Selfies, Real Art and Actually Learning from the Comments Section

taking selfies at on vacation

Sometimes the comments section can make you better, but usually it’s just a way to make yourself feel a little more miserable. 

This episode, we talk about selfie and photo etiquette on vacation. Or at least that was the premise we started at. Even though Tony is fast-approaching 50 he’s a pretty prolific selfie-taker. You can check out his Instagram account if you don’t believe us. Todd, on the other hand, is better at taking photos for other people’s instagram accounts than for his own. Both of them agree that selfies are fine and necessary, especially on vacation, under almost all circumstances.

A significant exception is making other people stop having fun so they can participate in your selfie. It doesn’t happen a lot, but it is always a drag when someone puts the breaks on a conversation or general good time to make you take a photo with them. As with most potential social faux pas, it’s all about the timing.

Too Much Is Never Enough

The problem with selfies and general social shenanigans generally gave rise to the bigger question of authenticity.

Both Todd and Tony take photos professionally. Neither of them has much pretense about it, but the difference between a professional and an amateur mostly has to do with the way one carries oneself. Although it often makes more sense to just shoot with a cell phone, when everyone is a cell phone photographer it makes sense to bring and use gear you might not even really need just to make the subjects feel like they’re talking to a professional and not some creep. This happens a lot.

Along that same line of argument, we talk about “Scopers” and how the digital world has changed their ability to earn a living. If you’re not familiar Scopers are young men and women who take photos of people on the beach and then sell them little telescope like objects with their photos in it. We talk about how that industry has (kind of amazingly) survived the digital revolution.

Art Isn’t Always Subjective In the Comments Section

“If you’ve never made anything bad, you’ve never made anything good.” Todd and tony talk about how difficult it can be to make stuff and how people who aren’t wracked by self doubt probably aren’t making anything too interesting. no matter how successful an artist is, and no matter how proud they are of their finished product, it’s the self-doubt that lends authenticity to a person’s work. It’s the knowing that you’ve tried your best and still failed a little bit that makes people get better at what they do.

Tony talks about how reading the comments section usually just makes him a little suicidal, but recently helped him see that people sometimes just miss the point. And when they do often nothing can be done for it.

If that seems cryptic, listen to the show. It’s a lot clearer on there.

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