It´s easy to get distracted and to distract ourselves from what matters, to lose site of artistic goals and visions.
A good deal of what happens in the mobile image space involves building relationships in social networks, gaining and giving referrals and informal networking. In other words, the building and maintaining of relationships is important. Of course, there are plenty of egos, self-interest, and promotion-for-promotion sake going on, too. I´m going to limit this post to proactive, generative practices for gaining positive attention and save the drama and hype for another time.
Some assumptions I have:
-Good work is the foundation of other activities.
-Promotion is necessary but futile without good work.
-Humans make art and photos, and they matter.
-Respect seldom arises because it is demanded. It´s an outcome of values and practices.
-Resist making getting noticed your mission or goal. Notice is an outcome for whatever else it is you do.
-Do good work. An outstanding image does stop people in their tracks.
-Stop paying attention to what´s happening around you that doesn´t involve or impact you or what you do. Double-down on your own activities. Let go of everyone else´s. Charge down your own path instead of chasing someone on theirs.
-Practice your craft. Do good work. Learn, risk, improve. Seek a mentor formally or informally. One-on-one questions tend to yield better results than something broadcast to a large group, or given as a clever quip.
-Cultivate a desire to learn and grow with and from others. A “I know it all” attitude, along with arrogance, defensiveness, and boastfulness, turns away thoughtful people rather than attracts them.
-Reconcile the fact that while the mobile photo and art space is visually driven, it is also verbal. You don´t have to be a wordsmith or a voluminous writer. People connect via words and images through responses, captions, questions, replies.
-Be sincere. Praise without explanation can be misunderstood as insincerity. “Great!” “Awesome”, “Fantastic”, we all use these in responding to others. When you have time, circle back to say something about why or how you got to those conclusions: It´s awesome because I like the backlighting on your subject. It´s a sentence and worth the effort.
-When an issue erupts on-line (and, they do), resist adding fuel to the fire. Conflicts are seldom effectively resolved in 140 twitter characters or even pages and pages of email. Not everyone writing on-line is a native speaker of your language. Not everyone on-line can manage to convey or control tone of voice well in writing. Cultural references don´t always translate so well in words. Issues on-line can be quickly severed from their context. See numbers #2, #3 and #5 above.
-Share your best work in spaces you like to visit, which may also share publicly a top list or weekly showcase, such Iphoneography , Lifeinlofi. These and theappwhisperer.com showcase interesting work. Under no circumstances spam your work in an image stream or to someone who did not specifically ask for it.
-Feel free to congratulate others on their projects: exhibitions, books, collaborations, etc. For sure, questioning the value/necessity/involvement of the project or starting up gossip about it, or the people involved, are not effective ways to generate positive attention.
-Lastly, stay away from haters. Sometimes we can be lured into their universe because in the flush of our own emotions, what they say about something or someone else may appear to make sense at some point on some level. However, that sense is temporary and feeding on our own doubts or fears. Find a way, instead, to cultivate time with people who inspire and lead, rather than divide and gain power. See if you can identify who in your circle are the community builders and develop sustainable relationships there.