This morning I woke up to find that several followers of one of my social media accounts had decided to unfollow me overnight. In the grand scheme of things, I know that it is not that big of a deal. As anyone trying to establish a presence on social media will tell you, followers come and go. Who knows why they decided to click the 'unfollow' button. Chances are, it had nothing to do with you personally. I can imagine for those who have massive followings, the loss of a few likes is just a drop in the bucket. For some of us who have a much smaller following; however, every ebb and flow in your numbers is noticed (cough cough *raises hand*).
I am guessing most of you would agree with the comment that a majority of society today spends a lot (aka too much) time on our phones or computers, constantly refreshing our news feeds to see what the latest is. For small business owners, social media is necessary to keep their business relevant and front-of-mind for past, current and future clients. While it is helpful in many ways, it can also be hugely discouraging. Constantly being affronted with the amazing work of other photographers certainly can put a damper on how I feel about my own work. Of course, it is up to me to remember to celebrate the work that my peers are doing and not compare my own progress to someone else's.
Last year I spent a lot of time teaching myself how to disengage from the feedback I was getting on social media, and while it was a lot of work I am quite thankful for it. In past years I probably would have brooded about my fluctuating numbers far longer than necessary. Today's feeling still stings a bit, but instead of hiding in a corner and licking my wounds, I'm choosing to lean into this uncomfortable feeling and continue to push forward.
Being in an artistic industry is difficult, because by nature not everyone will love your work. As a people pleaser, this is super tough to digest. All I want to do is make people happy, but slowly and surely I am coming to terms with the fact that my images will move some and not others. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and because of this, it is important that I (and every other artist out there) stay true to ourselves. If we try to emulate another artist or cover up what is in our hearts, we might miss out on finding someone else whose heart sings the same tune.
This past weekend I was able to convince my middle sister to let me photograph her...really, she said she was more interested in hanging out than she was about having her photo taken. :) It was a treat to work with her and I'm so thankful she was willing to let me push myself more than I normally would in a session.
Here are a few favorites:
Have a fabulous Tuesday!