LIFE AS FINE ART AND DETOXIFYING THE BLOG
I can remember the first time I ever heard myself ask out loud, "Hey, what is a 'Blog'?" It might have been a decade ago. I never got a clear answer, but all I knew was that if I was in business, I needed to have one.
At one point in time, blogs were sources of information, inspiration, and revelation. They were online journal where we could get the very best of the web...and the authors within it... to divulge secrets, pictures, opportunities and more. Somewhere along the way, someone figured out that blogs were connected to Google search rankings, controlling how easily someone could search your business on the web, and all hell broke loose. The web got polluted with millions (queue 'Dr. Evil' voice: "Billlllions"...) of blogs. Everyone was posting like drones, not to be heard and share their unique voice, but to have a slot in the big slices of Google pie.
Photographers began hiring people to write blogs FOR THEM. Another's thoughts and feelings, with their name. I know several people who do this. I also know a few people who make a living doing it for photographers.
Most will tell me, that it's not really because they want their wonderful authentic gifts to be shared with the world. No, it is because they need to have "something" to put up on the web once or twice a week...(just like everyone else).
And why not? Retailers and big brands have blogs and social media directors, so why shouldn't we as photographers, right? NO. Actually I think that's wrong. For large companies, people are buying into a product, a widget, a major iconic "thing". Coca Cola, Marc Jacobs handbags, vegan living.
I am not referring to becoming the occasional curator of excellent stuff on the web you'd like to share with your readers. I am referring to ghost-written brain dumps.
When you are a photographer (or any other creative type for that matter), you are presenting yourself as an artist. YOU are your brand. You have pretty much registered yourself in the game of life as a human product of sorts. Your brain. Your ideas. Your wisdom, served straight up. We as artists are not widgets or global brands...we people. "Creative People."
Our entire persona as an artist is to have a voice in the world and to be heard through our expression. Our readers think they are reading the voice of the artist...the heart, the soul, the wisdom, the ideas; But in reality many of these photographers are deceiving blog readership by some part timer working in her pajamas, earning $10 per post to pretend to be the voice of the person.
For the rest of us, a seemingly rare few who believe in the purity of authenticity, of images...ideas...and wisdom, it became a high pressure cooker. It's a race to post and find a slice of the pie so we can exist as "findable business". Now what the hell am I going to write about?!
I don't care if a blog is imperfect, as long as it is authentic and informative. We as photographers became so wrapped up in cracking the Google code ...The Holy Grail of "Page 1" Google search, that our industry began writing really stupid, redundant, incoherent blog posts, not to be READ, but to be RANKED.
Now, call me stupid, inefficient, or underachieving. But I believe if I am to have a voice online, it will be mine. And I promise not to post stupid links and repeat ten times in a paragraph that I am a "New York and New Jersey Photographer" so you have to witness my incessant Google code cracking. I believe in authenticity. If I have something to share, I will post it. I will not serve you a slice of the online toxic pie. I will serve you something delicious, whatever I am able to bake up that day with my own ingredients. It's called authenticity.
That is just my philosophy, living the LIFE AS FINE ART.