I’ve been enjoying life outside of the photography industry. I do have my photography clients that value my work, and I love working with them, but for the most part, I’m out of the photography “online world”. I still have my thoughts on business that I share in my Honest Articles, in order to try to help photographers see the truth out there regarding the industry, but I’m now living a different life than I did two or three years ago.
Photography is not my world. In fact, I don’t really need photography anymore like I did years ago. I do enjoy it when I do it, but I don’t have to fight the fight, competing and clawing my way through the mud. After being a full-time photographer for over 10 years, I can’t say I miss the full-time part…. I don’t. I do, however, enjoy working for my clients or photographing for myself as it happens.
This week, I dipped my feet back into the forums and newsfeed. What I saw shocked me. You see, nothing has really changed. Here’s what I saw (amongst many other things).
- Photographer #1 creates a video
whining aboutreprimanding other photographers for gossiping – not exactly sure about the point of it except maybe she was upset about being called middle aged?
- Photographer #2 creates sexualized images of little girls for shock value and then gets upset when people have opinions about it and spends her weekend deleting negative comments about the images (whew, that’s exhausting!).
You see….. here’s the thing….
Photographers need to be most concerned with what their CLIENTS think of them. Why is the focus not on the clients anymore? Isn’t that what matters – what puts money in the bank/food on the table?
You’d think that, right? But no…. that’s not it anymore. Photographers are so concerned with what other photographers think of them because they are selling to photographers now. It’s all about how many followers they can get and how many fans they can get that are photographers themselves, so that they can turn around and sell workshops, etc. to. If they find they are being gossiped about or someone doesn’t agree with them or approve of their work, they are so afraid that they are going to lose their cheese.
The gossiping is not going to change. The opinions on social media are not going to change. This is the internet world now. The more you try to fight that, the more of a target you become. That said, it is okay to not like someone’s work. It is okay to voice that you are not a fan of a specific picture. There is nothing wrong with that. I do, however, feel that a line is crossed when someone attacks someone else’s family, etc. over not liking that someone does not like a photographer’s work (yeah, that happens….quite an embarrassment to admit that adults do this)
So newbies out there… let me tell you a little secret. If you are following photographers who preoccupy themselves with what other photographers think of them or their work, most likely they are not taking actual clients but are focused on making money off of people just like you. Consider this when you are trying to achieve “the dream”…. the people who are selling you “the dream”, are not necessarily living “the dream” themselves…. cause they found they can make money off of YOU.
So taking a step back again…..
I have to say, it was a bit of a shock to see some of what I saw this week… realizing that nothing has changed was eye opening and an embarrassment to the word “photographer”. I’m not sure why I thought it would be different.
Folks, it’s only going to get weirder now that the “oldies” are fighting for that last bit of money they can squeeze out of this industry…..Weirder? You bet… more cut-throat, more one-upping, more shock value.
Yeah, well, it makes me look forward to my college homework tonight and makes me a lot more appreciative of my day job and where my future is going. It’s good to gain some perspective every now and then, and boy did I.
Friends, there is a great big world outside of photography, and it’s beautiful!