Even I can’t deny it: There is an undeniable appeal associated with being a photographer. Getting to be creative for work, setting your own hours, not having to submit to the 9 to 5 grind. It IS appealing. It’s not without its challenges, and you end up spending way more time in front of a computer screen than actually out there doing what you love, but even then it still seems…glamorous. Exciting, somehow. Like I said before, I really can’t deny it; I am a photographer and half of the reasons I decided to be one I just listed above.
I’m also definitely not the only one hopping on this camera-wielding bandwagon. It is the age of the professional photographer. You see photo websites and blogs popping up in all directions, everywhere you look. Here in Utah, for instance, the number of female photographers advertising themselves as wedding, portrait and lifestyle photographers is staggering and still increasing steadily. I’m not here to complain: After all, I'm one of them!
But what I’ve noticed is the environment among photographers seems very hostile. There is a rivalry among us – particularly among the female photographers I meet – that goes beyond friendly competition. For a while I thought it was just me being silly, feeling threatened and insecure by the other more established photographers in the area, but after a while I realized it wasn’t all in my head. It's actually true. Photographers can be mean!
I get it. We want to be successful. We don’t like the idea of competitors charging less for their work and taking all of our business away. I still find myself growing very irritated when I hear local photogs – at some of the workshops and gatherings I attend – speaking so poorly of other photographers. It is easy to bash those who charge too little, who over-edit their images, who don’t seem to really know what their doing yet.
And then I realized I was doing it too. I receive emails frequently from people asking advice on starting up a photography business and so many times I’ve felt disinclined to help them or answer their questions for fear of being copied. I felt threatened by simple questions because I thought my business would suffer.
Here is my wake up call to myself: I was being stupid.
Helping others figure out how to do what they love is not going to hurt my business. If anything, I think it will help! How could forming genuine friendships with other people who love what I love really hurt? Would having a community of photographers who lifted each other up, asked each other for advice, recommended each other’s services when they themselves weren’t available, etc;, really be that bad?
It sounds pretty dang awesome to me!
Photographers: BE NICE TO OTHER PHOTOGRAPHERS. There will always be people who know more than you and people who know less than you. There will be people who charge small fortunes and people who don’t charge hardly anything at all. Does it really matter? We all started somewhere and we’re all doing what we love.
If you are a photographer, local or not, I would really like to be friends with you! Please leave a comment here introducing yourself and feel free to include links to your websites, social media accounts, etc;. I will check out every single one and would love to stay in touch.
If you feel like following me on my photography adventures, you can find my info here: