Consumer, Curator, Creator

Which are you?

I believe these are three roles we all play at some point, and I wanted to hone in particularly on how we fit each as bloggers and photographers.

Consumer

In blogging and photography terms, this simply means we read other people’s blogs and view their photographs.

I spend a considerable amount of time each day reading online, sometimes photography related, but on a wider range of topics too.

These days I don’t spend so much time looking at images, and a significant factor in this is the device I use.

Where maybe 95% or more of my reading of text is on my phone, and for this it’s a more than adequate device, I rarely look at pictures on it.

Simply because if I’m going to look at other people’s work and give it the respect and attention it deserves, I’d rather do it on an iPad at least, if not my larger screened Chromebook, or even better, hooked up to my big(ger) monitor.

I’m not a fan of viewing pictures only a couple of inches wide.

Like Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, they say a photograph of something is not the thing itself. Well for me, viewing tiny pictures on a phone screen is another step removed still. Like a thumbnail preview, of a picture, of the actual scene.

So because I don’t use those larger screen devices so much these days, I look at fewer photographs.

Overall I see that what we consume informs what we curate, and create, it can inspire us to be more like or less like the other sources we read and the photographs we look at, either directly in terms of subject matter, or more in the style and approach of the writing or images.

Consumption in this sense I see as a gathering of knowledge, inspiration and ideas, and is pretty much essential.

Curator

Whilst some blogs do this very well, it’s never been my favoured approach with 35hunter to simply gather links to other blogs or posts I’ve read.

I have always wanted this blog to be a personal collection of my own thoughts and ideas, rather than a place to collect together other people’s.

Maybe that sounds selfish, but for me it’s kind of the point of a blog.

You share your unique view on the world and invite others to share theirs (in the comments section), creating a place of mutual interest, inspiration and respect.

So in that sense I hope 35hunter does curate – it curates some kind of community, bringing people together to converse in a safe space about topics they find mutually interesting.

Flickr, still my major online depository for my best photographs, I approach in a very similar way.

I do have a favourites collection where I occasionally add photos other people made if I really love them, but it’s not the main purpose of having a Flickr account by any means. Again it’s primarily to gather my own stuff in one place.

Creator

This one is perhaps the most obvious, and the most essential of the three, in my view. Certainly it’s the role I see me being in most, in my presence on 35hunter and my Flickr.

Put simply, places where I share the stuff I’ve written and photographed, partly as a personal outlet, and partly to share and reach out to others in the hope to inspire them too.

As I said, consuming and curating inevitably influences our creating, but for me the latter seems to remain the most important aim online with this blog, and Flickr.

How about you? How do you fill each of these roles of consumer, curator and creator in your presence online?

As always, please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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9 thoughts on “Consumer, Curator, Creator”

  1. Consumer: I’m here reading this blog. I read a lot of blogs.
    Curator: not so much since COVID eliminated photo walks and field trips with my tribes of photographers.
    Creator: I’ve got my blog, Instagram and … that’s it.

  2. all three, of course, sometimes even simultaneously (or so it would seem)

    I find that I consume less and less of ‘new’ camera gear – new camera bodies don’t entice, new lenses also – but show me an analog lens that reeks of character and I’m interested…

    my curation is my own flickr, my own collection of cameras and lenses…

    but as a creator – either documenting my wife’s creations, or working on my own Art, this is where I find the most solace, the most fulfilling aspect of the human condition…

  3. Recently playing and music has taken an increasingly larger place as my artistic outlet, so photography has been taking a bit of a step back… in terms of consuming I do keep up with some of what is happening musically. I’m not seeing photographs or reading blogs as much as I was before (though here I am…)
    As a curator, I’m not sure where I fall. I have a tendency to keep things to myself, and while there were times when I wanted both my music and my photography to be seen by wider audiences, I’ve come to the realization that I’m probably not that interesting.
    As a creator, I’m always creating… either taking pictures or playing and writing songs, I’m always doing something. Recently I’ve also been encouraged by my wife to also start writing, so let’s see where that takes me…

    1. I’m reading blogs less now too. Though sometimes I’m not sure what I am reading. I guess a wider range of things, science, psychology, behaviour, things like that.

      Think I’ve grown out of reading (old) camera reviews, I must have digested thousands in the last 10 or 12 years.

      Yes I think it’s impossible for most of us to not be creative. It comes out in some form or other, even if it’s just playing with kids or messing around, rather than something more formal or structured like taking a photograph or writing a poem.

  4. I love online writing in my journal but I’m going to start shifting more attention to Flickr, maybe sort of go back and forth between the two depending on my mood. I’ve found it super hard the past couple years to get back into a circle of people on WP. I want to keep writing and sharing on WP and I love to meet people on here but I feel like I haven’t been able to make really meaningful connections, no matter how thoughtful I try to be in reaching out and visiting others. It’s probably just me, I’m a longwinded wierdo dad nerd. Flickr is a tighter focus, and I think I might like that for a break

    1. I’m a bit the opposite, I used to have a little group of people on Flickr I enjoyed talking with, mostly when I was using old film cameras and we were sharing experiences of (and pictures made with) those. I’ve drifted from it and struggle to find much of interest or much motivation to visit Flickr. But I think part of this is because I’m not taking anything like as many photos myself, so I’m not visiting Flickr to upload them as frequently as before. I’ll be interested to see how your Flickr adventures go in the coming weeks and months.

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