I consider myself to my own worst critic. Although maybe not. Maybe there are people out there who hate what I do. That’s ok, but not what I want to hear of course.
I feel like I have a good handle on what makes a good photograph. I pore over my shots when editing and strive to get them just how I want them. I carefully curate each shoot, only selecting the ones that I really feel convey the right message or invoke a certain feeling.
Even though I love to write, photographs usually replace words for me.
I have had an Instagram account (@desleyjane) since October 23rd, 2011. Almost 5 years! And I’m still under 400 followers. Like most people, I didn’t really know what I was doing at the beginning and it was only in the last 12-18 months that I really started to take it seriously.
It had become my favourite social media platform.
Again, I generally am quite careful about what I post there. Definitely more iPhone shots than “real camera” shots. But still, they aren’t just snaps and I always edit them to ensure a good shot. These days, each photo tends to earn between 35 and 45 “likes”. Lately, I’ve been getting up around 50-60 with some of my light painting shots.
What surprised me this week, was the response to a very simple iPhone snap. I had just attended some talks from 8 students at Monash University and my colleague and I decided to have a quick bite at Primary Cafe before heading off to our next meeting.
While sipping our coffees, I noticed the cute salt and pepper pots – they were a miniature beaker and a miniature conical flask, just like we used to use in the lab.
I was a very quick snap, the lighting wasn’t great, the framing was mediocre but I liked the general sparseness of the shot. I quickly cropped to square, converted to black and white and increased the exposure to try to mitigate the shadow on the left of the picture. I then uploaded it to Instagram with a bunch of hashtags and promptly forgot about it because my meatball sandwich arrived.
That post has now earnt over 100 likes, in just two days. So weird. In my opinion, it is by no means one of my best shots. I painstakingly chose most of the other shots in my feed and yet this is the one that people like the most, resonate with, enjoy?
I can’t really explain it. Maybe it was the time of day. Maybe they’re all uni students who frequent that cafe. Maybe they really like salt and pepper. Or science. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll do some investigating.
In some ways, this makes me frustrated. How do you decide what you “like”? Or is it the hashtags getting me the love? Either way, I’m happy for the love ❤️
Lots of questions. I’m not sure there are answers.
Please come find me on Instagram if you’re there and drop me a line. Let’s share the love.
Happy iPhriday and happy weekend to you.