Numbers. What do they mean? If you have a lot of "likes" does that mean people actually
genuinely appreciate your work? Hmm, hard to tell. Have you ever heard of those ladders where you "like" a bunch of pages and people "like" yours back? When I first opened my page and saw them, I truly didn't know better and participated in a few. Of course, honest me only "liked" pages I actually liked, expecting the same. Boy, was I mistaken. Turns out that these fickle fans, as I like to call them, are there solely to gain "likes" so that they can look like they're the ones doing well! You can imagine my dismay at such a revelation. So if a person has a low fan count, does that mean they're new? They stink? What? If a person has a crazy number of fans, does that mean they're "successful"? It's so hard to tell, which is why I suggest contacting the photographer if you're interested in booking. Most photographers will gladly open up and start gabbing about what they shoot, where they like to go, and all that. You'll soon discover if this person is legit, or they have puffed up their page with phony "likes".
I take my "likes" very seriously and only support people and businesses I actually like and want to support. Sure, I know everyone is not like me, but I do hold myself to a very high standard as a woman, photographer, and just human being trying to make something for myself.
So often on Facebook I see a photographer justly complaining about being writing negative comments or stealing a photo. I don't even have words for that. I can only imagine their hurt. What I can imagine is how it feels to try very hard and feel the sting of not being appreciated for hard work. This is a seriously tough age to be a photographer, what with pretty much everyone owning some version of a camera.
I won't discuss the frustrations of free marketing on Facebook, or any other business-related woes that so many and yet so few will understand. After all, if you're not in the business, what good will it do to read someone's complaints? I will say that your support means everything to me. I think if you can give a kind word, or tell a friend about a page (even if it's not mine), or tell people about your shoot, then I will no longer consider this fickle Facebook fan a problem.
I love photography more than I can say. I know I will be happy photographing families my entire life, but a word out there to anyone who is reading, as you may know someone guilty of this silliness. Behind every page, every website, every photo, there is a real person trying to make a business work in an extremely difficult economic climate. We should be encouraging each other, not bringing each other down. Support people and businesses your admire and respect!
I cannot recall who said it, but I try to live by these words: say what you mean, and mean what you say. If we all did that, perhaps Facebook and the real world would be a whole lot happier.
I hope this heavy photo/business talk finds you well on this gray Saturday morning (perfect for shooting, I might add). Have a lovely weekend, friends!