Elizabeth Halford Photography {the blog} » photography in plain English

No comments on your Facebook posts – Do you get paranoid too?

Someone posted in a forum this week about how they get paranoid now that the feed on their Facebook page gets less love than it did in the beginning. I’m the same and here are my theories:

When you first started out, your fanbase was just your friends and family. So supporting, even when I look back and think “what was I thinking?!” of my photos in the beginning. But then you started taking on clients and the new photo postings were daily. Hourly, even. And everyone got used to seeing great stuff from you. It became white noise in their news feed. Or maybe a lovely white snowfall :*)

You’ve gotten so good that you’ve become like the popular girl in school. Everyone assumes that you’ve already got a date to the prom so they don’t even bother. They don’t see what difference it makes whether they liked your photo or not because you’re ‘famous’ so they just sit back and enjoy silently.

Let’s face it…Facebook is old. They’ve already made a movie about it for crying out loud: it’s a solid establishment in social structure of the universe. A dinosaur, even. Old as it may be, we’re still addicted. So like drones, we ‘check’ our FB every 10 minutes but the thrill of interaction has left as we are inundated with vast amounts of information, text, photos, notifications. It’s no longer a novelty. It’s no longer exciting to comment and who has the time, anyway? Your FB feed changes every millisecond and it’s pretty hard to keep up. I often feel frantic in my mind as I scroll through what’s happened in the last hour that one gets the sense that there’s no time. It’s exhausting!

They just can’t. Often when accessing FB from my iPhone, I’ll leave a comment and then it pops up and says something about the function being unavailable. And most of the time, I’m accessing on the go. And when it’s blog posts I can’t reply to, it’s because, again, I follow all my blogs on the go within an RSS app on my iPhone and it doesn’t allow me to comment. So there are many blogs I’m following out there, mainly moms writing about Rett Syndrome, who don’t have a clue that I hang on every last word to get me through my rough days.

Another reason might be that you don’t understand how Facebook works. Do you know about affinity? The weight that Facebook gives to your different posts? Read this post from The Modern Tog – it will help tremendously!

So what are some good ways to get interactions on your photos?

  • Post less. Out of an entire session, I’m starting to narrow it down to one single ‘money shot’. The one that moves me. And I post that on my wall, not in an album. Less = more when you’re talkin’ imagery and visual stimulation. Also, if you have a page yourself, you’ll know that FB doesn’t provide notifications to page owners. So if you want to actually see the comments, post them as a one-off on your own wall.
  • Join groups on Flickr like ‘Post one, comment three’ where the premise of the group is to get action on your stuff.
  • Join a forum like Rock the Shot where everyone is super supportive and is in the same boat. It really helps me!

So who else is in the same boat and do you identify with any of my theories or have one of your own? Comment below!

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  • http://repeatbyheart.blogspot.com Kristi Stevens

    I’m still a “newbie”, but I definitely think you’re right. The further along you travel the photo-road, the less attention people pay to the way you walk. : )

  • http://twoscoopz.com Jan

    omg soooo relate.
    When I mentioned it casually one time, all hell erupted on my personal FB page. I’d flippantly remarked that somebody had run through 11 pages on my blog without a single word.
    What did I get? All sorts of comments on why did I feel the need to be validated by others, etc, blahblahblah.
    I actually saved the conversation for a future post.
    Anyways – yes it gets frustrating at times and yes you wonder if anybody even likes what you’re doing, but I think we all need to keep in mind exactly what you said here. It’s all true and good points.

  • http://hawaiian-photos.com Christy

    Oh it is so true. I rarely post on facebook at all. But weirdly enough when I see some of my fb “friends” in person they comment on how lovely my photos are the ones they see on fb.. lol!!
    Thanks for the post. I am so glad to hear I am not alone :)

  • Michaela

    The thing I dislike about FB is that you don’t get notification emails when someone DOES comment on a photo or album you’ve posted (on your business page). This seems like it should be an important feature for business owners to have. Come on already FB! Maybe that’s why we constantly check our business pages endlessly trolling through our albums in search of comments. lol. I agree that wall posts are easier to ‘see’ the comments.

  • http://www.creativeclicksphotographyblog.com tamsen

    i try to post quite regularly actually- i check a lot of blogs and post comments often, but from home on my MBP, so I guess that’s different. It would be nice if people would comment more, but most importantly to me would be if the client comments showing their approval for the image, which for some reason, doesn’t happen often although they will tell me in person. Maybe they feel funny saying something on a public forum about their own pics?
    Anyways, I do agree- with people running awesome contests in which you have to sign up for their newsletter, RSS feed and FB page, do you REALLY think I want to read the same blog post three times?
    No, I am going to hide the FB page and make the E-mail newsletter go to Junk- I’ll just try to keep up with the RSS feed. Anyways, point being, maybe that’s why people aren’t commenting on people’s FB posts as much anymore then- they’ve hidden the page or something to that effect?

