Deleting Facebook Made My Photography Better

Deleting Facebook Made My Photography Better

Not so long ago, I took the plunge and deleted my Facebook accounts, both personal and business profiles. As a professional photographer, this may seem like career suicide. However, it may have saved my career and sanity. 

First off, I am a commercial photographer who works in two main fields, portraiture and food photography. I shoot the odd wedding here and there, but only via word of mouth. So, the impact this has on your photography may differ somewhat depending on your niche. 

Why Did I Delete Facebook?

I started photography in 2010 when Facebook was king. I used it to let people know what I was doing, how much I was charging, and to showcase my work. When I was starting out and doing little £50 and £200 jobs here and there, it was great. There are plenty of people looking for affordable photography via Facebook. However, as the years went on and my prices increased, I left my day job and my work became more specialized. I still got the £100-200 bookings via Facebook, but they were starting to become a hassle. I was also getting asked for a lot of favors, mates rates, charity donations, which lens to buy, which camera to buy, what camera settings I used, and the like. When I deleted Facebook, I was receiving between 50-100 messages a day.

The only reason to stay at this point was for the work I was getting. Yet, the type of work I was getting through Facebook was similar to that from a local business breakfast club: lots of hassle, poor quality clients, and low payments. It’s always hard to say no to money, but there comes a point where focusing on finding the next big client is far more important than doing the 10-20 small jobs that equate to the same amount of money. There is nothing worse than being a busy fool, and I had certainly become one. 

The volume of requests for free information that a quick Google search would answer and the cheap work started to bother me. I quickly realized that I wasn’t achieving anything through having Facebook for my photography and I don’t really use social media to “socialize." So, I deactivated my account. 

Life After Facebook

Here is the interesting part: life continued as it did before, although I now have about one hour more time per day. I don’t feel drained from the pressure of responding to so many requests and trying to explain to people why they can’t have a £10,000 shoot for £150. This week, the additional seven hours I have gained were used to do a test shoot for my portfolio. It was certainly of far more value than Facebook was bringing. Next week, I am taking a day off. 

I had been contemplating the use of Facebook for the last three years and I feel like a bit of a mug having left it for so long. Instagram is still firmly on my phone and I am a daily user of the platform. I find it positive, useful from a business sense, and enjoyable. The difference going forward will be that the second it starts to become like Facebook, I will switch it off straight away rather than waiting three years.

How Did This Make My Photography Better?

Procrastination is my biggest downfall. Even without the barrage of messages, I am guilty of aimlessly scrolling through Facebook. I have also been known to get distracted by what other photographers are doing, rather than focusing on my own goals. It is still early in my newfound Facebook-free world, but I am more motivated, have more time, and certainly feel less pressured by messages. The only downside is missing out on friends' drunken photos. 

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27 Comments

Ryan Cooper's picture

Personally, I couldn't delete FB just because the vast majority of my social communication goes through FB messenger, however, I found a nice middle ground a year or so ago.

I installed a browser plugin that replaces the news feed with random inspirational quotes. Then I deleted the FB app from my phone, only leaving messenger.

As a result, it left me free to essentially use FB as a messaging platform and little more. It has worked marvelously. ;)

olivier borgognon's picture

I have at this stage come to a compromise with myself, I will see how long i keep both IG & FB alive for my account.

It has been 7 weeks now that I have quit connecting to FB, LN and IG, i certainly don't miss it, and see the whole connection lark being dreadful when you're with friends and they are all glued to their phones during a moment or another of an evening, drop the damn thing will ya ?! :D

The only postings are done by my website when I write an article, a blog post or so, and it's automated, so I always mention in my articles that the only way to comment is through my website, email, form or so if they are looking for something they might need.

I have found more time, more serenity, and even if I still procrastinate now and then, I can do it with learning and improving in mind. Quite relieving and fascinating to say the least.

Great to read that some of us, like you, are seeing a positive impact out of "social" media.

Interesting.

Why didn't you simply set up an auto-reply, or a bot to reply to your most tedious messages, ask those that were interested in investing more than the low end 150 quid jobs to email you with their proposal? Use that as a filter, ignore the rest, have your free time and any potential added business that goes with it, and keep a connection to your past clients that could potentially become larger clients?

I know better than most that social media can become a time-suck, but done right, you can have your cake and photograph it, too.

