This came up in the Olympus E-Systems Community on Flickr in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek discussion on “How to Dramatically Improve Your Photography With Ease”. It is so spot on that I had to repost it here:
I’ve done the Flickr circle of life myself (like I think you’ve done), the 12 step process so to speak…
1. join Flickr
2. take pictures & post
3. hope to get feedback
4. get feed back
5. give feedback
6. make Explore for the first time
7. join some “theme groups”
8. strive to get on Explore so more
9. become disillusioned with all the steps above
10. become jaded
11. stop giving a sh!7 what others say.
12. start taking photos for *you*
I have seen a number of people who seemed to really enjoy photography then jump on the Flickr treadmill and become absolutely obsessed. It’s as if photography becomes hard work and they think that the only ‘good’ photos are staged black and white shots with lots of photoshopped blurs and streaks in them. Basically, rather than doing something creative they wind up copying what is supposed to be ‘fine art photography’ which personally I find to be stilted, self-referential, overly nostalgic and ultimately monotonous.
Granted, my photos aren’t going to win any awards any time soon, but then again, I am at step 12. I enjoy photography, it hasn’t become my new identity.