Updated: Mar 8
A year back a better part of my life revolved around Instagram- the social media app that came into being as a photo-sharing platform and soon became something that I doubt most of its users understand. For me, Instagram was my idea to be popular and to garner recognition for my photography work. Each like and each new follower felt like an endorsement of what I did. Likes in return for likes didn’t feel insincere. A mere emoji in the comments felt appreciated. But today, my view of the platform is very different.
Like everything, the pandemic changed my perspective of what I was seeking online. It gave me time to look back at my own journey, listen to the masters of photography and view each picture through the filters of various perspectives. I became the necessary critique that was missing in my photography journey. In my photos I saw the flaws and also the positives. But I am not convinced of relying on just my own view even though now I have a slightly tighter filter of what’s good. I need more views and more critiques. Sadly an honest critique is very hard to find. That’s the irony of having numerous social platforms like Instagram where experts and amateurs come together.
In my pursuit of honest critique, I stumbled upon some sites that didn’t seem very impressive. In the meantime, I decided to cut back on the energy and time I spend on the platform. I would probably never leave the platform for various reasons - it gave me the push to continue photographing, the false or true sense of being good pushed me to keep sharing my work, I met some really talented people on the platform, I didn't find honest critiques but I was inspired by some great work and I made some very good friends as well. The purpose of IG as I see now was to socialize over an image and I believe I did that decently well.
As I still hone my self-critique skills and seek an external critique, I am conflicted with this image. To me, the image shows a state of dejection and yet shows hope of getting help. The crooked branch to me seems to have suffered much and is spreading its hand asking for a bit of help. It’s not a pretty picture, but does it succeed in asking for help?