Many wonder where is the right place to publish your photos online to start an authorial journey. I decided to tell you about my experience…
From 2015 I began to expose my works in personal exhibitions, to be interviewed and there was also some publication on the social media pages of Nikon Italy, Nikon Europe and National Geographic Italy.
More than real publications, they were selections, shared in social contexts or on websites together with other photographers. Small satisfactions that anticipated far more relevant awards in the years to come.
But before then I was a user of portals where I could publish my photos like Flickr, 500px, Viewbug etc …
Today there are many realities that run a system in which, on a web portal, you have the opportunity to publish photos and receive comments and votes from others like you and to be selected by the editorial staff to end up in a gallery of photos in relief.
Until a few years ago I participated quite actively on these sites, publishing photos of my travels and more.
Between an “Awesome” and an “Amazing picture” I noticed how this vicious circle of superficial “likes” and copy-pasted comments is completely irrelevant and a waste of time in 99% of cases. Which leads you to produce material of little value only to satisfy the taste of distracted users who stops only in front of photos with “special effects”, but which have little or nothing special. A reality that does not differ much from the best known Instagram, where however there is no presumption of self-declaring a portal for photographers only. A difference that greatly affects the perception that an enthusiast has of the place where he publishes the photos.
The main problem is that that type of system exalts the average photographer who will never be challenged by any other enthusiast. This is because, in a context in which you have a vote by people, nobody will negatively affect your profile because, consequently, he may receive a negative vote from you.
(I recommend watching the episode 1 of the third season of Black Mirror entitled “Nosedive” TRAILER)
Obviously in these “Communities” there is no trace of critics, editors and influential personalities.
The only realities that can be found are brands that, with the excuse of the contest, go to select photographs (and not photographers) to be used for smaller marketing campaigns by investing less than what they should invest contacting real professionals. I am not surprised that some of these portals have transformed over time into stock photography platforms (which I will discuss later).
Today, rather than signing up to the aforementioned portals, I recommend you take care of the Instagram page. A social that, as I said before, does not sell itself as “The community only for real photographers” but presents itself free to be personalized in order to attract those who are looking for what you are publishing. Yes, most of the users are distract here too. But on Instagram there are editors, important photographers, curators, editorial offices etc.
I remember that during the first meetings in photographic clubs, I was asked how I managed to be published. And i mean the real publication, in a magazine for example. Or the possibility of creating an exhibition. In short, those situations in which you actually see your photograph recognized.
I was published at the exact moment when I believed in my projects, I proposed them to those who criticized and even rejected them, and to those who sometimes supported them and gave me opportunities.
When I talk about “Believing in your own project” I mean being able to self-criticize, to be patient and to let the project grow. I have left aside some ideas. Because not necessarily a beautiful or pleasant photo must be published for a bunch of likes. And not even a project always works. The first critic must be the photographer himself, who decides how and where to present himself to his audience.
Followers and likes are not an interest for those who really matter in the photographic scene.
Don’t waste time publishing pictures of exciting sunsets, super moons, insects in macro etc … without a project behind but just for the sake of creating a technically well-made image.
No insider is interested in how good you are at setting up a camera and pressing a button. First of all, the thought that moves a project counts. A vision and a personal way of rendering it with images.
It is no coincidence that in 99% of cases photographers who take care of making those types of images feel compelled to put a signature on them. Because, without a signature, their photos would not be distinguished from the ones made by a lot of photographers out there.
I say this from personal experience. I too, as mentioned above, went through that phase.
But there was a phase. Going further is the first step towards a different awareness.
Having a personal website, going to portfolio readings, events, exhibitions.
Be seen and make it clear that you can be trusted. We are in a confused and saturated photographic context. It is natural that an editor or curator would prefer to understand who you are.
And you can start doing that now, structuring your projects and not just making simple images.
Today, through a valid basic photography course, you can learn to use the camera well and achieve a proven technical ability.
But it is only a first step in the world of photography.