The world of photography is like any other world, where friendly discussion of techniques can turn into an outright brag-fest for the socially awkward. One of the greatest and most important things about the art world is that we all do things differently. Despite this simple (and happy) logic, many times we will find ourselves roped into a conversation or debate with one or more photographers and someone will decide that their way is the best. Now, granted there are many get-on-your-nerves things that fellow photographers can say, but these are my personal top five…
5. Never editing photos
Photo editing is a tool and has almost always accompanied photography as a way to enhance or alter a photo for various reasons.
Despite this, many unique individuals hold themselves to a self imposed higher standard by refusing to even acknowledge editing as part of photography. Is editing essential? No. Nor is it essential for a photo to remain un-edited in order to maintain its meaning and soul. Bragging about never editing your photos will result in most people shrugging you off, assuming you just don’t know how to edit to begin with.
4. Using Film
Most level headed artists view film and film photographers with respect. Using a more traditional medium often requires a different set of skills and film photography is no exception. When you’re with a group of mature individuals, the differences in medium are
acknowledged but soon bypassed in favor of examining the end results: the photos. Let me put it this way: You can paint with oil or water color but the painting will still either succeed or fail in appealing to the public, regardless of your chosen medium. Scoffing at digital photographers doesn’t put them in their place.
3. Your studio space
This one is short and simple. It’s not how much space you have, it’s what you do with it. A hack photographer could have warehouse amount of space and STILL produce absolute mediocrity.
2. Never accepting Trade Shoots
Bragging about never accepting trade shoots is one of the quickest ways to broadcast that you’ve lost your taste for the art of photography. Trade shoots are not just about everyone doing something for free, they are about artistic collaboration. When you proudly slam the door shut on the faces of those who could enhance your portfolio, you lose out on those important connections in favor of cold hard cash.
1. How expensive your equipment is
I don’t think I have ever asked what kind of camera someone uses, unless it’s in response to them asking me for help with their camera. Most people get it: It’s about results, not the equipment that got you there. I instantly tune out someone who starts bragging about how much their camera lens or lighting equipment costs. What photographer hasn’t been cornered by an overly aggressive fellow photo taker and interviewed about how much THEIR equipment is worth? It’s an embarrassing conversation to be suckered in to, so don’t do it. It’s a tasteless way to behave!
It goes without saying that in the world of art, we, at our best, are eccentric individuals and so clashes of beliefs and attitude will not only be frequent, they will also often be irritating. I wanted to keep this list short and simple. It’s also a good reminder to myself to not fall into these traps of distracting myself from my goals in favor of posturing in front of others. If you’re going to push your way through the crowd, do it so you can slap your work down on the table and have people look at it, not so you can hold your opinion or equipment up and demand that others acknowledge how amazing you are because of it.
Now that I’ve typed out my top five, what are yours? Have you experienced an attitude or argument that has just grated your nerves? Leave a comment and let me know!