Thursday, October 16, 2014

Of Mirrors and Images

I've never been much of a community guy. In the past, I preferred to work alone, especially when it came to something marginal, which photographing toys was to me. At the beginning of my toy photography career in the summer of 2009, I reluctantly joined a couple of Flickr groups because I was curious. I wanted to see how it all worked. Then I joined several more.

Strangers’ comments to my first few uploaded photographs puzzled me, as I didn't really know how to respond. It felt weird – and interesting. I did not go away, however, and gradually the toy photography community in Flickr grew on me. It happened quite fast actually, after I realized the community served as mirror with which I could see myself.

As I post a photo, the response it generates helps me to figure out what I did right and what went wrong. I am blind to most of my photographs; I have no idea of how they work, how people perceive them. I work on a whim. Usually, when I upload something I think is absolute dynamite, I get a friendly reaction, but not the enthusiasm I'd expected. It goes the other way too; images I think are meh at best, not necessarily worth uploading at all, get the most likes. The toy photography community mirror is important to me. I learn from it.

When Shelly asked me to join SiP I hesitated at first, but after some consideration I decided to jump in. Why? I wanted another mirror, a mirror I have not yet experienced: a mirror of a text, without the photo as the obvious lead.

We'll see.

~ Avanaut

This is from my first photosession with Lego. Well, first with uploading in mind.


  1. A wicked first blog post.An interesting read.

  2. I think you bring up an interesting topic - the dialogue between artists and audience and how it can inform our work. Definitely food for thought.

  3. I for sure recognize the audience as a mirror or a soundboard.
    It helps us to focus and further strengthened our art and metier.

    Now, it reminds me of an older discussion we had before about the like trap.

    The risk of the mirror is that it narrows our field and we don't explore beyond our audience, as we don't want to upset our audience. Like Shelly said a most interesting topic we will have to debate a little more here on SiP.

    Welcome Aboard, Sir Avanaut.

  4. Welcome, Avanuat! And I look forward to the discussion of the "like trap." I too have wondered about some of my photos that I didn't think were anything special but everyone else has liked, and ones that I really liked seemed to be the only one who did. But it's the same with books. I just finished a novel that everyone else thinks is one of the best books of the year, and I thought the ending was emotionally manipulative and not particularly well set up either.

  5. "Like trap", crikey! It does exist.

    Thanks, glad to be here!