Marc-Aurèle Palla's BLOG


Make every picture count

  • By Marc Palla, 30/05/2020
BLOG: Make every picture count
Photo: Derice Jason

It is easy to take pictures and post them online, but what about all the pictures never used? And is there nothing more than your Instagram account? What if there were more directions, for more pictures? What if, at the same time, it could mean less work?

What I am proposing here, is to understand why we take pictures, and for which purpose. And to do so, I am going to do a quick detour...

About films

Unlike photos, films take time to make. Starting with the storyboard, then the actual shooting, followed by the many post-production processes, it can take between a few days and a few months.

So, when you plan on making a film, you also plan on where this film is going to go afterwards. And if it's possible, you plan on how much movie this film is going to bring you back. Call it investment return: you'd want either money or time/views in exchange for putting this film on the market (ideally both).

All this means that a filmmaker wouldn't create a film that isn't going to make views after its first hours of life, and/or create a film that wouldn't bring financial compensation.

So what does a filmmaker do? Well, they plan on which festivals and competitions they will send their films, to which TV channels they will negotiate to sell the film, or they would make sure that the film keeps making having a virtual life: portfolio, sharing, online competitions, and many more views.

About photography

It's exactly the same.

The difference is how easy it is to take a picture. No edit is necessary, no music's needed, and even a simple smartphone can take HQ pictures.

However, it's so easy to produce pictures that most of them die unborn or disappear after a few days, if not hours. Many times I take a bunch of pictures (let's say, during a sunset) and once in front of my computer I only select one out of thirty, then spend 30mn editing it, to post it on Instagram and.. that's it. Or not quite. I hope it will bring me something back: followers, sharing, comments, appreciation, clients...

Fortunately, unlike films, photos have quite a lot of possible outcomes. Why stop on one social medium, when you can send you pictures to: more social media, agencies, online/physical competitions, online/physical galleries, stock photo website, other artists for collaborations, online/paper magazines.

There's more! Why stop at one type of pictures/camera? I recently started using the pictures I take with my phone to send them to specific phone-only competitions and this way increase my visibility as a photographer. Using a different tool was great to improve my skills because it pushed me outside of my comfort zone.

To resume, let's remember that the Internet is a web ("the Web", rings a bell?). Everything is or can be connected, now more than ever. So the more you do with your pictures, to more you'll get. And if you think about a plan for each picture from the beginning, it will save you time afterwards.

Now, time to shoot!