I recently had the pleasure of being a guest of my good friend Valérie Jardin on her TWiP show Street Focus. We answered some questions from the audience that, of course, Valérie had submitted to me in advance, so I could prepare for them. Until the very moment we recorded the show, I didn’t have a good answer to this question:
How do you get more recognition in the field?
I can’t claim to have much recognition in the field of street photography or in photography at large, so I didn’t really know what to answer, but then it struck me, as we were recording, that I was getting recognition by being invited on a popular show like Street Focus.
How did I end up there? I think the answer is that I have been trying for some time to make connections with lots of people on social media and online communities and especially with the people who Malcolm Gladwell would identify as connectors. In a world that suffers from an overdose of imagery (see also this article by Michael Ernest Sweet) you can’t emerge by yourself, in most cases. You need someone to put you in the spotlight, so to say.
For some people this means being very brazen and making cold calls or their equivalent on social media. I am not like that, so my approach generally consists in being an active participant in the communities that the connectors create, interacting with the other members and posting some of my best work.
There are just three basic rules that you have to follow, actually:
- Be yourself.
- Show only your best work.
- Don’t be a dick.
It shouldn’t be hard, should it?
Go to Street Focus 45 – Q&A and Street Challenge if you want to listen to the whole thing.