Why I’m Not a Social Media Influencer

by | Aug 29, 2020

Today’s Rant by Joe Farace

…a social media influencer is a celebrity who has acquired or developed their fame and notability through the Internet.—Wikipedia

I’m somewhat active on social media. You can find me on Twitter, Instagram (@joefarace), Pintererst as well as my car photography website/blog. Sorry, I’m not on Facebook anymore and I’ll gladly tell you why that is sometime, face-to-face over coffee or a cup of earl grey tea.

I don’t consider myself a decision influencer. Why not? First, I don’t consider myself a celebrity; I’m just a photographer and a guy who’s written some books, lots of magazine articles and tons of blog posts. Second, I’m not employed, personally sponsored or paid by a camera or lens company, their public relations agencies or any combination thereof to write positive comments about a particular camera, lens or whatever on social media or anywhere else.

No photo-related company or PR group pays me to write what you read here, on my car blog or in any of my previous magazine stories or books. And these companies also don’t give me free cameras or pay me to stand up at trade shows and ooh-and-aah over their latest cameras or lenses either. (The few ads you see on this site don’t even begin cover the cost of operating it. But I appreciate these advertiser’s faith in me and hope that you support them and in turn me.)

Except for reviews, like my recent posts on Panasonic and Sigma L-mount gear, all of the cameras and lenses mentioned on this blog were purchased with my own money and were not payment-in-kind or kick-backs from camera companies or their PR agencies. Equipment I receive for review must be returned after I finish writing the review, although I suspect that is not true for other bloggers and YouTubers.

All of the equipment that I own  is listed in the Gear section because people often ask me about the kind of gear I use, so it’s there for them to see. My last three new cameras? I recently purchased a Panasonic Lumix G9 but the other two new cameras were birthday gifts from my wife, Mary, and she doesn’t care what I write about, only that I have fun with these cameras. All my Instagram posts are photographs I wanted to make and are not driven by astroturfing and payola. It’s just photos that I’ve made and am making.

With a few notable expectations, not every camera and lens manufacturer will lend me equipment to review for this blog. Is it because I won’t guarantee them a good review? I honestly don’t know but while these same companies are unfailingly polite when I ask about reviewing a lens or camera, they never, ever actually send me equipment to review. So if you wonder why certain brands of cameras aren’t mentioned on this blog, now you know why. There was a time when some gear was provided to me by a third-party retailer who made no demands on me beyond asking that the equipment be returned within 30 days. They don’t/won’t do that anymore and I don’t know why. Please be assured that I’m not complaining; I try to live in the real world and am just stating facts. Such is the state of the paradigm shift that has ravaged the photographic industry since digital imaging began oh-so-long ago.

I try to give my honest opinion about cameras, lenses and software and tell the truth about them in what I write because I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror without being embarrassed. Since my first magazine article about photography appeared in the late and wonderful magazine Photomethods in 1981, all that I’ve written was in honest service to my readers. I’ve carried that same approach into everything I’ve written since then including too many blog posts to count.

To end on a positive note, I want to thank each and every one of you for reading this blog. The new blog and old one have been a labor of love for me. I started both of them for the altruistic reason that I wanted to share my photographic experience with others and this continues to be true to this very day.

All of the blog posts you see are made possible by people like you. If you would like to support what I do on this site and on my car photography blog through a Patreon subscription or a one-time donation, please click here. And If you do I would like to thank you very much.

if you would like to read an interesting and thought-provoking book about social media. I suggest you pick up a copy of Digital Vertigo: How Today’s Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us by Andrew Keen. New copies are available on Amazon for $11.95 with used copies selling for $4.95, as I write this. The Kindle version is $9.99 for those who prefer a digital format.