Okay, so I had said that I was no longer going to rant about the photo industry, but I kind of have to today. I was on Facebook and saw a forum where someone was asking for advice about some photos they had taken, of course a bunch of photographers pop up and start offering their services to this person. Everything from workshops to lessons to whatever else they could think of to try to get this person to hire them to be a better photographer.
Here is the problem. These people should not be teaching anybody anything! Their work is mediocre at best and they think they are the top professionals in the field. I’ve talked with a few of them before, they really think they know what they’re doing but honestly their work tells a different story!
It just goes to show that social media can be used to build a name for a business but it doesn’t necessarily promote talent. I have been told by many people that I should have a much stronger following on Instagram and Twitter, but I just don’t care. I’m not going to post a ton of self promoting images on Instagram because I am not into it. Honestly, I photograph models a lot, now mostly for personal projects and some art stuff. If I had a following of 50,000 people it would most likely be 49,000 guys who just want to see half-naked models. They wouldn’t care about me or the art of it all. So why work so hard to entertain people who are not my customers? I don’t care about the attention, I’m arrogant enough to not need a thousand likes on a photo.
The other thing I found funny is that some of these photographers who were offering lessons and workshops don’t even do photography for a living! Not because they have a great job and happen to be a great photographer too. No, it is because they would not make a living as a full-time photographer. It is hard to do! I’ve been doing it for years and it is a real struggle to turn a profit! Every year gets harder and harder. But to them they have all of the answers. It is easy to have all of the answers when you have never had to face the tough questions.
Photographers are the new guitarists. In the 70’s everyone wanted to be a rock star. In the 80’s everyone wanted to be on MTV. In the 90’s everyone wanted to be Kurt Cobain. And now suddenly, everyone wants to be Terry Richardson, but claim not to want to be him, but want to be just like him.
Get a digital camera and a pretty girl to pose for you and suddenly you’re cool and hip! It doesn’t matter what the image looks like, she’s naked, you’re amazing! And if anyone tells you otherwise just look at all of those likes you have on Instagram. 1000 paid for likes can’t be wrong!
This is why I choose to do my own thing these days. Most of the industry is a joke to me, this may offend some of my friends but I really don’t care. I’m not claiming to be the best photographer in the world here, I just do what I do. I just laugh at those who think they know everything and have no clue that they have not even scratched the surface of what they should know!
I’m not a teacher, I am not a leader of this industry, I am just a guy who takes pictures of what he wants and how he sees the world. I’m not going to try to make money off of photographers and be a snake oil salesman. I am just me and will keep on trying to be the best me I can possibly be. And I will continue to support those who are leaders in this industry who actually have something amazing to offer. Everyone else can keep playing their games, keep their internet fame and keep pretending. Meanwhile, I will keep doing. 😉