“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”

I’ve deleted most of my images on Facebook, their ‘new’ copyright policy being a small part of the reason:
“You give us permission to use your name, profile picture, content and information in connection with commercial, sponsored or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. This means, for example, that you permit a business or other entity to pay us to display your name and/or profile picture with your content or information, without any compensation to you. If you have selected a specific audience for your content or information, we will respect your choice when we use it.”

Every now and then when the Big Social Entity modifies their statements to our disadvantage you get these status updates where people try to protect the misusage of their posted data by referring to the Berne Convention dating from 1886..please…you can’t be that ignorant, can you? Anyway, that partially made me decide to remove pretty much all of my work. A part of me regrets it, another part knows it’s the only way. And not just because of that.

I regret it because I like to share with people what cool stuff you can do with some chemicals and a bit of knowledge on how to use them. I believe this digital era makes people dumb and I’m not just talking about photography here. I regret it because I have met some great people through sharing my work and I have learned a lot from said people. However, when posting my latest images I got a message from another photographer who questioned me posting a still-evolving series on Facebook. There would be little surprise left once the series is finished and ready for exhibiting for example. True.

He also questioned me using my latest ‘selphie’ (what a f*cked up word btw) as my profile image. He said: ‘Why do people need this endless superficial approval of their work?” I used the image because I like it. The darkness in the image sums me up. But it will most likely be part of a series I’m still working on in my head. And maybe I am looking for a sort of confirmation of my work. Maybe I need the likes to prove to me I’m moving into the right direction. To prove to myself my work is worthy.

When photos I post don’t receive a lot of likes I think they suck, I feel bad about it, even though I like them. The latter remains the most important to me and I will never ever not use an image because someone else doesn’t like it; I’m not a sheep, but I will feel bad about it. Have feelings I should change my profession. Perhaps I am looking for a false sense of confirmation because I have so little time in between my job (which pays for all this craziness), my ‘commercial’ work, my projects and sleeping, I find it hard to dive into a subject, go beyond the surface of it, make something with my heart, follow and finish it into a complete body of work. A genuine series. It gives me a feeling of great discord. A feeling of great failure. A feeling of jealousy when I see people who do. I have these feelings for some time now and on occasion they make me cry because I don’t know how to bend my life into a form that makes it work for MY work. The remarks from the person who wrote me these messages made that once more painfully visible and it was time to suit the action to the words.

“If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got”

So, I ended up deleting every image on Facebook where I feel it is or will be part of a series. I will still share images in, for example, my lith group as it’s so damn interesting to learn from others who do post their images there. It’s give and take. But not when they are meant for a larger body of work. I also found myself crashing into the couch in the evening at around 11/12 when I finished all my personal work after I got home from my job (work for Contrastique, administration, making lith prints, photographing but also posting on my blog and Facebook) and watch TV. I bloody hate TV. If there’s anything in the world designed to keep you dumb and ignorant it is television. Modern propaganda / brainwashing. But easy entertainment when you’re tired and it’s late. I have a lot of books laying around waiting to be read, which I will take up in those late hours. Even if it will only be a few pages every day, it will benefit me, unlike watching TV. I already finished a nice one and going through another which I will save for another post here. Really awesome books!

Time? Well, time remains an issue and I don’t have an easy solution for that except for real drastic ones but I don’t want to sacrifice certain other things. I want it all and I’ll make it work. Making more of my spare free time seems like a good start and a proper change from what I always did. I hope to find inspiration there to focus my mind. And shedding a tear every once in a while and going over your way of life is a good way of not falling into a drag.

So, I guess that’s it. I guess that’s how it is. I guess that’s how it will be. I’ll close off with my current and previously used profile image on Facebook. It suits the mood just perfectly.

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Edit: I received an interesting link via Facebook on this blog post of mine which I wouldn’t want to keep from you 🙂 It’s called: “Never ask others about Your work” written by Cole Thompson.

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11 responses

  1. I never took FB that serious and for sure never posted images that were very important to me. However, as long as you keep posting your blog links it’s easy to follow your work, which I really love to do. The time issue and the doubts about your work will always hunt you – that’s part of the game 😉 Chin up!!

