If you are serious about making the art of photography a pillar in your life, if you want the work that you do to be seen and recognised as being worthy of use or even just of praise then you have to get your work out there.
I came to this realisation late, but it is true, whether you use Facebook to just upload some images to albums and share with your family and friends, or the Flickr community to have a wider reach, or you are feeling more demanding for larger space and go for your own website, just get your images out there, it is doing you no good sitting on your hard drive (or worse yet, on your memory card in the camera)
I started with Webshots, which, before it was bought over, had a good community and lovely photo Challenges to inspire you… then that went south… and recently it went out, I think it’s called Smile now. I had also begun uploading to Flickr since I already had a Yahoo account, I figured what was the harm, I might as well use the service, but when I wanted somewhere online to store high-resolution images (as well as make them available for friends to see) Nikhil suggested Zenfolio. That was a great decision!
What is great about having people see your photos? For one thing, you open yourself up to not only praise, but also criticism, which helps you grow, it makes you see the work as other’s see it, through their eyes and not just your own. For another thing, it gives a wider group of people a chance to see what you are doing, not just your friends and family, but other photographers, other artists and even the business community.
I like to think that my more “artistic” types of photos are the ones that are important to me and the ones I hope others like and appreciate, but the others that I take seem to demand equal or greater attention, the ones from events, such as Mashramani, Diwali Motorcade, Easter and others. Were I to confine myself to just making available for viewing those that I want to “promote”, then these others would never be seen not appreciated for what they are.
This year my images made it into three calendars in local firms; Maggie’s Snackette and Catering Service, and NT Computeac both used images which were more to the artistic side, but the company that surprised me was Banks DIH Limited, and this is the one I am drawing reference to. While both Maggie’s and NT Computeac chose what I thought were aesthetically pleasing images, Banks DIH chose images that were more representative of the events that they wished to highlight, even though those I would not put as my best images, it appealed to them and probably to those viewing it too, those images are worth something to someone, and had I not uploaded them for others to see, then they would never have made it into the Calendar.
They did a twelve page Calendar, and of those monthly pages, Dwayne Hackett and I got half, with images that represent our culture and our life as Guyanese.
Don’t let your photos sit idly on your Hard Drive, Get them Out!