Photography pet peeves
Over the last handful of years working in photography, I’ve come across some industry behaviors that have gotten on my nerves and have officially become my pet peeves.
Don’t get me wrong I’ve been fortunate and always grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and made some solid friendships and connections. But there are times when I see people approach the business side of things inappropriately or they overstep certain boundaries without realizing it.
At the end of the day, we're operating as a creative business, so there’s a certain etiquette involved which is often forgotten.
I thought it would be cool to share my observations and pet peeves of what I’ve experienced in the industry so far.
Here are my 5 photography pet peeves I’ve experienced during my journey as a photographer.
People thinking there is a fast track way to success
Straight up, there is no short cut to success. Some might get there quicker, others might work for 15 years or longer before hitting ultimate success, but in the majority of cases success takes time. You need to continually work on your craft, build your portfolio and meet and network with people. Ultimately you need to be patient and work your butt off!
When people under-price themselves
I get it. When you are starting out you will normally charge less than someone who has been doing it for 5 years and that’s fine. It’s when times are getting tough and you start undercutting the value of your work is when it gets tricky.
Remember one thing, do your best to not under-price your work. By doing this shows that you bring value to the table and industry-wise you leave more of a positive impact. The more we under-value the work we produce the less serious others will take us, and therefore the harder it will be to make a living.
Working for likes and follows rather than for passion
Instagram is cool and an important tool, but don’t let the platform be the driving force behind your work. Instead let your passion dictate your work. One too many times I’ve seen creatives working for the likes and follows and that has always irked me, especially if it's the only reason why you are producing content . Although those likes and follows do matter to an extent at the business level, it’s not the be all and end all. Producing work because of your passion for it means the greater the longevity it has at the personal and business level.
Imitation of style and technique
Imitation of style is a bit of a touchy subject for some but this is actually very common in the early stages of someone’s creative journey and to be expected. People draw inspiration from other people’s work, the challenge here is how do you find your style and yourself within the work you produce.
Eventually you will have to find and produce work that means something to you, and not just be a replica of what someone else is doing. Challenge yourself, find your identity and niche as a photographer.
Asking another photographer for their client’s contact
Another touchy subject I’ve come across more than once is when people ask for my client’s contact information. There is a certain business etiquette to follow and asking for my client’s info does not fall into that space. I understand it’s a bit of a grey area for some, especially those with little business experience but tread carefully here.
Think about it for a second, would Nike ask Adidas about their customer’s data and request for their contact info? Hec no!