What do You Identify with?

Be creative, be original. Next time you press click on your camera phone, here are a few things to ponder to help you find your voice

Gentle Jury,

The summer holidays are over, the kids have been shopping for school clothes before the new term starts and you’re probably having a final summer drink before buckling down and working hard until the end of the year. But how did you spend your time off? While I’m sure you set your Out Of Office I’m equally sure you weren’t more than an arm’s reach away from your mobile at all times and you certainly didn’t turn off your social media. Social media currently is firmly embedded in our daily lives, but here are a few things to ponder next time you press click on your camera phone.

Let’s start with this; do you actually know what your digital photo is worth? And how do you benefit from social media? It’s clear Instagram and Facebook don’t care about you as long as they continue to sell advertising and monetise off people (you) handing over your info for free. And when did you last print a photo? I’m sure you’ve got wall space or a mantlepiece. What do you put there and if you don’t print your photos, why not? Why should good photos and memories live in your phone and not as a print where you can see them? If a shot is worth taking and worth sharing on social media, then surely it should be worth printing.

When did you last cleanse, filter or look for new people to follow on social media? Life moves pretty quickly and something you may have followed yesterday may no longer be relevant today. I ask as I’ve certainly been guilty of following accounts way past their sell by date and what I’ve found are my channels becoming huge stale echo chambers of the same people talking about the same brands and locations and events. And this is having multiple negative effects. There are now various accounts of people travelling to exactly the same destinations in order to take exactly the same images believing they’ll get the same ‘Likes’; some people have careers of the back of other people’s images. These barbarian hordes are destroying beautiful scenery with some people risking injury or worse. And what’s more, if someone does lose their life in the process, the rest of us just don’t seem to care as the perfect lives (as seen on social media) have eliminated any sense of empathy.

As a photographer, I urge you not to copy images from other accounts, don’t let your desire to garner ‘Likes’ stop you creating something new and original. On a wider level, don’t let what you see in your feeds affect your next purchase. Social influencers, most of whom are not honest with brand promotions, benefit themselves, not you nor the brands they’re pushing. It’s very easy to get sucked into the allure of, for example, a Rolex, but there are numerous brands and companies out there who will suit you and your budget better. Here at Riddle we work hard to offer you informed and educated options to give new insights into brands you think you know and introduce you to brands you may not have heard of. Have you heard of Werenback watches, made with material from spaceborn Russian Soyuz rockets? Do you know the history behind the Barbour Ursula Jacket? It’s easy to be a lemming; don’t do it. You’re an individual and you’re better than that.

Aye, riddle_stop 2

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