Professional vs Personal

This is just a quick post to discuss and find out peoples views on content that photographers and anyone in creative professions post. Where does the line blur between professional and personal? What should and shouldn’t be published online?

Online social tools such as Instagram have done wonders for getting your images seen instantly by the world but does anyone care about what I had for dinner or what my dog looks like?! (worryingly some of you will answer that with yes) I’m often asked why I don’t post all my work online, my answer for that is I’d rather people only see high quality work I am proud of not the hundreds of shots I abandon from each shoot.

As street photography was always one of my favorite hobbies before I became professional I constantly carry a camera with me wherever I go, even a mundane walk to get some milk from the local shops without one makes me feel naked. A lot of my work ends up stored on hard drives and large format prints but doesn’t end up online as I feel these are personal images, moments I’ve captured mean something to me. But some of these moments are also photographically some of my favorite images that I want to share with people.

Street Photography 2012

At the start of this year I began a personal project 365. Which required me to shoot and pick a photo to publish, daily. I started off well, and actually took some photos I like to my surprise, but I found myself wondering why I was doing it, my first idea was to push myself to go out and shoot more and more developing skills and confidence as I went along, but after a while I realized the images where becoming closer to home and more about me than anything photographically brilliant, and was struggling to publish some of my favorite photos…and when I didn’t have a photo from the day that I liked sharing it online would be the last thing I’d want to do!

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment. – Elliott Erwitt

Above is a photo I took of my girlfriend on our way through London, out of the 300 photos I took throughout the day and was the one that I instantly liked and got the buzzing feeling when you know you’ve captured something you like, I saw the shot before I’d taken it, as she walked out of the bright sun and into the shade, I noticed the strong lines either side of her and composed the shot. To me this shot felt like a mixture of styles, which I liked. On the one hand – Street Photography and on the other Fashion Photography. I got home, edited the photo and immediately sent it to her. It was at this point I questioned myself, do I post this online to my Facebook fan page or blog or do I treasure this for myself?

A lot of photographers have started branching out and posting content that isn’t to do with photography (which is why I followed them in the first place) via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

One example Is Dom Bower, a fantastic photographer and tutor from Scotland that regularly posts information and photography tips on Youtube with a large following, rather like Fro Knows Photo. But Dom is now mainly posting videos of himself in the gym rather than anything to do with photography, I simply choose not to watch them but they constantly come up on my YouTube and Facebook feeds. Is this mixing up his in-depth professional advice with his personal life and weight problems or is taking the positive advantages of having many subscribers for his own personal support?

I understand that Social Media should be social, and that people want to know there is a human behind each brand and company, that is very important for business.

Everything about you on the net should fit your brand, your value proposition, your story.  Customers will find you – so, do not go posting pictures or comments that may not support your brand. My point is everything today is public. So everything posted will be seen and judged.

Would you like to see more images from me or other photographers you follow? Do you want to see personal work if it’s great work? And where does the line blur between professional and personal?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or on my Facebook page.