MOMA bound? Don't forget to view our photos while there!
Photographers are all high brow, even myself. We are convinced our most famous work will be hanging in a gallery, perfectly lit, overshadowing the sainted Ansel Adams in the MOMA. People will brush past the Ansel Adams work, not giving it a second glance to exclaim:
“OMG! IT”S A MIKE GATTY ORIGINAL! I SAW THIS ON FLICKR. AND HERE IT IS. A PRINT! IN FRONT OF MY NOSE! IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN ON FLICKR!”
But, alas, somehow I doubt this is in the cards. I see this “you are a photographer and must be a snooty artist” phenomena in other scenarios, too. Like when I tell someone on an airplane what I do for a living.
“I bet your work is stunning,” they say, a bit breathless, eyes wide.
Well, frankly, not really. I mean, I love what I do. I love my photos — but my photos aren’t photos of glowing sunsets sinking behind clouds with a Gucci model prancing on the beach in something that’s supposed to be a bathing suit, but is 100% silk and dry clean only.
Well, my model may be doing all of those things, but the beach will be a green screen, the model a convention attendee, they’ll be dressed in business attire, and haven’t breathed fresh air in 3 days.
But one thing I’ll promise: MY MODEL IS HAVING FUN. That Gucci model? Ever see Zoolander?
So, I always have to — educate — those about to view my work. Some people totally get it. Others look politely at me, at my web site, smile, and say…
“Oh, my. Well, that’s different.”
But don’t let their high brow, stare over the top of their half rimmed reading glasses and purse their lips fool you. What do people really like in a photo? One measure of their true thoughts may be in Flickr favorites: How many people have favorited a given photo?
Here’s a hint. If you are a straight male, you like T&A. Period. If you are a gay male, the same applies, just on a different gender. I suspect women are the same, deep down, but I can’t speak for them. For all the trips you might have planned to the MOMA, what will catch your eye every time isn’t the portrait of Madonna — unless it’s the rock and roll star, with her breasts hanging out. Just sayin’.
Do you know which of my photos is most favorited on Flickr? Keep in mind a few facts, I just checked these:
1) I have posted 78,818 photos to my Flickr account as of this morning.
2) Here’s the big number: 415,000 people have viewed my photos on Flickr, about 1400 people yesterday. Who knew?
3) This doesn’t count the 25,899 photos on my mom’s Flickr account, which is actually under our brand name, US Event Photos. So, roughly, 100,000 photos on Flickr, total, and nearly 3/4 of a million views.
And, this, by far, is the most favorited:
I could not make this up. I took this photo in 2010, obviously, in Las Vegas, at the Gamestop booth. The blonde in the middle is a female wrestler. I don’t know the other two ladies.
Every time I look at my Flickr numbers, another person has “favorited” the above photo.
Now, I know I am off the subject, but I feel the need to tell the story behind Blondie.
I was shooting her at a meet and greet in Las Vegas for Gamestop. It was an easy event. Click the photo, print the photo, move on to the next participant. The guys were lined up knee deep to meet Blondie, and I tried to get through as many participants in an hour as I could, about 300.
But these attendees meeting Blondie really didn’t care that much about her. They didn’t even, really, know who she was. I answered more than once: “Um, dude, so who is she?”
They were, however, really interested in my equipment.
“But how does the photo get from the camera to the printer?”
“This wifi transmitter attached to the camera.”
“What band does it transmit on? 802.11? Do you have trouble with network interference? What is the security protocol it uses?”
“Dude, look at the pretty blonde wrestler. Pay attention to her. This is why you are still single. NEXT!”
So, I have resigned myself. Unless I fall into the category of Andy Warhol, I suspect my art isn’t going to hang anywhere near the MOMA. It might, however, be on an iPhone camera roll of someone visiting the museum. I’ll settle for that. In fact, I prefer it.
Why? Did I mention? 1,500 people a day see our photos! Suck on that, Ansel Adams.
Now, where’s that guy that plays Spartacus? Time to make a new favorite photo.