Why The Numbers Don’t Matter (And Why They Sort Of Do)

Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Here’s are the the numbers, as of Wednesday, March 12th, 2014:

From my Facebook page:
1,480 Total Page Likes
From 03/06/2014 – 03/12/2014:
25,300 Total Reach, 2,065 People Engaged

From my 500px page:
2,369 Affection, 30,030 Views, 91 Followers

From my flickr page:
673,244 Total views, 7,623 Photos, 419 Followers

From my Homepage:
19466 Total views, 192 Photos

From my twitter account:
28 Followers, 96 Following, 117 Tweets

From my Etsy Store:
7 Items for sale, 128 Views, 1 Order

From this Blog:
63 Posts, 2,635 Views, 55 Comments

My mother was a C.P.A.  She always said I would be a great accountant.  And I probably would have been.  She hated that I majored in Art.  However, often I lament that decision and wonder if accounting, while not creatively fulfilling, wouldn’t have provided me a more well-equipped life.

Numbers have always fascinated me.  I’ve never been great at math, but I’ve never hated math either.  It’s never hurt me, like I know it’s hurt others. I like numbers.  I like running the numbers.   I like putting one number against another and see how they measure up.  I like the puzzles that numbers often present.

And, after starting Generator Photography, I have a whole lot more numbers to look at.

So, above are the numbers as they stand today.  I have been thinking about this as Generator Photography climbs towards 1,500 likes on facebook.  I used to post things for the milestones (“800 Likes!  Hurray”).  Recently, 1,400 came and went and I didn’t even see it.  1,500 seems like a pretty big milestone, though.

Honestly, I don’t even know what many of these numbers mean.  500px measures “Affection”.  I couldn’t tell you what that is for the life of me.  How does facebook quantify “Total reach” and “People engaged?”  Hell if I know.

So, that’s part of why I say these numbers don’t really matter.  I just don’t understand what’s going on a good chunk of the time.  And I like numbers.

The other reason why these numbers don’t really matter is that I’m not doing this to gain peoples approval.  I would be doing this without an audience.  I was taking pictures and posting them on flickr and I was happy with 10 views.  It blows my mind to know that thousands of people are seeing my work.  That most recent picture of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health that I posted on the top of this blog has well over 2,000 views through both 500px and flickr.

1956 Nomad

According to facebook, this picture of the Gas Monkey Garage’s 1956 Nomad has been seen by over 13,000 people.  That flat out blows my mind.

But I just try to do the best work I can. I know that sounds like completely vapid, sloganistic bull-pucky, but it’s true. And I know it’s true because my work doesn’t really look like anyone else’s work.  I’m not trying to follow any trends.  I’m not concerned with contemporary styles.  I can show you dozens of wedding photographers who all use the same filters and plug-ins and look really similar.  Way too similar.  1940 Ford

I have my own style.  My own vision of what I want my photography to look like.

And, therein likes the idea that the numbers do, in fact, matter.  Because I’m not doing this in a vacuum, I’m not just posting for me alone, because I am posting my photography to be shared, to be commented on and to be purchased, these numbers very much matter.  As the numbers are getting bigger, I’m getting more excited.  I know that if I wasn’t producing work people weren’t excited about, or didn’t like, then the numbers would just be flat.  Small.  Minimal.

But that’s not happening.

So, I just wanted to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” for reading this all the way to the end!  And thank you for liking my work on facebook.  And thank you for commenting on my work on flickr.  And thank you, in advance, for purchasing my prints in my Etsy store 😉

And thank you for the numbers.

And, now, back to work!





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