Wonder Woman's picture

I'd like to give you £10,000 for this comment.

user-156929's picture

I thought the Euro was Greece's currency!?

He's feeling generous.

Anonymous's picture

Obviously FB wasn't aware of the deleting process.

user-156929's picture

I have no idea but have heard it's all but impossible to delete a facebook account. I guess they're loathe to give up any revenue.

user-189304's picture

You can delete or deactivate a FB account.

user-156929's picture

Oh. I only know what I've heard but I hear lots of things that aren't true. This is as close to social media as I ever get.

user-189304's picture

To be totally fair, it doesn't appear to have been used since 19 March.

Maybe they are confused about the word "deleted".

John Dawson's picture

Bravo! Your experience has reinforced my happiness that I quickly quit Disgracebook very shortly after starting.

It very quickly struck me as a sort of never-ending high school reunion. It seemed like everyone thought that they "had to be there", but yet it felt like nobody really wanted to be there.

I quickly found myself just going through the motions, all the while screaming on the inside, "Why am I doing this?!" I didn't know, so I quit.

John

Leigh Miller's picture

Dude....deleting FB had nothing to do with making your photography better.

From what I gather reading your article it's a combination of focus and time management.

user-156929's picture

Some things force a result; others encourage it. Oh yeah, an ellipsis only has three dots.

Tony Clark's picture

I see Facebook as a social place, not a business place. I have a seperate business and personal page and haven't been contacted about work through the site. Why would you respond to a project that pays so low? I think that it speaks for the value they place on your work.

user-156929's picture

I wanted to vote up the first half of your comment but vote down the last sentence so I responded instead. :-)

Rashad Hurani's picture

I can't see why IG is better. I never used IG and contemplating quitting FB and social media altogether

3.5 years now and quitting Facebook was definitely a huge positive for me.

Lafayette Britto's picture

I did the same thing about 8 months ago and business for me has doubled. I kept running into the same issues as you, people wanting me to do stuff for free, cheap or donate for charity. I also kept wasting time scrolling through it and not being productive. So I made the decision to delete my personal page and business page from it and only kept the messenger available, i have a few clients and some friends that we communicate through it so I left that. However, deleting facebook has been the best thing i have ever done personally and for my business.

John Pyle's picture

Privacy may be the new luxury. Facebook is the new white pages of mediocrity, deal shoppers, and people dictated by price. Most. Not all...but most.. If that is your business and or client base it makes sense to be there. But running ads for your business in between posts like “can anyone recommend a (insert business) that is good but doesnt cost an arm and a leg” isn’t going to secure a high end client.

As a commercial photographer I do not use social media at all as my clients are not cruising SM looking for photographers. I get referrals from previous clients.
Social media,IME, was a giant time wasting exercise where photographers were expected to gush about their "awesome" clients and "awesome" shoots.
I am sure they are all awesome (checkbook bearing clients are all awesome in my book) but the endless faux happy talk was wearing.
I guess if you are a wedding photographer the networking among available brides is necessary but it only illustrates the hyper-marketing effort needed for retail photography.

I deleted my facebook account 1,5 months ago.
There were several reasons to do this.
The obscene data hunger of this company goes too far and I don't have the feeling I can trust them anymore.
But the main reason is that my timeline was totally boring, only like and share actions, and commercial messages of companies. Nothing which I liked anymore.
It zapped my energy and brought me nothing.

I also have a google account. Google isn't probably that much better but their products enrich my life and make my life easier. I feel that the google products offer me enough to justify the fact that I am their product.
Facebook in the end only offered me annoyance and the feeling it sucked my life out of me.

ANDREW Todd's picture

I deleted all Social Media except for Pinterest. This is because Pinterest ended the Likes. I was so sick of allowing people to judge my Art. The competition is fierce. I never made a penny from Social Media. The owners of these platforms are greedy Billionaires. I never regret my decision.

Bernd Stoeckl's picture

FB is neither social nor beneficial for serious business in my view.
It is a haven for people that are all sharing their all so awsome life at awsome places - my regrets if you can't enjoy life without a ton of voyeurs watching.
Mr. Suckr-berg is exploiting that vanity nicely.

As some stated already, serious business is still working as in the past.
Build up an image by serious work, recommendations of your clients, and a good home page.

FB will be a transient company and phenomenon as many other internet bubbles in the past.