I had a really UPSETTING lunch with a fellow photographer Friday. This particular photographer was a friend of my dad from when he had The Photo Place, the lab I worked at throughout college. She's a very sweet lady with a great sense of humor. However, she hasn't fully made the jump to digital.
About a month ago she emailed me, told me who she was (she didn't realize I was me) and asked if I had any advice for her. Now, for those of you who read my blog daily, you know I'm CRAZY BUSY; however, I invited her to lunch to talk about her questions and concerns. That's not breaking news, I have plenty of these every month.
During our lunch, she explained that she had tried to approach a couple photographers who had recently led a "Shoot-out" she attended. These two photographers (I know both of them - they're both within 2 hours of my house) encouraged the attendees to ask follow up questions in the coming weeks if they came up. Unfortunately, when she tried to follow up with these photographers she didn't receive help. Because I know these photographers, and know that they have benefited from others, it really disappoints me that they were not willing to share when it didn't benefit themselves. In my opinion, they just wanted to be "famous" when they led the shoot-out, and didn't want the responsibility that comes with being a leader.
Photographers... are you afraid that you're "training competition"? I don't get this... I only take on 25 weddings a year; there are plenty of weddings for everybody. Instead of the cold shoulder, I would rather make friends and create a referral system between photographers. Besides, it just feels good to help. Do you not enjoy helping people?
Lastly, here's my warning: if you don't change your frame of mind, two things are going to happen to you: 1) everyone is going to think you're an ass. Assuredly, you don't want this. Wouldn't you rather be respected? and 2) everybody else is going to build each other up with support and referrals, and when you want help, you won't find it. So, stop being jerks.
Sorry that I had to waste a day of blogging on this matter, but hopefully it will create some change and do some good.
As always, if you're a photographer and need help, feel free to contact me!
Talk to you soon,
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