Now that 2016 is in full gear, I’ve begun to think how to rebrand/rebuild what I’ve been doing professionally for over 30 years. As Joel Grimes put it, if you’re not producing self generated work at least once a week, you run the risk of falling into obscurity. So I’m pushing myself into areas photographically that I have not felt very comfortable with.
But I realize it’s necessary to grow even at this stage of my career in a profession I have loved in 1977 when I received my first camera.
So where’s the bone I have to pick I mention in the title of this post?
Here it is: I’ve had to face the ugly reality that the dump truck mentality that pervades our digital society today photographically has brought about a level of photographer that is not only lacking real world skills, but dragging the profession down to a level that I find frustrating and irritating.
I will say that although I do post my work on model resource sites like Model Mayhem and ISO Connection, I strive to keep my work professional and tasteful, something I can’t say for much of the work on either one of these sites.
Then you add to the mix a site I recently came across called Zivity which to me is more soft porn than true photographic creativity resource and it’s no wonder many potential models – both male and female, are deluded into believing they will be “discovered”.
Add to that the “creepers with a camera” and you have many less experienced models – female in particular – who are disillusioned/made to feel like a piece of meat for the false notion of “being discovered”.
This is my personal opinion: If you have to take your clothes off to show you are worthy – especially for photographers you have not built a rapport with, you have your priorities – and tbh, self respect – misplaced. There have always been and will continue to be those who are less than legit in the photographic profession, but I refuse to be one of them.
I have always felt that if I want to make a difference, I need to be an positive example – both personally and professionally.
It seems most photographers these days taint the waters with their lack of skills and overcompensating with how much photographic equipment they have – with no real sense of interpersonal relating skills with their subjects or in guiding those less experienced in posing, etc.
It’s a real pet peeve for me and as I sit here today typing this, I realized that as much as I love what I do, I resent those messing around in a way that diminishes the art, craft and profession for their own selfish interests. And it’s those who have made it even more difficult for shooters like myself who are maintaining a professional attitude for what we love to do.
There are days I wonder if I should just close my doors and do something else, but every time I consider it, I ask myself what else would I do? And the answer is, nothing else but a regular J.O.B that I would be miserable in. So I keep at it and try to be the change I want to see in the world, or in this instance, be the example of both professional and cordial/friendly as a visual creative.
There are days I feel like I’m banging my head on the proverbial brick wall due to the actions of other less than savory so called photographers out there.
But I refuse to give up.
I”m not saying all photographers are like this, but it sure seems there are quite a number of them.
My advice to all you wannabe’s – there are no shortcuts for being a true artist and at the same time, professional. Quit polluting the pool – in subject matter, business practices (pricing, etc) and in your finished product.
I’m off my soapbox now.