It is possible you may have not heard the news, so let me be the first to tell you about the return of Tumblr! There was a time in my life that if someone wanted to get to know me, and I mean really get to know me, I would just tell them to visit my Tumblr account. Spending 10-15 scanning and browsing through my page would tell them more about who I was then a few hours of conversation. Tumblr was the one place where I felt I could be 100% myself. I did not have to worry about what anyone thought about me. I was not posting for followers, likes, or an algorithm. I was just posting for me.
Because Tumblr is largely a site of interpretation using pictures, the written word, and GIFs different people would find different meaning in a single image. Because of that Tumblr actually helped me discover parts of myself that I had buried, hid from, or just plain ignored. I would see an image, or piece of poetry, a GIF set, or something else and I would have to ask myself, why does this speak to me? Why am I feeling something, and what does this feeling even mean? And considering I started using Tumblr at a time of great self discovery and change I consider what Tumblr did for me a blessing.
I also credit Tumblr for helping me develop my personal style when it came to photography. See when I started using Tumblr I had not yet started photography, but I had a deep love of pictures and images. I was drawn to very specific images, and I loved how certain photographers could make everyday objects and items seem extraordinary.
They say if you want to become a writer you need to read great writing. If you want to be a musician you need to listen to great music, and if you want to be a photographer become a student of great images. Well that is exactly what I did. I immersed myself in photographs and image content. I collected and rebloged every beautiful image I came across and all the while I was developing a style, and I didn’t even know it.
By the time I picked up my first camera I had a private folder of images I had saved from Tumblr that I wanted to try and recreate, but with my own vision and skills, and I went about doing so with a passion.
I was living in Olympia WA at the time and there was absolutely no shortage of beautiful places to photograph. I wasn’t a great photographer, I was brand new, shooting in aperture priority mode with the aperture wide open. I felt like a fraud, and not like a “real” photographer most days, but looking back on some of the images I took I can see the influences Tumblr had on me. I can see how the hours spent scrolling impacted me, and helped mold my sense of style and taste.
They were not the best pictures, none of them were ever edited, and I don’t think I was even shooting in RAW at the time, but I look back on these images and I am proud of Adam 11 years ago. He didn’t quit, and because of his efforts and the efforts he made for the next 11 years I am the person and photographer I am today.
So thank you to him, and thank you to Tumblr for being that safe space so many years ago. I hope, with the return of Tumblr, that it will once again be that safe space for people to discover themselves, just like I did so many years ago.
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any thoughts leave a comment down below. Also if you would like VIP access to some of my photography, prints, and thoughts don’t forget that I have a Patreon you can sign up for. However, if Patreon is not your favorite feel free to follow me on Instagram or Twitter.