The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Me vs Instagram

As the end of the year approaches one of the modern social media traditions is to show off your Instagram Top 9 – the images you posted that received the most likes across the year.

If you don't want to scroll back through every post to count up your "likes", then there are various apps you can download that will do it for you, in exchange for data harvesting everything about you and everyone you're connected to (who reads the consent blurb these days anyway?). Some of them will even kindly put their logo boldly in one corner for you too.

What shouldn't have surprised me, but completely did, was the mismatch between the images I was expecting to appear, and what actually did.

While 2021, for obvious reasons, has not been my busiest year, I have done a few photo shoots I'm proud of, that have gained positive feedback, and I feel have stretched and grown me as a photographer.

If I was hoping for images from the Re:Dress Fashion Show, or Odin's Chair, or The Kippford Mermaid to show up, then confusion was sure to follow.

With the exception of a black and white photo of Meg, every other image was some kind of selfie, or a quick fun photo taken because I was bored and wanted to try something out.

The fact that Meg appears in 6, my wife in 3, and me in 7 of them means clearly those who follow me on Instagram respond more to family pics and selfies than they do to my professional photography.

Perhaps the clue is in the fact it's called "Social" media.

And on one level, that's fine, I get it. I really do.

But how on earth I'm supposed to build followers to expand my business, I have no idea, and am just left feeling as lost and cynical as ever.

Tomorrow I will put up my traditional New Year "Best Of..." post, where I show and write about my favourite photos from the past year - which from a photographer's perspective look quite different from the ones above.

And on Sunday, my Understanding Photography with Kim Ayres live video podcast will be featuring the best photos submitted by the viewers of their own work.

Perhaps that will leave me feeling a little more inspired.

In the meantime, I wish everyone a wonderful Hogmanay, and hope hangovers and trips to the hospital are kept to a minimum!


FotoPhantasia/Jacqui said...

Family first .....

Kim Ayres said...

Jacqui - in terms of love, care and priorities, of course.
In terms of images for business promotion, less so...

jthincmh said...

Kim-Have you considered a separate Instagram page for your professional photography and one for your social media? I do not know if that is the answer but some people do it that way.

Kim Ayres said...

Jon - I did start down that route a couple of years ago, and set up a "kimayresphonepics" personal page.
However it was fairly short lived as it quickly felt like I now had double the responsibility, trying to find content for both accounts.

Sarah said...

Kim - your professional photography is epic. I am always astounded at the images you capture. Those would draw my attention wherever I saw them, but as a person, I am more drawn to the images of your life and your family. Those photographs speak volumes about you (including your professional work), about the true loves of your life - and event he photography in these "selfies" is wonderful. Somehow, I don't think I would get the same results if I tried to selfie that way. As always, your pictures of Meg take my breath away. From young girlhood to the current womanhood, your love for this child has stood out more than anything else, and I believe that it's part of what drew you to photography in the first place. Have a brilliant 2022, Kim!

Kim Ayres said...

Sarah - many thanks for your kind words about my photography - they are very much appreciated :)

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