Bogus Appreciation is ‘Slow Poison’ for an Artist

Since when I have deep enthusiasm towards photography & particularly an art photography in nature & wildlife, I started observing images of masters on internet. I used to sunk back for hours to watch their wonderful art works. Then one fine day I gathered some courage to make my own profile on one of the India’s largest photography community, & the day was there when I started uploading my work also. But then I realized no one was interested in seeing my work, there was not enough viewing at all. And soon after social media started booming and all social media sites were flooded with photographers from different genre, where they can share anything without any hesitation because there were no themes, rules, regulations at all. At the same time digital tools of photography were easily available in every departmental stores across the country, it resulted into millions of ‘wanna be’ photographers. All social media website are dumped with millions of photographs every day. Viewing, Liking & Commenting on pictures is a habit now, and it’s a give-n-take business any way.

But the paradox of life as photographer starts when all your relatives says to your parents, ‘oh your son is a photographer!, mine too. He also clicks lot of pictures.’ And then they start showing pictures in their mobile, clicked by their son or daughter.

All these happens because we are so liberal to appreciate images on social media. Image posted by any of your known person, has to be commented by you or liked by you. But for what, it only gives feel good factor to the photographer for a while, but it kills his/her skills as a photographer. Once someone likes my not so good image or comments on it; I will start considering that image as a wonderful image. By appreciating not so good art work, you are restricting the scope of improvement for an artist. By doing this we make him/her believe that whatever he/she had clicked is good or best, and they will continue doing the same rather than experimenting some other or better perspectives.

And the culprit is not only the one who is commenting, it the one who is posting also shares the same responsibility. We post the images expecting only “omg, Never seen before, wonderful, wow, awesome, etc.” Being a photographer we don’t like to be criticized on social media, & all of us want to be famous amongst the mob and want to stand out as a special one. But our work only speaks, we can’t. Shout is short living, but smile is constant. We don’t value the words by putting them anywhere on any images, thus we don’t evaluate the words neither the photography, we only put our present by stating false appreciation & using priceless words on worthless photographs. I thoroughly understand that this is very harsh, and difficult to digest but I am also one them.

Then what is suppose to be done? Be honest while commenting or liking the images irrespective of the relation between you and the photographer. evaluate the images and appreciate it with appropriate words only. We must learn how to critic, because giving a critic is also an art. Like the image if you really like it from the bottom of your heart, don’t do it just for the sake of liking it.

Help an artist by giving an honest opinion.

Thanks & Regards

-Saurabh Desai Photography