You have to show interest in your interests

In a recent conversation I expressed that I believe it’s important to show interest in your interests, especially if it’s something you want a career in.

If you want to get into photography are you taking photos, learning about the manual settings on your camera, attending exhibitions etc.  And how often are you doing these things?

I’m interested in personal development/wellness/spirituality/mental health/self exploration. I show my interest by writing about these things, attending events, talking about them, reading books, listening to podcasts and taking online classes.

Aside from these things being my interests, I also consider them to be important which is why I make a conscious effort to dedicate time to them each day.

However, if your interest in what you want to pursue only goes as far as saying your interested, then you’re probably not interested enough.

The pros and cons of an Instagram portfolio

Some thoughts I had whilst thinking about where to share my photos in the future.

I’m not a photographer but over the past couple of years my interest in prop styling/ product photography has grown and I really enjoy taking photos. I’ve thought about creating a portfolio website to share my work but then I found myself wondering if it was even necessary. The intention would be to also share on Instagram however, I started to think that perhaps just having Instagram would be enough.

Pros

Used by over 1 billion

Your work has the potential to reach so many people because Instagram is such a popular app. On the other hand your website may be much harder to find.

Create a community of fellow creatives

You’re likely to find through the use of hashtags a community of fellow creatives. Not just people that take photos but people in your city, peopke you can learn from, people you can teach and people you can grow with.

Directly interact with your audience

The people viewing, liking and commenting on your work may just be random people that think your photos are interesting. However, they could also be potential clients. But you also have the chance to interact with your audience and take them on a journey with you.

Cons

Image quality

Sometimes the images you post to your Instagram feed are of a reduced quality when compared to if they were uploaded to a site

Limited flexibility on how you can present

Compared to a website Instagram offers little flexibility. There are some things you can do to present images differently such as placing them on a white square that you post to your feed. But overall everything on Instagram is fairly uniform.

Getting distracted

Instagram comes with many distractions. As much as it allows you to interact with fellow creatives and an audience who may become potential clients, you can also end up wasting a lot of time. From getting distracted by the number of likes and followers to replying to comments and spending hours scrolling. In contrast when updating an online portfolio you won’t have notifications and messages to distract you.


I also think having a website can make a person appear more trustworthy, legitimate and professional. Anyone can have an Instagram account but taking the time to create a website isn’t something everyone would do. As someone who enjoys having their own personal space to share work online, the idea of only having an Instagram portfolio isn’t particularly appealing.

I think a website is the perfect base or foundation for your work, to share a bit about yourself, provide contact info and also what work people can pay you for. On the flipside Instagram is great for a more causal approach such as chatting with followers, sharing behind the scenes and answering questions.

Vulnerable creativity

A big part of creativity is being vulnerable.

When the work you’re producing is not at the level you’re content with it may be because of one of 2 reasons.

The first is that you’re working in a medium that you’re so used to that you need to dig deeper in order to produce something with an element of vulnerability.

The second is that you’re working in a new, less familiar medium and you haven’t reached that level of comfort where you’re able to be vulnerable with what you create.

As someone who writes a daily blog, has journalled for over a decade, has had various lifestyle blogs over the past 8 years and also writes poetry, I’m quite familiar with expressing vulnerability through my words.

However, I’ve recently been working on taking and styling photos which is something new for me.

I’m still finding my way with taking photots which is why it often feels difficult. But instead of pushing myself to create something interesting, I find myself holding back.

It’s easier just to do something simple instead of putting myself into my work. That takes vulnerability.

 

 

 

There are levels to creativity.

I beleive that I’m able to convey vulnerability through my writing. But as I work with other mediums I find that I’m much less free-flowing. My work is rigid and sometimes uninteresting.

It’s not neccisarily bad but in the creative process I don’t feel like I’m experimenting or pushing the boundary

Stained glass and summer projects

I saw this building just over 6 months ago. It had this geometric stained glass exterior and sort of appeared timeless not quite contemporary but also so for from its concrete covered counterparts from decades gone by.

I wanted to capture it and then I got thinking about all the other buildings I’ve seen that have caught my eye. So what if I decided to capture them all, what would I do with them?

An Instagram account doesn’t feel like the right thing. I like the idea of putting them in a physical album or possibly framing some on the walls of my home.

In terms of putting the images out there I could create a site, some sort of dedication to the things that catch my eye, an online portfolio with a catchy name.

That might be my project for the summer.