Marie Montibert

Trust Myself

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It's Time To Trust Myself.

After a very complicated end of year physically and emotionally, I am rebuilding myself step by step. And it is clear that it is not easy.

The most difficult thing is the consistency. To have to be everywhere all the time at the best of what we can give. Networks don’t help. They always push us a little more in our tracks. Questioning yourself, comparing yourself, taking stock and seeing that everything is not going the way you would like it to is a source of stress and worry.

I took some time to think about this. To analyze. To understand. To deconstruct and take some distance. I also understood a lot of things. I didn’t realize it right away, but eventually I did. Mentalities and habits changed. Very quickly. Maybe not in the way I like, but that’s how it is.

The superficiality, the hypocrisy, this need to consume more and more without worrying about the impact our actions have on life, on people. I am a photographer and I have become a simple consumer product. But I am not marketing enough… I don’t want to fit into these codes that Instagram’s algorithm imposes.I don’t want to wiggle around to sell myself. I don’t sell that.

I sell photos, a relationship with my clients who sometimes become friends. I sell attention and kindness, not buzz. Yes I would like to be on top of what the networks offer but I don’t see myself doing what it takes. So I have to find myself. Find my way to communicate in this. The one that will appeal to people who share my values.

INTEGRITY. WELFARE. SHARING. And the LOVE OF PHOTO.
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It's Time To Trust Myself.

I told you a little earlier that mentalities had changed. Hypocrisy, interest, superficiality. Do you know how many people in my circle have turned around to win free sessions? And if I asked for a small compensation, during a second or third photo session, I talk about it at the beginning to help me to buy better material, they told me that finally they were not interested anymore and went to make their photos at someone else’s (that they paid obviously…). Can you imagine what it feels like when these people call themselves friends? The bottom line is that I learned very quickly to protect myself from this kind of people that I call “freeloaders”.

And then there are those who are there, close to you, for years and enjoy your patience, availability and listening. “You are a golden friend.” And when the road turns, they too turn their coat. “You are toxic”. Obviously the sense of care and attention has changed. Some people have to be okay. There are some of us who refuse to have people around us who are not doing well and who do what they say when they say it. These are often your closest friends and the ones who touch you the most.

It's Time To Trust Myself.

And then there is the happiness of the networks. And those virtual friends. They subscribe and you subscribe. Why do you do this? Don’t you know? Just because you have to… Because you have to give back. Is this how we act in real life? Collect as many “friends” as possible in order to receive just as many? Is that how you get people to like you?

And then you have to offer time to all these people who are there, your so-called friends, you have to know them, appreciate them, caress them so that they stay because don’t forget, they change their minds like shirts. Is it possible to appreciate 900 people? 2000 people? To be honest I have a doubt, first because a study proves that no human is able to manage more than 34 close friends at the same time and I have a little story to tell you: “A few weeks ago I was looking to change my habits, to change my community manager because the last one sold me some smoke and mirrors. So I contacted and talked to some community managers and Instagram coaches… Best joke of my life. Either they exchange with so many people that if you go from commenting under their post to a private message (keep some modesty please), they’ve gone around their jar and forgotten about our conversation. Result: they reply to you 2 weeks later and you look like an upstart who wants a freebie… where they explain that you have to do it their way or else you’re a loser and don’t understand life on Instagram. Thank you for the integrity and individuality of each one. Even they are fake. Most conform to the latest Instagram rules, ride the wave before it breaks and they fall off their pedestal “I have 5000 new followers in 1 month, you want the recipe? ” … The recipe is to get into the mold, forget who you are and what makes you you and you’ll see everything will be fine… I was told this explicitly…

It's Time To Trust Myself.

But because of that, I realized that they themselves don’t know who they are. That the very people who teach you to be yourself and do what you want to do are the opposite of who they are. I realized that I don’t want to be in a mold. That I’m not comfortable in this mold of trends dancing to music (that doesn’t mean that I won’t show in front of the camera and that I wouldn’t want to do it once in a while, but if I do it it’s because I would have wanted to). And that in the end, this fashion like all the others, will pass. And that some people must be laughing somewhere when they think that this new fashion has brought millions of people to wiggle in the void to make words and sentences appear… Including me haha…

It's Time To Trust Myself.

I also realized something else but just the day before yesterday… in the space of a year I get half as many likes on my posts. Blame it on my absence and the irrevocable sanction of Instagram…. You are thrown into the dungeons of the opera… You couldn’t manage your business because you went through a hard time, you go to great lengths to get back to the surface and the only thing you find is disdain and oblivion… Thank you Instagram… I am touched by your mercy. And as a result for weeks now, I’ve lost esteem for my work…. No more likes = bad work. Except let’s put things in their place…. There are too many non-human parameters in an algorithm to take into consideration whether it likes my photos or not. No but, I almost thought Instagram could like art… lol. Once that was taken into consideration….

It's Time To Trust Myself.

In this day and age when we consume more than we should, I myself have become a consumer product. I myself have become for sale. I estimated myself according to the market, rigged moreover, during months. See years. I tortured myself telling myself that I had to do this and that even if my heart wasn’t in it… The heart has its reasons, that the reason ignores …. Sorry, I’m going astray… Finally the reason and the heart aligned… and decided to send the Instagram impositions packing. That doesn’t mean I won’t do regular posts, no reels, no this or that, but it does mean that I will do because it’s in line with myself and what I feel like sharing. Yes, I want to have thousands of followers but only if behind it there are conversations and exchanges, people who ask me to photograph them, to redesign their website or their graphic identity. People who trust me. Yes Instagram remains a not insignificant showcase and that I’m not the most famous photographer in the world, so no I’m not going to abandon this platform either, I can’t afford it. And then thanks to Instagram I meet incredible talented people. And that is not to be taken away from it. If there could be a Tinder for the interests in our regions I would be the first user… But in any case, I take back my right to think and to create, I free myself from these dictates, I have enough in my everyday life not to let myself be abused by a social network that maybe tomorrow will not exist anymore, and especially…

It's Time To Trust Myself.

In movies and in life, we often see that the most popular people are the most to be pitied a few years later. Do you think it’s similar for Instagram queens?

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If you want to discuss with me about this letter you can write me through my contact form  or via social networks on my Instagram account  @mariemontibert . In any case, it is time to trust each other.

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