This is the year, I’ve decided, that I’ll make the leap. I’ll put up a Facebook page devoted to my photography.
Or else I’ll drown myself in a vat of battery acid. Seems like six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.
In saying this, I certainly don’t want to insult people who already have Facebook pages devoted to their photography, mostly because I don’t want to insult everybody in the fricking known universe.
I’m pretty sure it’s almost impossible to throw a random brick in the continental United States without hitting someone who has a Facebook photography page. (In all fairness, their ranks include nice people who are good photographers and whose Facebook photography pages are tasteful and appropriate, and I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge each and every one of them: Thank you, Lois. Thank you, Allyson. Hmmm, I believe that covers it…)
Mind you, the fact that I haven’t had a Facebook page before doesn’t mean I’ve made no effort to promote myself as a photographer. For years, whenever I travel, I’ve always made sure to take along a small, highly selective portfolio, just in case I meet someone who says, “So, you’re into photography, eh? What kind of work do you do?”
In all those years, this has happened exactly zero times. What I get instead is always more like this:
“So, you’re into photography, eh? I’ve been a full-time pro ever since I cashed out my IT business last year. Wanted to get into something creative, ya know? Advertising, commercial work, destination weddings, model portfolios, I do it all. I just picked up that new [inserts name of piece of camera gear that costs more than my car] and I’m really looking forward to trying it out. You know what, though? I’ve only just now gotten around to putting up my own Facebook photography page! It’s strictly for my personal work – the more experimental, cutting-edge stuff. Here, take a look at this…”
At this point, he pulls out a Samsung phone the size of a canoe paddle and brings up a Facebook page showing a picture of a dog wearing reading glasses and pretending to look at a newspaper. And at that point I pull out an icepick, stab him in the thigh, and flee.
Okay, the above account is partially fictionalized (do you realize how hard it is to find icepicks nowadays?) but the following is not. Several years back I attended a photography workshop where I met a thin, expensively disheveled woman carrying a thick, expensively produced book of photos of pregnant, expensively fashionable women. She explained to me that she had just had the book published (you might have thought it’s difficult to get a book of your photography published, but on this woman’s celestial plane you simply instruct the staff to take care of it) and that she planned to use the book to promote her new business of upscale pregnancy photography.
She went on to reveal that she had just bought a cliff-top mansion in Hawaii and was having it renovated into a combination pregnancy spa and photo studio, where expensively fashionable pregnant women would pay [mentions sum exceeding the amount of money I’ll ever have in my life] to spend a luxurious weekend having done to them whatever they do at spas for rich pregnant women, while having her memorialize their pregnancies as Art.
Recounting this story makes me realize three things:
- Facebook just isn’t big enough for some people’s photography businesses.
- It sucks not to be obscenely rich.
- I probably could contemplate joining ISIS, if I didn’t like bacon so much.
It also makes me realize that even Facebook is probably too big for my photography ambitions. So I guess I’ll just keep carrying a portfolio. And an icepick, if I can find one…