With the advent of the camera phone and more affordable cameras, we are being inundated with more images than we have in any other time in history. If you are on any social media channel, you see them on a daily basis. So many photos…so many bad, mediocre photos mixed in with the really awesome photos. I’ve seen it myself, images of inane subjects that have no meaning or interest. We are literally drowning in them. Do you think this creates photo burnout? At the very least, it minimizes our ability to be interested in looking at photos at times. I’ve experienced this myself, being on Instagram and Facebook every day.
How do we go about decreasing photo burnout? As photographers, we have control over our photography and how we choose to portray our work on social media.
There are two areas where we can create photo burnout for ourselves and others.
One, is taking too many photos. As an example, say you captured 1,000 images at a shoot (maybe you were shooting walking around a city or taking bird photos). The first question is, was it necessary for you to take every one of those images? Think of all the time you will now spend going through all those images, culling and finding the good ones, creating more work for yourself.
Two, is sharing too many photos. One skill that is necessary as we become better photographers is the ability to whittle down images to the best of the bunch. By sharing your average images along with your best ones, you are decreasing the impact of the best and creating photo burnout with your audience. Who hasn’t seen someone they know post an album of 50 images from a shoot? How many of you went through each and every one and looked at it? Probably none. And all that work that went into shooting and editing those images is lost. No one will come back to see them (except maybe grandma). Choose the best 1-3 images and let those images shine.
We shoot too much because we can, but it doesn’t mean that we should. Think about shooting less, be more purposeful, more mindful and take your time and even plan shoots before even picking up the camera. The concept of taking a photo vs making a photo should not be taken lightly, but instead, practiced each time we go out and shoot.