Last week, one of my favorite photography sites, PetaPixel, ran a really intriguing article by Allen Murabayashi titled, “Social Media is Ruining Photography.” In the article, the author pointed out a few of the good things social media has brought to the world of photography, but obviously the title lets you know that’s not the crux of the article, and he goes on to examine all the says social ways has, in his opinion made the craft, and even the enjoyment of photography much worse. He’s not alone in his assertions, and I agree with a number of his points, and you probably would find a few in there that would strike a chord with you, too (here’s a link if you’ve got a sec — it’s a good read; very well written and illustrated).
However, I thought there was something he overlooked on the positive side that I feel is one of the best, most important, and truly awesome things that social media has brought to photography. It has helped us to cultivate friendships with people all over the world through our photography. People we would never have had the chance to meet, or become close with, were it not for social media. It has brought photographers together from all walks of life and backgrounds, and it has created meaningful friendships between photographers that start online but often grow way beyond it.
I have visited these new friends in different countries and spent days shooting with them, sharing stories and images, sharing meals and laughing together — experiences I would never have had without social media; without them, or myself, sharing an image and starting a conversation. I get advice and input from friends I met first through social, and some of these folks have become some of my closest, dearest friends. It’s made the many miles between us, and our countries, and our differences, that much smaller, and I’m so grateful for that, and for them.
(That’s some of them above; all meeting together just to hang out as friends and take pictures together — from the US, Italy, Iran, Portugal, England, Romania, Ireland, and Canada —photo by group selfie-master Dave Williams).
It’s not the pictures. It’s not the platform. It’s the people.
The images we share online draw us together and connect us in a very special way through our shared love of the still image, and I love that’s there’s a place where I can look at beautiful images, and make new friends through our shared commonality. I love that about social media.
Here’s wishing you great new friends, new experiences, and a Thanksgiving week where you take the type of images you’ve always dreamed of. :)
All my best,
I can only agree with you Scott! The world is a much better place when we can share our experienced with friends. I’m blessed to be able to call you a friend. And through you, I have made other friends – many of them on the picture you shared. While I agree that social media can create a lot of “damage”, like most things in life, when used properly, it can also bring people together.
Let me just add that through the KelbyOne Community – which not exactly “social media” because it is a private place just for KelbyOne members – I’ve made also a ton of new friends. How’s that possible? Well, as long as people are their true selves and respect the others, it is easy to forget physical distance, cultural differences, language barriers, etc.
The more we relate with each other electronically, the more important it is to celebrate in person interaction, and friendship. For photographers, traveling with friends that share the same passion you do, or meeting them at a big conference like Photoshop World, those are always great ways to create stronger friendship bonds.