I've been keeping a secret for a while now, and it's time I just let it out, so here goes: I totally don't follow the whole Flickr thing. I check out images there from time to time, but I don't know who the big stars and major personalities are. By now I should be an upstanding member of the Flickr community, since I write about photography, but instead I spend all my spare time working.
So I was really interested in a piece in yesterday's New York Times Magazine by Vigrinia Heffernan about Rebekka Guoleifsdottir, describes as "one of Flickr's most popular photographers.
The point of the story was that some savvy photographers have learned how to perfect a "Flickr style"—images that look good in thumbnail form, with fulsome digital manipulation—and how to work the social networking aspect of the site to make herself more popular.
As the piece points out, Guoleifsdottir, who lives in Iceland, isn't shy about posting images of herself (above, for example). She eventually became so popular on Flickr that she was hired to do a Toyota ad campaign.
I'd be interested in hearing from Flickr members if they believe there is particular style of photography that defines a new aesthetic. Do film images really get shouted down because they seem out of focus? Is it wrong to game the Flickr system in order to become popular? (Analog artists have been doing that forever.)–David Schonauer