Some people say that anyone that has a camera thinks they’re a photographer. In a sense, this is true. But really anyone can be a photographer or an artist. It doesn’t take amazing talent (have you ever seen a painting and thought “holy crap, a three-year-old could do that”?) or even 4 years of school and $100,000 to create beautiful things. You’re probably trying to figure out where new media fits in with the arts because isn’t art the complete opposite of technology? NO! Well, yes, but they go hand in hand and it’s a beautiful, marvelous, lovely relationship. Really, they’re so cute together.
Okay, so getting back to the nitty gritty; let’s talk about the best, and most user friendly social media site in the whole wide world: TUMBLR!
Why do we love Tumblr? Well, it’s easy to use because of the simple layout, easily tracked tags, and numerous types of postable content such as text, chat messages, quotes, links, photographs, videos, and audio files. Layouts are customizable and you can even use themes from outside sources, you have the option of purchasing layouts directly from Tumblr, or there are free themes to choose from.
Another great feature on Tumblr is the ability to block a tag that you don’t want to see or track anymore. Let’s say that you’re a huge Doctor Who fan but you’re a few seasons behind everyone else, you can block tags that relate to Doctor Who using words like BBC, Doctor Who, etc., to keep the show from being spoiled.
There is also an app on Google Chrome called Tumblr Savior where you can add tags to your Black List to keep things from popping up in your Dashboard Feed. Check it out right here on the Chrome Web Store. Now just because you’ve blocked Doctor Who spoilers from showing up right now, that doesn’t mean that they’re gone forever. Whenever you’re ready you can unblock the tags and everything returns to normal.
Are you a Facebook fiend? You can link all of your Tumblr posts to your Facebook so that family and friends are updated when you make a new post.
Do you like cats? Follow some cat blogs! Follow as many people as you want. Unleash your inner nerd. Go for it, it’s easy on Tumblr.
But wait, there’s more!
You may be wondering what Tumblr has to do with photography, and you may have already guessed that we’ll be discussing photography on Tumblr. The best of two worlds, right? Artist Nic Rad (fellow Tumblrer) hit the nail on the head when he said that Tumblr is for dreamers. “Constant daydreamers feel at home here. That dictates the demographics a bit: users that are young enough to have time for constant daydreaming, or the castoffs, eccentrics, artists, thinkers, weirdos, self obsessed, over sensitive, lonely, hungry, diluted, under employed, self conscious, and strange, who have found some way to carve a high functioning inner life from the demands of a more ‘linear’ world.” Find the rest of the post here.
Alright, so how does photography get passed around on Tumblr? Easy! You take a picture and post it on your blog. Let’s say it’s a picture of lemons in a bowl. Before you hit the post button, you’ll need to tag your photo with things relating to the picture like lemons, yellow, bowl, art, photography, etc.. How does this help you? Well, when people do a search for photography or art or lemons or anything else you’ve tagged your photo with, it will show up in their search. If they like your photo, they’ll reblog it. Then all of their followers will see the photo and reblog it because it’s an amazing lemon photo.
This is completely changing things for artists! It is so much easier for budding photographers to show off their work on their Tumblr than how it used to be with dragging a binder around and trying to get a show in a gallery. It’s just easier! With Tumblr you can get a fanbase and your fans will share your photos and add comments to the post.
Are you looking for new photographers and artists to follow? Check out the Tumblr Spotlight to find new blogs. You can even see an entire list of categories for millions of other blogs that highlight things from architecture to zoology.
But wait, what if you’re a budding photographer and you want to set up a Tumblr account to showcase your work? As mentioned before, it’s easy to do. And with the Android and iTunes app, you can even upload and post anything on the go. With a simple layout, just like the web version of the site, the Tumblr app lets you post, search tags, like, repost, and follow other Tumblr users right from the comfort of your phone while you’re sitting on the ivory throne.
So whether you’re a novice or professional, Tumblr is there to help you on your way to artistic glory.
-Ellen and Jenna-
Our lovely lemon picture courtesy of LollyKnit on Flickr.