    October 20, 2013 at 19:43

    • I can relate on so many levels. It’s easy to fall into the not wanting to but in some small way needing affirmation. I appreciate the above comment that its obviously part of what we do. I will delete all my images too off FB tho I very much doubt that will take them out of their clutches. I post low res versions anyway, but now will only past links to where I post to online spaces. I am not precious about my images but if any money is made it should be to the tired worker not the thief. I love your work and your passion, these blog posts inspire me on my alternative journey. I have not watched TV in 5 months now. I found I came home from work as a teacher, watched the news and stayed there all night because I was tired, and living alone its like company. Now I listen to the National Radio, get more diverse news and views, especially on art, history, music and politics of the world. I can listen while I work in the darkroom. Thanks for what you share, thanks that you are real and not living behind a mask…………..I joined Ipernity, and I can write articles there. You can find me here. http://www.ipernity.com/home/kiwivagabond
      Am on a lith journey as well but this week I am working on wet plate after a break. Keep on keeping on Indra.

      October 20, 2013 at 20:57

      • Thank you so much for your wonderful comment; means so much more than a like on facebook. It’s normal to need affirmation in a small way but you should not want it for the wrong reasons, or in my case, to compensate for my own frustration of doubting whether I’m doing it the right way or not. It’s hard sometimes to separate heart from the head. I hear you with the tv. Good for you you haven’t watched it in so long. There’s little to be gained from it anyway; the good gets cluttered by the crap they broadcast. And I always loved to read books so it’s a good way to force myself to do so 🙂

        Thank you that you like what I share and that you find inspiration in it. I am as real as it gets though through a computer screen 😉 I will think about Ipernity. If I create an account I know where to find you! Have fun with your lithy stuff and also with the wet plate; it remains marvellous; even more after a little break. And thank you once again, it are those words that keep me going! 🙂

        October 24, 2013 at 21:14

    • Thank you Boris, for your kind comment! I will post links to my blog although I’ll be more selective in which images will be published on my blog and the ones that have to wait a little longer. Doubts..yes…I was afraid that they would hunt me forever; oh well..there are worse things but when you’re in the middle of your doubt it shucks 🙂 Thanks!

      October 24, 2013 at 21:06

  2. Hey Indra, I am so with you on this one. Do I hear some doubts about how to make it all work, and the need for some confirmation now and then? Happy i am not alone ;-))
    I think bottomline is that as long as you love what you do, you are doing it right.
    Anyways, for me, i admire your work and enjoy your blog!

    October 21, 2013 at 13:15

    • Thank you Frank! Doubts, yes, you heard right…happy to not be alone too 😉
      And you’re right: I love what I do, I can’t do anything else, I have to do this so it’s that which makes me know I am doing the right thing. But doubts are vicious and work in remarkable ways!

      Thank you for your compliments 🙂

      October 24, 2013 at 21:17

  3. Petrus Steyn

    Hi Indra

    i was lucky to pick this book up in a backpackers in Namibia passing through. Although it was slow reading i could do it because Afrikaans (my mother tongue) and dutch is very similar. What a beautifull story. Read it on those late hour nights hope you enjoy

    De Kraai
    Author. Kader Abdolah

    October 21, 2013 at 17:27

    • Hi Petrus,

      Thank you for this tip! I actually have this book at home; it was a gift during an annual week where we celebrate books in the Netherlands (it’s called Boekenweek). I totally forgot about it but will read it! Thank you 🙂

      October 24, 2013 at 21:20

  4. Pingback: Interview RTV Roermond 20-10-13 | Photography Contrastique - Alternative Photographic Processes

  5. “When photos I post don’t receive a lot of likes I think they suck, I feel bad about it, even though I like them.”
    If you like them they don’t suck! Its your work. If I would feel bad every time I get negative feedback or no likes about my pictures I would stop photographing but thats what I like to do, what gives me pleasure (besides my wife and children)….. so I don’t care and make as much as photo’s I can.

    November 29, 2013 at 10:40

    • I know that and you’re right 🙂 And I keep on liking my images despite what other people might think of them. But I can at times still feel like crap about it when insecurity hits me, mostly based on being dissatisfied with the amount of time I can put in my work. Feeling jealous of others who keep on posting new things they are making; you know, the normal feelings that you can experience when being an artist 🙂

      December 2, 2013 at 11:16

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