Sunday, 13 April 2014

Don't kill people, it's not nice

I just read a social media post that really annoyed me. I'm not going to share it or link it because of just be giving it more air. The author needs less air. It was written by a fairly well known Melbourne self proclaimed professional photographer.
His premise was that someone can go out and buy a DSLR take some photos of flowers and cats and call themselves a photographer. He was actually offended that people who do this think they're a photographer.
I take umbrage to that idea. Totally. The images shared absolutely mean they are a photographer. Maybe they're at the beginning of their journey or maybe they just like flowers and cats. You can't make that assumption.
I don't care what someone's subject is. The moment they pick up an image making device and start thinking about making an image then discover enough joy for themselves in that image it means they are a photographer. In time they find enough joy that they share. It's all about the joy. The experience. Even love of the process. Sharing is a grand part of the learning experience. Sharing doesn't mean look how good I am - it means I enjoyed making this image, I enjoy the result and I hope you enjoy it too.
Denigrating someone because they're photographing cats and flowers is complete bullshit. It's the same process, the same game of light, the same wonderful learning experience we go through with every image regardless of subject.
Maybe the individual who felt this way should think about where his joy of image making has gone before poking at others who may be at the tender beginnings of their journey when they're very unsure of their results and themselves. At this time they're possibly reaching out for support and encouragement to continue their journey. Slapping someone down for posting an image of their cat may end that person's journey. They may never share again.
Instead of crushing their spirit why not reach out to them. Learn about what they're trying to do. Mentor them. Grow their spirit.
I might also note that I've seen the person in question post images of cats and flowers too. About a year ago. I remember mentoring them and helping them on a photowalk. I didn't realise that I was unleashing a monster. It won't stop me with the next person who asks because everyone gets that chance.
Oh and here is a picture of a flower and a cat :)

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