Let me begin this piece by saying that I greatly appreciate all the photos that hikers send me. Especially when I’m abroad it’s nice to see the familiar sights of our beloved mountains back home. However, I also ask you to bear with me: given that I receive around 50 photos every day, I can only post a limited number of them. To be honest, it is when I have nothing to do (like when I’m riding a train) that I look at these photos and post some of them. My Facebook page is still largely a personal account. Someday I can appoint someone to manage my social media but then it will lose the authenticity, so for now, I hope you understand if you get “seenzoned” i.e. I don’t get to reply to your messages.
Here are some tips for people who want to get their photos shared in my Facebook page and I think this also applies to other websites and pages:
First, go for uniqueness. Everyday I get photos of Pulag, Pico de Loro and Maculot, and I’ve also climbed these mountains many times so I’m not likely to post them unless they’re exceptionally beautiful. What may be a new mountain for you may not be new for the mountaineering community. What may be a new and dramatic pose for you is a pose that’s been done by many others (and I also don’t encourage poses that look too dangerous). Importantly, we want to #SpreadTheImpact and encourage others to pursue other destinations so I’m not likely to post pictures of popular mountains like Pulag, Ulap, Batulao, Hapunang Banoi.
However, there are other ways to be unique: If it’s a 100-year old man who climbs Maculot that’s something unique and I can still feature it.
Second, go for the overlooked aspects of hiking. Pictures of trails, wildlife, a nice shot of someone cooking, photos of guides – these are all part of the experience. Hiking is not just about the summit. It’s about emotions – unguarded moments of triumph, of fear, of excitement, anxiety, boredom (while waiting for the jeepney), and laughter (when someone makes a joke).Third, posing before the camera is nice, but action shots are better. For our personal pages, we all want our faces highlighted, but if your aim is to show the mountains – not yourself – sometimes you will have to be part of the background. Smiling in front of camera is nice, but it is the unguarded moments of joy amid the breathtaking sights that’s really captivating.
Fourth, the resolution of your photos should be good enough. What may look good in mobile phones may look pixelated or blurry in desktops, and you should keep this in mind as well. For PM Facebook, a dimension of at least 960 x 640 is good enough; at least 1200 x 900 is better.
Finally, don’t over-edit your photos. Personally, I think it’s fine to adjust the basic settings and resize them, but sometimes editing your photos and adding filters can make it look unrealistic. Don’t make the view more than how you saw it. The mountains are like Liza Soberano: they are beautiful even without make-up.
Photo courtesy of Novemark Alozo in Mt. Apo.