  • http://www.texanmamaphotography.com Texan Mama

    I’m a new photographer so I get hardly any comments at all. I think the all-time high number of comments I got was 3, of all my flickr photos in my photostream.

    I wish people commented, but I guess I’m just used to being ignored now. It is what it is.

  • http://natashawilliamsphoto.com Natasha Williams Photo

    Yep, I am one of those that never comment, mostly because I subscribe to your stuff so I just get an e-mail, but let me tell you, I read EVERY post you write and really… I read every word! Love your stuff, especially your advice or things that I can learn from and of course I love to see all your photos!

    Natasha from Utah

  • Justine

    Very true Elizabeth! I also think you hit the nail on the head in that we are all “over exposed” to so much information! As mothers we have so little time to trawl through our favourite sites, organise kids, get supper on the go etc and then comment on everyones images.

    I have also found over time that to post 1 or 2 images is better – too many images take too much time.

    It would be nice if you could see how many views your images have on FB, then at least you would know if there is interest!

    And I also read EVERY post of yours! Thank you for your insights. :-)

  • http://www.oscar-and-rose.co.uk Emma

    I’ve said it before (probably on here) that we are a very fragile species. I don’t think we can do what we do without being super-sensitive. If you had a thick skin, would you be able to spot the sun-flare if you just moved that way, or the tiny bubble on a babies lips etc.
    I know a male photographer who does mostly commercial, landscape and sport photography. He’s been doing it for 30 years. Last time I saw him, he hadn’t picked up his camera for a while as he had received some negative feedback on a shoot. That’s 30 YEARS!! I personally don’t go on flickr any more. It just crushed me seeing all the other work out there that was vastly superior to mine (in my head). I just can’t do it. So now I’m like Elizabeth and post one (or two) shots per shoot, just to keep my business name in people’s feed, but that’s it. I think we have to find our own way to deal with praise / feedback / critiques in our own way.

    @Michaela … if you leave a comment on one of your pictures on your fan-page (such as “she was super cute”), you should get notified if anyone else then leaves a comment.

    @Justine … my fan-page has started telling me how many “impressions” each post get. I think this is a new feature, although I don’t actually know what it means!

  • elizabethhalford

    @Justine: Impressions are how many times it’s been shown in someone’s feed. So 1,000 impressions would mean that 1,000 people have seen it in their feeds or 500 people have seen it twice, etc.

  • http://www.catherinemac.com Catherine Mac

    I read your blog every day Elizabeth and think this is the first time I’ve ever commented! I totally agree with the less is more theory.. Blog post’s that are 100 photo’s long sometimes lose their lustre, the best 10 would definitely make more impact! Thank you for all you write about, having started my own Photography business this year (www.catherinemac.com) I have found your blog MOST HELPFUL! I promise to comment more in the future :)

  • Maureen

    I agree, here are my additional theories:

    1. If you have a lot of friends, stuff drops off your FB feed before you see it and you don’t go looking because you don’t have the time, you just read what is on your page at the moment.

    2. You get tired of all the other comments popping up in your e-mail, so you don’t comment on certain people’s stuff because you know you will have to hit the delete key a whole bunch of times.

    3. You don’t really know the person shooting or being shot, so you feel your comment is not important to the poster.

    4. You have nothing original to say.

  • http://carrieevansphotography.com carrie

    wow, I was just complaining to a friend about this yesterday!! I told her I really needed to get a grip on my need to feel validated by comments. And Iknow the clients like them because they tell me, so why do I need to get patted on the back by everyone else? So true what you wrote.

    p.s. I’m totally joining your Flickr group, though. :)

  • http://www.olivephotographics.com Margie Duerr

    Your entire post is so true. I look forward to, and read every post you do. I also get it in my email so commenting isn’t an option unless I actually go to your blog. You are fabulous, don’t ever doubt that. :) And I TRULY look forward to reading your posts!!!

  • http://brandilouwho.blogspot.com/ Brandi

    HA! I love this post because I am always wondering why I have no comments. It kind of drives me nuts. :)

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrianahg Adriana H.G.

    LOL! I totally did not comment your photos on flickr because I thought you didn’t even read it!! =O I’m so glad to know you’re just a person like me who likes positive reinforcement! :) So from now on I will totally comment on your flickr photos, I just hope you can get the time to show some lovin’ on my photos too! ;) It would be great for me if you commented something on my stream!

    Hugs!

    Adriana H.G.

