How I handle contacts at Flickr

When you add me as a contact on Flickr, you may notice that I may not add you back. Please don’t think I’m ignoring you. It’s just that I handle contacts differently at Flickr.

I like to go through all of my contacts’ photographs. I try to view every photo they’re posting. I know that’s a rarity, but I consider it my responsibility. I’m not going to be a false contact that jumps on someone’s photo stream once in a while and comments on a couple of photos, then you don’t hear from them again for 6-12 months, if ever.

Since my time is limited, and I do try to go through every photo that my contacts post, I can only have a limited number of contacts. I’ve found out that I can handle about 100 or so contacts.

I also look for photographs that inspire me. I look for a high concentration of artistic or creative photographs in someone’s photo stream.

I also encourage my contacts to do the same with me. If you’re not inspired by my photos, take me off your contact list. There’s no reason for you to be frustrated with the photos I post. Life’s too short to be frustrated with things you can change.

Does that mean I forget about the people who’ve added me as a contact? No. I go through my Recent Activity regularly, and when I see that people who aren’t on my contact list have taken the time to interact with my photos, I return the favor.

I hope this explains my stance, and I also hope that those of you who’ve added me as a contact don’t feel offended. Feel free to contact me at any time through whatever means I’ve provided to you (phone, email, blog).

If you’d like to get to know me, a good place to start would be this blog, which is where I spend most of my time. Read my work, comment on it, start a dialogue, etc. Life is one big et caetera. It’s not limited to a contact list on one social networking site.


7 thoughts on “How I handle contacts at Flickr

  1. I agree that you surely have a lot of experience, I give you that. And of course, time is ours to manipulate it as we want.

    But again, I think it’s difficult, even for experienced eyes, to distinguish if it was the talent that stopped or if that someone’s evolution is going through a dead or slow period. That’s what I mean.

    Anyway, I don’t judge you and I don’t think it’s a bad desicion… but conceptually I have my doubts.

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  2. I think that if you don’t have much time on your hands and you specially want to cut back the time you spend on flickr it’s a good way to do it. I believe your reasons are legitimate and it’s nice of you to explain yourself for a behavior that’s not very frequent so it can be misunderstood.

    Nevertheless, I can’t help but worrying a little bit about the idea that inspiration comes from a totality of a persons’ work, or that inspiration comes only from work itself and not from photographers.
    The same way you evolve, others do. I think it’s important to realize that photographers (and of course, their work) are humans inserted in cultural and sociological contexts, and that they go through different emotional periods.

    Imagine you have Picasso as a contact on flickr. You loved his “blue period” and you consider him a great artist. Later he changes, you don’t appreciate his “rose period”, and you delete him of your contact list. At that moment you are taking the risk of losing Cubism.

    I don’t know if I’m being clear (i’m sorry, i don’t practice english a lot). I’m not saying there are a lot of Picasso’s in flickr, but I think if you once found that someone’s work inspired you they probably have a quality that can appear again at any moment.

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    1. Perhaps you’re right, Val. Then again, I’ve gone through so many photos that I can tell right away whether someone’s photos appeal to me or not. And when I draw inspiration from their work, or at least I enjoy looking at it, it doesn’t mean that my sense of what inspires me doesn’t change as well. It could be landscapes, or portraits, or city scenes, or street photography, or abstracts, or just about anything that has a spark of talent in it. I’m not stuck on certain things. So I don’t think I’m missing too much with my approach. I am missing plenty, I’ll give you that, since I cannot sit here all day looking at photos from everyone, but at least I get to see enough to push me forward in my own drive to improve my work. And that’s really all that one needs when you’re a photographer. If you’re there simply to enjoy the art of photography, then by all means, subscribe to as many talented photographers as you can, and keep looking at their work. But if you’re working, like I am, you have to filter. You have to make time for your own work as well, otherwise you’ll get nowhere.

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  3. I’m 100% in agreement. I wish I had a way to quickly remove contacts on flickr. As life progressed, I realized that I’ve just been on flickr for a long time, and so many of my contacts either aren’t even posting anymore, have switched focus, or have just kinda “moved on” (for lack of a better word). I’ve definitely not been on flickr a ton except here and there, but there are a few “dear people” I’d like to be able to still stay in contact with.

    I found this post while trying to search on an easy way to cull contacts from my flickr list. 🙂

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  4. I’m the same way and have been ever since I joined Flickr. There are a few that I leave in even if they don’t inspire me simply because they are close friends or family and I love them. Otherwise, if they aren’t photographers that make me want to look at them over and over, I delete. I cull my contacts, favorites, and groups very often. I don’t have huge amounts of time and want to use it wisely.

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  5. Makes sense. I’ve been getting fed up with contacts that post the odd creative photo along with many that are just documenting their lives. I need to go through my contacts list and clear off those that no longer inspire me, as you suggest.

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