Note: this post has been (slightly) edited a few times. Being featured on a channel with over 250k viewers puts some pressure and while I felt the urge to write a reply (and a clarification) soon, I needed more time to process the whole thing.
When you casually drop a line on the Facebook page of one of the most popular YouTube channels about photography, you don’t expect to be particularly noticed. Even less you expect half an episode to be focused on your question, but this is more or less what happened last week.
On his page, Ted Forbes opened a Q&A thread and his follower Robert Kennedy asked:
How do you know when you’re creating work that matters? Can we judge a photograph by the amount of interaction it gets on social media? What merits a truly exceptional photo? I want to keep pushing myself and my photography but to do it in a constructive way that will help me grow as an artist and perhaps inspire some other people along the way. Thanks for all you do.
Since Forbes is a creative guy with an interesting perspective on things, and since I’m struggling to find the right balance between a relevant online presence and the need to keep my focus on what’s important, I endorsed his question adding what follows:
+1 on this one. It’s hard to escape the equivalence “more likes = better picture” but it’s also hard to get valuable feedback outside of this logic.
Of course this was a rethoric question: I’m strongly against this equivalence (likes=value) and similar ones that in my views are worth the same (money=value). So the core of my question wasn’t of course “are likes a proof of value” but “where can I find a valuable feedback” considering that all we get is usually likes (or binary submission results: accepted/rejected). And, yes, I think feedback is important.
What followed is a ten-minutes-long essay on art and creativity so dense, so complete and so clear that there’s no need for comments. I’d like to emphasize just few points.