I submitted a picture anonymously to a popular blog, and it has way more notes than anything I’ve ever posted here.

The recipe for popularity on Tumblr is always a mystery to me.

Near as I can figure it, it involves a certain mixture of aspirational qualities and romance. 

…which is not that difficult to replicate, once you have an idea of it, but it’s not all that interesting.

I wasn’t referring to the content, which you are right, generally revolves romance or nostalgia to be popular, but more the dynamics of it. Except some popular kids a la Bryant Eslava, photographers seems isolated from the global pool of users, I often find years-old photoblogs with almost no like or reblog. Yet, some kid will reblog a picture, and it will gain popularity because it is closest to people who relates to it. It is this great disconnection between the photographer and his public which is mysterious to me.

I’ve noticed this, too. Individual posts don’t usually get too much attention unless they make a couple of hops to certain blogs where people look for the things they want to reblog. And by that point, many times the credits and caption have already been removed. I have a few photos with massive note counts that don’t bring any traffic back to my blogs. I’m not really sure how to crack this, especially since I’m not really the type to develop a cult of personality.

I won’t single-out which blogs seem to both respect the credits and drive traffic my way – mainly because I’m afraid I’ll forget someone, but I will say that Lensblr and Wyoh have always been very, very kind to my work.

The lack of credit/attention for me doesn’t irk me nearly as much as the lack of credits for the person in the photo. When rebloggers don’t strip out the entire credit/caption, they tend to just leave a link back to me, which is worse, in my opinion. That particular photo wouldn’t have happened without that particular collaborator. I consider the person in front of the camera just as, if not more important, than the person behind it and in some cases, the models put themselves at great physical risk to achieve the photo.

What’s truly never made sense to me about those who strip credits, though, is this: I depend on those links for potential collaborators to find me; if you liked the work enough to reblog it, why, then, make it harder for me to make new photos?