How Many "Likes" Did I Get

July 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A short time ago, I posted a few images I had created and posted them to my Facebook page.  They were a few images that I really liked of a very special trip I had taken with some very special friends.  I uploaded them late at night and posted the albums.  No big deal.  

When I woke the next morning, my first thought was to look and see how many likes I had gotten.  Much to my disappointment, nobody had liked my images.  I rationalized and thought to myself, "you posted them late at night, give it some time."  When I checked later in the day, only 2 people had liked the images (and one was my mom!).  For a moment, I was truly upset!  Were the images not "likeable"?  Did they not "speak" to other people they way they speak to me?  I began to doubt those images and how they were taken and processed.  What had I done wrong?  Everyone always likes the other photos I had posted.

Then I thought to myself.  What was I getting upset over?  These images represented something to me and only me.  When I look at those images, I can still feel excitement of being at Rolex and watching my equestrian idols performing dressage, I can feel the chill in the morning air as I watched the horses at Keeneland gallop, the wet discomfort of a soggy cross country day but knowing there was no other place I'd rather be.  Nobody else knew of those experiences.

That is when I realized the intimacy of photography and what it means to me.  When we look through the viewfinder, we are looking at our own particular feelings and relationships to our subject at that given moment.  To capture a moment in time, yes, but also to convey the feelings and emotions of that moment.

A good image is technically correct, pleasing in all aspects of composition, exposure, and lighting.  But a GREAT image is one that elicits a chemical change (reaction) in the viewer.  Either a positive or negative change, doesn't matter.  Those are the images that are able to convey the emotion of the moment between subject and photographer.  That is the essence of photography for me.  If I can convey what I am feeling when I look through the viewfinder, then my image is successful.

I have grown as an artist.


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