• Richard Wong says:

    Thanks for the mention, Dan. As someone that works in marketing, I get that many people need to market their work. We are all doing that to some degree when we share the work. My thoughts are about how the message gets delivered. When I see some people’s content on my social feeds it comes across as an obvious advertisement as opposed to “engaging content”. There are marketing channels where I feel are more appropriate for pure selling all the time like email lists, your website, etc… whereas on a channel like Facebook or Instagram I’m not as likely to be in the mood to be sold to all the time. There are already a lot of ads in my stream there. Whereas if a photographer were sharing a real compelling image and I learned something about their personal view on the world in the process then yeah I would absolutely want to learn more about them and their business at some point by looking at the website, etc… But if the Facebook is all about here is my cool photo – you too can shoot this tool on my tour, or create this through my how-to-video I feel like I’m being sold something as opposed to emotionally connecting with the work.

  • Chad Goddard says:

    Interesting. Thanks for the article, Dan as I always look forward to new blogs from you.
    I primarily shoot sports, hockey to be specific. Years ago I spent a good part of a season taking pictures of a team and posting on Instagram and my website but since I never properly used hastags, none of the players or fans saw them. I was for all intents and purposes, accidentally shooting for myself. I realized that I wanted to share the photos, not for personal gain (although being human, 1 like = 1 bump in ego points!) but I also wanted the players to see images of themselves in a situation that they would never see.

    This last year, I made a more concentrated effort and my images and website were finally viewed in larger numbers by the players, parents, and fans so it gave a sense of purpose. I’d like to think thee was monetary gain but after $4.12 and a free hat, I think the next step is to work on a better business model!!


  • Dan says:

    Hi Chad, thanks for the comment. You bring up an important aspect that I didn’t even cover in my post: Showing others what they look like when they’re engaged in sports and other activities.

    I love shooting photos of my friends during our adventures. In fact, one of the most common styles in my photography over the years has been trying to make my friends look like heroes as I capture moments of success, elation, concentration, challenge, exhaustion and fear.

    It’s always very satisfying to see the excitement people get when they view photos of themselves from a vantage point they rarely, if ever get to see. In addition, the advent of social media tagging and sharing has opened up a much bigger pool of friendships and personal relationships with people who I might not have have otherwise met.

    In fact, many of my friendships here in Anchorage were initiated with me shooting bike races for fun and then sharing the photos on Facebook. It’s one more way that photography has enriched my life in ways that I ever would have expected.

    Keep up the good work and take care!

  • Dan says:

    You’re welcome, Richard. Thanks for asking the initial question. There is a definite line, isn’t there, but it varies in how transparent it can be. Social media is funny, because if it’s not about selling, so much of the time it’s purely ego driven. i.e., “Look how cool my life is.”

    The reality is that nearly all social media channels are profit driven and thus are increasingly more ad heavy. Although we’re not always in the mood for marketing, we’re being led to expect it more frequently, and of course, that’s what we usually get every time we scroll through our feed.

    This makes it even more satisfying when we do experience honest sharing in the name of photography and storytelling. Sometimes we see beyond the noise and develop meaningful personal relationships on social media, or at least connect with the message that some photographers are genuinely trying to communicate.

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