocates…

    Very rewarding…..

  60. Thanks for the thoughtful post! I definitely need to print more of my photos to at least display on my walls. I have done private photo books, plus I made a 2012 gratitude calendar featuring photos from 2011 and sayings about being grateful. It inspires me daily!

  61. Without doubt the highlight of my photographic journey was the Ladakh exhibition in late 2010. To see my images, printed, large, on display in one of the busiest malls in Hong Kong was an amazing experience.

    As for the “sharing” sites. I’m in the process of shutting down my Flickr account and after that comes shutting down my 500px.

  62. Author

    Fernando – Care to share your reasons for shutting down Flickr and 500px.? They might just help others clarify why they are there too. Frankly, there are so many people sharing so many photographs, it often dilutes their impact. But then 500px has some amazing work on it…Curious about your reasons.

  63. David – Flickr hasn’t innovated. It was always a less than ideal place to share our best images. But, it’s really been eclipsed by services like Instagram & Tumblr for sharing everyday images, snapshots & the like.

    500px is better, feels more curated & has a very nice iPad app. There is some stellar work on there & it’s not hard to find a rich vein of inspiring images to look at.

    However, the site has this ranking & scoring system that feels a bit like a game. Also, the flow feature take a lot of control out of your hands, mixing your photos up with images you’ve favourited as well as cropping & resizing your images.

    I’m thankful for the interactions & comments I’ve received on both sites. But,where I am right now, if I put a good image in a blogpost, it will get more views than if I post it to either Flickr or 500px.

    I guess the lesson I & many other musicians learnt from the collapse of MySpace is that when a site dies you may well loose the goodwill you built up there. Fans don’t always follow you to the next big thing. My experience right now is that people are coming to my site for the deeper thing & interacting on the social sites, like Twitter & Instagram for the more fun everyday stuff.

    I hope that helps.

  64. I have a monthly magazine column and have had occasional articles accepted by the foreign language newspapers here in China. However, usually the images support the words. I would like it to be the other way round in the future! Otherwise my images are shared on Facebook or in my blogs. Giving them as gifts to people is an idea I could put into action…. I’ve also been asked to be part of an exhibition, but that is at least 12 months in the future. So the real question is – do I do this for me and is that enough; or do I want others to see the images, and if so WHY?

  65. Appreciate all the wonderful comments and ideas. I’ve done cards, an iMovie for a conference and a going away party, sold a few prints to a friend, gifted a photobook of my niece’s wedding and now have an offer to photograph her friend’s wedding. A scary prospect that I’ve struggled with… should I do it or not? This is only a hobby, what if I do lousy work? …”If not now, when?” I am doing this for me and for them. I take pictures because I love the art and the process, not because it’s my day job. It’s flattering, validating and encouraging to see people’s reaction to my work. It makes me want to do more and better and now I believe I should share more, too. Thanks for the little mantra, David. “Create. Share. Repeat.”

  66. I have half a dozen frames in our hall and staircase. Every month I exchange the pictures in the passepartouts to redecorate. So visitors have something new to see when the come around. Furthermore I use moo cards to give away, every card showing a different scenery. I have compiled a book in Aperture and try to update it every year, the old issue sent away to relatives or friends. A new homepage is the next project. Every once in a while I post a picture to Facebook. Flickr has never really made it, I do not like the look and feel that much. It is great to give, no matter the media.

  67. It’s taken me several years of hanging with other photographers to come to the conclusion that it is ok to share your work. It still seems somewhat tenuous the line between sharing and being needy and looking for a compliment. I struggle with this.

    I do now have my photographs hung on the walls of my living room. It was a little accidental as these were prints left over from gallery show, but I do truly love having them around me.

  68. I mostly post on Flickr, but I’ve _really_ tightened that up in recent years. Cut way way down from what I used to post, and then I further cull out the best of each month. I do find the editing process really makes me think about it, I’ve dabbled in printing a few images here and there and then only carefully. I’d like to print more but still feel its an aspect of the art that is still lost to me. Thanks for the nudge blog.

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  70. We like to have seasonal photos around us. Nothing more beautiful than pictures of me and my girlfriend playing with autumn leafs next to a flowerpot with a bouquet of red and yellow leafs. Sunsets in summer or flowers blooming early in spring? That’s how we share our photos.
    Some friends started to do the same since they were used to have the same old photos hanging on the same walls all year long. Sometimes covered with a decent layer of dust…

  71. Pingback: Do professional photographers print their own images?

  72. A great short blog post and a very important theme I think. I just read the newly published “Share” eBook with pleasure. I’m publishing some of my photos on Flickr and other sites as well as on my own site where I also have a Daily Photo Blog: http://hasemannphotos.com/the-daily-photo/
    But photo sharing is definitely something I’m going to think more about in the future and be more focused at with a clear plan.

  73. I am thinking of printing mine up on regular copy paper, then wadding them up and making spitballs to hit people in the head with. I think I would find that infinitely more rewarding than posting to 500px.

  74. David,

    It’s been a while since I was last here, but good to be back!

    After editing my image archive on and off for the last 5 years I decided 2012 is the year to free up some space on my archive drives. There is no point in keeping images that will never be used, so last month I deleted over 5,000 to free up over 200GB’s! And yes, I found some gold!

  75. Pingback: Living with the 1s and 0s | Derek Martens

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