some thoughts on photography and community
Let’s talk about content and community here for a moment, shall we?
If you recall, a few months back in our 2018 reader survey, I asked you all to weigh in on whether or not you preferred seeing more relatable, every day content, seemingly snapped on an iPhone (for a more candid feel) vs. perhaps more editorial style content, seemingly snapped on a DSLR camera of some sort. Unsurprisingly, the results were overwhelmingly in for more iPhone photography, and from a consumer/reader standpoint, I can definitely see how you guys were hungry for that. As a content creator who has seen bloggers go from the girl next door to the model who walks down the runway (and I’m by no means shaming any of this, mind you), I think there’s something to be said about being relatable in this space and it’s something I acknowledged at great length, including my own shortcomings, here in this post.
Essentially, I wanted to make more of an effort to incorporate both — aspirational/editorial AND relatable content — still focusing a lot on high fidelity photography for the blog, but making a point to capture more on the go, iPhone snaps, mainly for Instagram and other social media platforms. And I’ve loved the mix so far — I get to stretch a lot of different creative muscles along the way and I think it’s helped you and I connect better, in more meaningful ways.
Perhaps quite appropriately, since then, I’ve seen this debate pop up a number of times, on other influencer channels, and it usually becomes so divisive that I wanted to start the discussion here today with you all. The underlying sentiment that I’ve seen thrown out there a lot is that iPhone photography is somehow lazy and that true content creators should shy away from it — that it encourages a lower common denominator sort of effect when it comes to what gets prioritized and shown on Instagram, and subsequently, who gets clicks, likes and in the long run, business.
I have two thoughts here, but would love your input as well! First, is this idea that iPhone photography is lazy, which I find actually quite ludicrous — lazy photography is lazy photography, regardless of what device, camera or phone you snap it on. And furthermore, lazy photography is actually quite subjective to each content creator and their respective audience — if it’s getting a response from followers, then it’s getting a response. Who am I to knock it, especially in the large influencer market we now find ourselves in?
And that brings me to my second thought here, this mindset that we need to constantly critique what others are doing with their channels has gotten a bit exhausting — and if I’m being completely honest, it feels like we’re just trying to throw each other under the bus, for the sake of, well, throwing each other under the bus. I sometimes cringe when I start to see the underlying phrase or sentiment of “well, I’m not like other influencers/bloggers because I don’t do X, Y and Z” or “I’m so real and here’s why” because it automatically implies we have this disdain or distrust for our own group — and that’s what I find the most damaging about all of this. It’s fracturing and divisive behavior, which quite frankly, defeats the whole purpose of a community in the first place. Again, as I’ve found in most all other aspects of business, in this industry and outside of it, if YOU do YOU, you’ll be fine. Stop worrying about what that person is doing in their lane. Focus on your lane.
Anyway, just a few random thoughts for you on this Wednesday — apologies for it being a bit rambling and at times, preachy. I hope none of this comes across as hypocritical, although I can see why it might come across that way — my intention isn’t to call anyone out. It’s mainly for us to examine how we ourselves are fostering this community and how we could do better by each other to support. Does that mean we need to be everyone’s pseudo best friend? Of course not. But I’m not sure it means we need to be their watchdog either.
Would love your thoughts on the above, from fidelity of photos to how the influencer community fosters itself. Or how I could do better by you guys!
OUTFIT DETAILS: Hellessy top and skirt (borrowed) // Zara boots (sold out, similar style here) // Vintage Lewis bag // Vintage Chanel earrings
Photos by Nora Varcho