  • http://www.photographsbymindygough.com Mindy

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I have been thoroughly enjoying your postings for some time now but don’t feel the need to comment unless I have something useful to add!

    Now, it may be because I’m Canadian, and we’re a naturally humble people (hee hee), but I find excessive blogging and posting a bit arrogant. I’ve read a lot of blogging advice that suggests updating your blog at least daily, but it seems to me that one is overly demanding of the precious time of one’s “fans.” As a reader/fan, I don’t mind reading about something new (a new product, a sale) or useful, but to spew out postings just for the sake of keeping the blogger’s name out there seems selfish and wastes my time.

    And less is definitely more – I may get myself in hot water here, but it seems to me that folks who have to post 30 images from a session “to tell the story” have actually missed getting that one good shot.

  • Misty

    I’m with you, Elizabeth. Love your blog and your FB page, but I too don’t comment often. I’m still out there drooling over your beautiful photos.

  • http://staciepetraphotography.blogspot.com/ Stacie

    Yes Elizabeth, im totally with you..

    So i am commenting!! ha ha.. well im one of those secret ones that check your blog every day.. even weekends.. ha ha..

    But yes im totally with you on the whole commenting thing. I have just started my own photography business and its amazing how much you rely on peoples comments. its nice to know you are not as crap as you think you are. especially when there are so many others out there and you think to yourself.. whats so different about me..
    So thankyou! you are the best.. and p.s you helped me a little while back about the large family question.. how to shoot a family of 12.. and i was soooo stoked with how they turned out.. i think they are my best work yet.
    xx Stacie

  • http://www.chesleysummarphotography.com chesley

    i don’t think i’m good enough that everyone assumes i feel validated, but i do get TOTALLY paranoid when i don’t get FB comments, especially when the person i’ve tagged doesn’t say ANYTHING!!

  • Dot McQueen

    It’s a funny thing that we do all need validated to a greater or lesser degree. Even the most confident people. Of course, everyone likes to receive compliments or even constructive criticism, don’t they?

    Previously I tend not leave comments (on photos, blogs or status) unless it is something “big” ie something that has moved me, as I think people won’t want to trawl through loads of inane comments. Perhaps I’m wrong here. Perhaps a simple one word IS required more often.

    I need to reassess my feedback. Thanks for making me think about this Elizabeth.

  • kelly tonks

    elisabeth
    I jsut signed up for clickin moms and I’m lost!!

    What do you reccommend to start and use it for info and feedback?

    I had taken a course that HAD a forum, then after paying for it realized it didn’t, I feel it will make the difference. Even if you could guide me to how to navigate on the site.

    My 2 cents less does seem more and don’t count on comments, so when you get them, and yes it’s so much information!!

    I’m hoping a site like CM’s where you get your critiques and you can improve acknolege what your doing right find areas to improve and work on…

    Thank you , you alwalys help me and I follow all your advice!!!

    Kelly Tonks

  • http://www.wix.com/genletk/photos Genevieve

    Stumbled upon your great stie today, which I have been devouring. Many of your posts outline strategys i have already been implimenting on my own, but it is nice to know I am on the right track. Lots of new stuff to learn too! Love it and thank you so much for being so helpful and candid. I was just complaining to my hubby today that the one thing I hate about this business is the cattiness of other photographers. Thanks for reminding me they aren.’t all like that!

  • kathy.eygabroad

    Elizabeth,
    What a great insight you have!  My hearing impaired child is almost an adult now and I understand how you feel.  I have been reading your blogs for the past two weeks, including older issues, following the trail of thumbnails at the bottom.  My family teases me about all of the tabs I end up with for a day!  You have helped me with quite a few “aha” moments and have brought me to tears with feelings of “I am not losing my mind.”  I signed up for the books you have recommended!Anyway, regarding this particular blog:  I was feeling really down and out about my photographic abilities in March after flooding my pages with romantic things, flowers, candies … kittens.  After seeing about 15 comments on 150 shots, I became down hearted.  I didn’t post a photo of any kind for a week.My page lit up.  I was told how my work was inspiring them to keep going during their work days, the clients could peek but not comment at work!   There were at least 50 people messaging me privately, in public, in person and on my wall, asking if I was okay!  Many of them were parts of groups at work that would wait for me to post, then everyone would come for a lookey loo during break time!We never know how many people we affect.  New folks, give people time to get used to your awesomeness.  Old folks, don’t feel hurt that you are so wonderful your own friends forget to remind you that you do great work.  Me?  I am going to keep watermarking my favorite shots, keep posting for my 365 this year and accept that it’s okay to take people’s money for all my hard work.Love, Kathy

  • Anonymous

    Wow what a lovely comment and great reminder to keep posting our stuff. Thank you!

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