Flickr is a unique way to view the joys, sorrows, and routines of human life.
Photography is a discrete technology, but life is continuous. You cannot learn about having a baby, or dancing, or cancer by simply typing in keywords and seeing what photos pop up. Life is experienced through watching real lives over days, weeks, months, and years. It’s about absorbing the process of living, the repetitiveness and the change.
I have been on Flickr for three years now, and my contacts and friends have allowed me to see their lives, and I have learned from it and been touched by it.
I have seen many Flickr lives come and go. The newcomers who have interesting photography but don’t ever seem to learn the nick of developing relationships. The flash in the pans who develop huge networks and gather front pages, and burn out in months. The people who no matter how hard they try are just not good photographers. And conversely, the people who within a period of a few special months turn from hacks into artists. The Flickr regulars who get burned out by the grind of Flickr, or whose connectivity is interrupted by the demands of their other “real” life.
I have seen that once people leave Flickr for any extended time, they never come back; or if they do, it’s not the same. A Flickr life is a treadmill and a marathon, and once you stop running, it never seems very appealing to start again.
I have seen babies and marriages and divorces and graduations and new jobs and travels and extended silliness and depression and death. I have seen my contacts use Flickr as a source of escape, exploration, and rejuvenation. I have seen artistic visions emerge, and run out of energy too.
Thanks for sharing your lives with me through Flickr.