SHOWING YOU THE DOOR
It’s weird. Sometimes people are brought into your life for a reason. Sometimes they are taken OUT for a reason. Feel free to comment on what you think!
Back a few years ago, I had a little incident that left me scarred for a long time. For a long time, I didn’t want to admit how bad it hurt. Then I decided it wasn’t worth me getting discouraged and it wasn’t something that I was going to let slow me down. I have never been one to let anyone get me down and despite how hurtful things were for a while, I finally came to a realization…what happens to me is mostly in my control. Well, maybe how I handle it.
A few things to mull over before continuing reading. I am an artist. Artists have to have thick skin and mine has gotten much thicker. At the time, yes, my skin was very thin. I also have known, since I was very small when my artistic abilities began, that you don’t say something about someone’s work unless you are asked. Especially if it is something like, “I don’t like it”.
I had posted pictures I had taken on social media and I never asked for opinions on the picture I had posted from this person or anyone associated with them. I guess that sometimes it just happens but it’s not something I personally do. Even if someone now asks me for critiquing, there is a professional way to handle it. The bad thing is, this person is a photographer themselves and someone in their family is heavily involved now in photography. Has their own business and everything.
Photographer to photographer opinions can be viewed sometimes as nothing other than jealousy or insecurity, unless the artist asks. I think there is a way to handle things. To offer comments that are anything other than “positive” is merely a jab for me.
So for a few tidbits…
“When you said you had thin skin, I didn’t realize I wasn’t allowed to comment unless it was a glowing praise of your work.”
“I consider constructive criticism nice.”
“… friends don’t want to see friends look foolish.”
“That is why I don’t comment on your pictures in a positive way. I don’t have anything nice to say. I’ve tried to be polite and tactful but obviously that isn’t working either.”
“…here’s the truth. With your attitude the way it is, I don’t think you have a chance of being a professional photographer. The market is over saturated with really technically advanced and creative people. I don’t see you as either right now. You may have a good eye, I don’t know.”
“almost every picture is out of focus, over or under exposed, has a huge shadow on the wall, or worse, just plain boring. You are totally arrogant and full of yourself.
“It’s obvious you can’t handle the truth of what 90% of others think about your photos.”
“You are attention seeking and enjoy playing the victim. You are so insecure that you need everyone around you to build you up. Why do you need positive comments from us to make you feel better about your pictures? We don’t care that you don’t comment on our pictures because we are secure with them.”
“Not everyone likes what _____NAME DELETED____ and I shoot. Not everyone likes HDR photos. And that’s ok. We don’t care about what other people think because we shoot for ourselves and for people who are into the same ____WORD DELETED____ as us. I’m not sure why you let anyone else’s opinion matter so much. I see all kinds of confidence and arrogant statements but acting this way shows your insecurities. You don’t want to accept constructive criticism but you’ll gladly take all empty compliments. Yeah, that’s the way to improve. Run with that theory and let me know how that works out for you. Everyone in the arts as a profession is used to getting constructive criticism and being told how to better themselves. You are too emotionally immature to handle that. You want to cry and feel picked on anytime someone says something other than just how awesome and fabulous you are. Also, the fact that your pictures aren’t great, your comments are even worse. All this stuff about how “I didn’t have to edit it!” Believe me, we can tell you didn’t edit it. If the exposure and colors were correct, maybe people would think that.”
There was much, much more. I was instructed on how my work had a green tint (indication of incorrect monitor color calibration) and was asked if I Photoshopped bubbles into a picture.
An update to where things are now? Well, needless to say, this was someone that I unfortunately had to “show the door” to. It pains me to lose any friend but really, this wasn’t a friend to begin with.
I have since grown to a size, in a matter of the last few months, that I would’ve never expected, based on the above scenario. Instead of letting someone else be the “determining factor” of my success, I am making my own creative backdrops that are one-of-a-kind, having sessions that I am having to try and squeeze in to get scheduled because things are booking, just growing to the size I would like to be. I was such a small person after this happened but in all actuality, sometimes things like this push a person to prove they ARE going to be successful. Has it been a rough road? Sure has. I will not pretend it has been easy.
I have a business license. I am legitimate. I became a member of the Virginia Professional Photographers Association in February this year. I am currently enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography. I offer gallery wraps from a professional printing lab. I am now working on having my prints judged in the SEPPA and VPPA competitions. I attend webinars. I get invitations to do things that were only in my dreams before. My dreams are coming true and I love every minute of it. It really makes me smile to know that I have accomplished things and will continue to do so, despite what anyone says.
This is not a “bragging” story. If you have gotten this far, you know that. It was made very clear to me that things were “standing in my way” and my vision was so foggy because of my own self-admiration. This is simply to illustrate what can happen to the tiny little guy starting out a business who wants to do nothing but have fun and share their talent with others. I was given talent, sure. Do I loathe in it every day? Nope but I thank God for it. Without it, I would be lifeless. So show those the door that are standing in your way and being detrimental to your future!