There has been a trend over the past several years to almost “worship” certain photographers in our industry, or at least treat them like royalty. I really don’t understand this mentality. I have gone to WPPI for the past 4 years and I have witnessed this first hand, one of the big winners of the print competition walks around with his medal’s around his neck like he is some great Olympic athlete, another looks like an 80’s glam rocker decked out in leather from head to toe. Maybe this is where we got the term “Rockstar Photographer”?
Photographers are not meant to be worshipped, as much as I would love to say the opposite, I am not a god and neither is any other photographer. You can admire a photographer’s work, dig them as a person but we are all just the same and like with anything else in life some are better than others.
Everyone still gets dressed in the morning and everyone still eats and poops. But these certain people put on elaborate workshops to show you how to be exactly like them….. by purchasing their software. Yep, it’s just a sales tactic, like everything else in big business, I personally believe that there is a lot of fraud going on these days. Is fraud too strong of a word? No, I don’t think so. The same little clique of people win the awards, some are related to each other, some photograph family members of those involved and end up winning, but it’s all fair and the judges are blind right?
Think about this, there were over 16,000 attendees at WPPI last year and this year they are expecting more. Yet the same small group of people keep winning. With so many people out there who are now photographers you would think that there would be so many more new winners every year who are pushing the boundaries of photography wouldn’t you? Apparently not.
Of course you can always spend $16,500.00 on a one-on-one session with a rockstar photographer LMAO!!!!
I guess I just have a problem with the narcissism of these workshops, and this comes from an admitted narcissist! Learn how to be just like me for only $XX,XXX. Personally, I’d rather teach you how to be you rather than tell you how to be like me, there is only one me and your value will only go up when there is only one of you, not you and a thousand clones of you.
Go ahead, be inspired, follow photographers who have amazing work, learn from them, take what knowledge you can, but never, I mean NEVER lose site of who you are. Don’t be like everyone else, stand out from the crowd and be who you are. Believe it or not, you do have your own vision, you just have to find it for yourself.