Notice what you notice
Reflections on my blogging habit
Can you believe it’s been a year?
Now that I am officially middle-aged, I appreciate how time flies. That’s what it does — it just keeps on moving. Obviously, yes, but it takes you by surprise when you stop to take stock of where things are and where they might be going. I realized the other day that I started doing FlakPhoto in 2003. Twenty years ago! I’ve been blogging about photography in one way or another ever since. FlakPhoto began as a photoblog, became an online magazine, got eaten up by social media, and, in a strange and oddly sweet way, has come full circle and become a bloggy photography newsletter.
The circle is complete. For now.
I rebootedon September 8, 2022. I was feeling tired and bored, and I needed a creative refresh. Social media had devoured my blogging habit, and I was burned out. Then, I started writing here on , and things got better. Here’s how I started my inaugural post:
Can email cure my digital blues? I’m not sure that’s the right question, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. Mostly, I love social media, but to be honest, I’m getting bored and even a little exhausted by it. I was talking to a photographer friend the other day, and he nailed it when he said it’s all too much. I sometimes feel that way, but I’m not ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I just need to slow down and focus my attention. It’s all about finding a balance, right?
Going in, I knew this project needed to give me something new — an inspirational shot in the arm that I was sorely lacking last year. That’s the funny thing about these social nets: they trick you into thinking you need them for your creative work, but they end up sapping you of so much of your energy that you don’t have the juice to do your thing. And they are an enormous distraction, not to mention addictive. That has been my experience, anyway. I’d be curious to hear if you agree and how you have responded to these nefarious challenges in your own work.
I’m still on social media as much as I’ve ever been, but my relationship with it is different than it was a year ago, and I don’t resent it as much as I used to. (I still feel annoyed at Instagram much of the time.) What has changed is my relationship to FlakPhoto. I realized a while ago that this thing would always be a part of me if I wanted it to, but I didn’t understand how the space between me and my work would evolve.
Instagram had become a drag, and I couldn’t help but feel it was taking more from me than it was giving. Rebooting the newsletter changed things. What once felt like a burden has become a new friend I look forward to spending time with from week to week. Writing has become a creative practice akin to photography — something I enjoy. It’s challenging and helps me work through my ideas. I know many of you can relate. Of course, you, my readers, are the best part. I love hearing from you, and I learn from you daily. I have been genuinely encouraged by your willingness to come along for what has been a very publicly experimental ride. Thank you for that.
One of the most exciting parts of the journey has been seeing the community grow over the past twelve months. Nearly 24,000 of you subscribe to these posts today, and 300 of you have signed on as paid subscribers. That warms my heart. The thing I find myself saying again and again: Thanks for looking. I'm so grateful each of you continues to carve out attention for FlakPhoto. There are so many distractions today, and I don't take that for granted.
I’m excited about year two. I’m lining up some guest contributors, planning more audio features and giveaways, and developing some new ideas. I’m looking forward to it and hope you are too. Thank you for looking, folks. I appreciate you!
FlakPhoto Digest is a reader-supported publication. The best way to support my work is by signing on as a paid subscriber.
FlakPhoto Highlights: My Year in Photography
Since so many new people have subscribed, and to celebrate the first anniversary of FlakPhoto Digest, I thought it would be fun to round up some of my favorite posts from the past year. You can find the full archive at flakphoto.news/archive. Please share these links with friends. I would love more folks to see them. Enjoy!
One more thing…
We’re having fun discussing photography in the FlakChat. Please join us there if you haven’t yet. This might be a good place to start. Take care!