27 August 2015

I’m having an artistic identity crisis

Urban Exploring in Luik, Belgium

There’s a difference between my photos B.B. (before blog) and A.B. (after blog). A typical Jacintha photo before I started blogging was black & white, lots of contrast, and definitely more ‘raw’ than pretty. I started doing a bit of urban exploring before I moved to London and thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Jemaa-el-Fna, the main square in Marrakech

Then I started Urban Pixxels. Where the purpose of the photo is to tell a story, not to show my artistic photography skills. I still want them to be interesting, but I’m also definitely going for pretty. I love doing lifestyle photography. But I love my ‘old’ photo style too.

And then you have Instagram. Where a bright photo of a pink door or a vintage car does ten times better (in terms of likes) than a more ‘artsy’ photo. Black & white photos don’t do well, nor do darker, moody pictures (even when the light is a-mazing). But does that mean I should stop taking them?

Marrakech in Black & WhiteMarrakech in Black & White

Ask any professional blogger and they’ll tell you that you should treat your blog as a brand. And only do things that fit your brand. From a marketing point of view I completely agree. But personally, I’m not so sure I like it.

For years, photography has been my creative outlet – long before I started Urban Pixxels or Instagram. The last thing I want is having to self-censor myself just because other people might not like it as much.

Urban Exploring Photography in GermanyUrban Exploring Photography in Germany

But I’m already doing it! I consider removing a photo from Instagram when it doesn’t do well (I didn’t) and I post a picture of a pretty door next to a darker photo just to ‘balance’ my feed. And some of my favorite photos never make it onto Urban Pixxels, just because they don’t fit in with the rest.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do about my little identity crisis. I love where Urban Pixxels is going and the opportunities it brings (my first photo in Condé Nast Traveler this month!), so I’ll definitely keep doing what I’m doing.

Vietnam in Black & White

But I also want to find a way to do other sorts of photography. And not care as much about the number of likes if I want to post a non-typical Urban Pixxels photo on Instagram. Whose account is it anyway?!

How about you? Do you ever feel you’re self-censoring yourself on your blog or social media?

Photo of me by Sandra Jaipal.


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