I have been battling with myself over the last week, trying desperately to get down in words how I feel that wouldn’t anger anyone. The fact of the matter is, this is going to anger some and I am sorry if it does but I truly believe that these things need to be said. Maybe these words will actually sink in for once.
First, photography is very competitive. DSLR’s are so cheap now, that it seems like everyone owns one. That’s great! Get one if you can afford it but don’t for one second think that you can start a business the next day! I have been working my butt off for the last six years on not only the business aspect of this endeavor but the learning aspect. I carry my manual around with me, I read it daily, I take classes and workshops and do everything else I can to better myself. That being said, there was no business for the first three years! I did nothing but work, learn and shoot. Once I started the business aspect, you can bet I went legit! I may not charge a lot (according to some) but I can tell you that while I do not make much, I make sure that all of my expenses are covered…like oh paying taxes and things like that. This is not a get rich quick scheme like many seem to think, but rather I have to scrimp every last bit of my earnings to help my family get by.
Some would just say, up your prices! I don’t feel like my work is good enough for me to up my prices, not to mention the economic state this area is in. I don’t think I could get away with it even if I wanted to! So this topic here brings me to something else entirely!
So many photographers are hypocrites. Yes, I said it! I have seen SO much bullying going on in the industry and it makes us all look horrible. You can simply say yes I am going to participate in the Be Nice Campaign but in reality turn around and beat someone else down for something they did wrong in your eyes. I know three personally that did just that and all i can do is hang my head in shame for them as I know none of them even realize that what they did was bullying and bashing someone’s soul into the ground. It’s time to put the professional panties on here people, take a deep breath and suck it up!
It is NOT cool to tell someone they are undercutting the rest of the photographers in the industry just to bring in more clients! If you don’t know the photographer personally, or their situation, you have no business telling them how to run their business. Maybe, like I said, it’s an economic thing that keeps them from raising their prices. Maybe they don’t feel their work is worth that amount of money! I know I certainly fit into both of those categories but mainly that last one!
It is definitely NOT cool to tell another photographer they are talentless because you are jealous of their work, feel they are competition or whatever else might be bugging you about that person and/or their work! How would you feel if someone turned around and told you the same thing? I know it put a hole in my heart and for that split second I doubted myself and my work and thought, “Wow…that’s the second time I have been told that. Maybe I do need to put my camera down.” I then go back and look at my most recent work and realize “I got this!” But the negativity had done its damage; it’s left me feeling vulnerable and insecure. It will always remain.
As an industry full of amazing talent, we need to come together and help each other out. And those of us getting the help need to be gracious about it and accept it and not jump to the defensive end of things.
I leave you with this little tidbit…
You can take everything I have
You can break everything I am
Like I’m made of glass
Like I’m made of paper
Go on and try to tear me down
I will be rising from the ground
Like a skyscraper
Like a skyscraper
Skyscraper by Demi Lovato