Something has been bothering me for a while.
At first, it was just a nagging little bothersome thing. I could put it away and not even think about it—until it hit me in the face again a few days, weeks, or months later.
Each time that I was “exposed” to this bothersome thing, it grew. It grew from a minor annoyance, to a bigger annoyance, to a major annoyance. Now, it has become a thorn in my side. A perpetual thorn, that in order to get rid of I MUST pull out. I can’t just let it sit there and get infected anymore. So, the way I know best to just yank it out is to write about it, to share it, to explain it. Maybe then, I will understand it. Maybe you can give me insight into it. Maybe I will just feel better for venting.
I am a photographer.
Yes, thats right, I am a photographer.
I call myself a professional photographer.
Now, how will you judge me????
Being a professional photographer, I like to surround myself with other photographers. In this day and age, its very easy to do that. There are blogs, facebook, twitter, and a numerous other amount of social networking sites that allow me to look at others work, see their ideas, hear their stories. Is it because I want to steal from them? No….its because I want to LEARN from them. be INSPIRED by them. Every time one of you clicks “like” on my blog or leaves a comment….I go to your site. I pour over the pictures. Some I love, some I just like. Not because of your lack of talent or your greatness of talent—-a lot of it is personal preference in art. But I am so thankful I have this medium to learn from you all. To see HOW you manipulated light, HOW you composed, WHAT you saw. Its all truly inspiring to me.
And this leads me to my point.
Guess what??? You were a beginner once. I was a beginner once. There will be thousands of people that are beginners after us. Did you have someone who inspired you? Did you have someone who judged you?
The first time you picked up your camera, you may have gotten one or two good images out of 100. A year later, it might have been 20-30. The year after that, maybe 50-60. Thats the learning curve. We have all experienced it.
Although I have been obsessed with taking pictures for 18 years, I have been a “professional photographer” for 2.5 years now. I have a LONG way to go to hit the level of talent of someone who has been doing it for 15 years. But guess what? Someone who has been doing it for 15 years has a LONG way to go before they hit the talent level of someone with 30 years under their belt. Some of it is a gift…a talent…..a lot of it is knowledge. Its a combination which, through time, training, and experience gets more and more fantastic.
So why…..WHY….do I constantly see posts by photographers who have been doing this for 10 or so years SLAMMING the new people? Guys……don’t you remember when that was you?????? Don’t you remember when you started with a Canon Rebel or even a point and shoot? My first camera was a Rebel, and while I have been fortunate enough to upgrade, it taught me many things and was a great camera to learn on.
Don’t you want to inspire? Why do you want to hurt? Does it make you feel better about yourself? Is it a competition? I just don’t understand.
This isnt something I have seen here on any of your blogs. I am also not referring to ‘constructive criticism’ that we all, as artists, can benefit from. What I am referring to are usually : “And THEY call themselves a PHOTOGRAPHER” articles posted on Facebook or Twitter by other photogs I am linked up with. Things stating how TRUE this article is, and how EVERYONE should read this, and how if you have a Canon Rebel you are NOT a real photographer. I would link you to these articles, but I don’t feel like embarrassing anyone today, and to me—these are an embarrassment. These articles make me cringe. Hmmmm. Are they referring to me? To the new guy? Or to anyone they don’t view as good as them. Some of these people posting this stuff need a serious check of their ego, because while they may be good….. they certainly aren’t the best thing since sliced bread.
My favorite photographer in the town I live in has been in the business for 30 years. They are outstanding at what they do. They make a great income, and are not at a lack of clients. They are well known and well respected. Do you know what else they do? They offer classes, workshops, training sessions, and other forms of learning mediums to new photographers. GASP!!!! They are sharing their knowledge!!!! They are helping the people who WANT to be professional photogs, or are new professional photogs, get BETTER. They are inspiring others!!!!!!!!!
I wish everyone was like this.
So this is my small, little challenge to you. If you call yourself a photographer; regardless of amateur, professional, or hobbyist….. the next time you have the opportunity, please help someone who is learning. You would be surprised how that little act of kindness could change someones perspective forever. 🙂 Come on, it’ll make you feel good…. 🙂
Posted on September 3, 2011, in family photographer, photography, Uncategorized and tagged Child photographer, child photography, Erie PA photographer, family photographer, PA photographer, photography, portraits, postaday2011, postaweek2011, urban photography, wedding photography. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.