After I’ve met and talked to quite a few photographers, I’ve seen that there are a lot of things we do that, to me, annoy a fellow photographer. Some are innocent enough like ordering a light fixture, but others sit on the fence about it being illegal.
Talk about gear a lot
I’ll flip next time someone tries to talk to me. The only time this is allowed is when someone is not a photographer and wants to find a common thread. In any other circumstance, I couldn’t care less what light or camera you use. This is true for many photographers because most of us don’t read camera reviews and don’t find them interesting either. Just knowing the specs won’t make me a customer, and I don’t want to spend my time debating autofocus on a DSLR vs. a mirrorless camera. As long as it works, it’s good. Photography is about the art and the process, not the camera and lights you use. While gear is important, it doesn’t matter enough to be the main topic of discussions among photographers.
Compare customers and income
There is a tendency to run a gauging contest when it comes to clients and income. While it’s reasonable to be upfront about what everyone gets charged, it’s a bit unprofessional if not in bad tone to compare clients you’ve worked with to how much money you’ve made just to show off. Money is a discussion taboo that you probably shouldn’t break.
Having said that, my closest friends know how much I make. For example, if you happen to be a close friend of a photographer, you can monopolize prices and raise prices at the same time, which means both of you will earn more money and no one will lower or increase prices. This is fair game, but it should be done with people you trust to be on your side. Maybe steer clear of texting a random photographer and asking how much they cost.
But don’t be an annoying show that talks about its income and clients. Maybe just because the person you might be bragging about has promoted bigger brands and made more.
There is a percentage of professional photographers who shoot for a reason that has nothing to do with art. A while ago, I wrote an article on this topic, politely calling out paparazzi who take pictures with an ulterior motive behind them. While workplace romance is something we’re all used to, there should be a clear divide between what happens in the workplace and what happens in an off-set location. I’m not talking about people who met on set, I’m talking about people who use the power they have for the wrong reasons, or act creepy with their models. Once you get a creep, word spreads really fast.
The group is a professional environment, where you can’t be a creep. I’ve heard plenty of stories where middle-aged paparazzi “usually” behave inappropriately with models. Models usually don’t say anything because they’re scared, however, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
This not only damages the personal reputation of said photographer but the image of the photographer in general. Unnecessary sexual references aren’t the way to get a model to slim down, if anything, they’ll feel uncomfortable making the photos worse.
No credit on social
I don’t quite understand paparazzi who don’t tag their crew members on social media. I mean, just because the makeup artist didn’t click a button doesn’t mean it isn’t a vital part of the image. The same applies to the entire crew, including the debugger. While there is some debate about whether and how to add a debugger to a debugger, it is usually better to rely on the debugger than not.
You should not care what other people say. This is a good mantra to live by if you want to protect your mental health and, in general, if you want to be confident in your work. However, with this information, keep in mind that declining helpful comments will send you into a downward spiral. I don’t know why, and I apologize to people who find this sexist, but this is a “man” thing to do. It’s usually the male paparazzi who have inflated egos. Being able to listen to feedback, take certain things in, leave others out, and generally filter what you hear is an invaluable skill. It’s really sad to see so many photographers dismissing perfectly good reviews and as a result, not making progress.
This topic could be a separate article in itself, but in short, comments can come from anywhere. Your task is to be able to sort out the good from the bad. Sometimes I just can’t do it, and my ego gets the better of me. For example, there were a few times when the “trolls” in the comments said very reasonable things that improved my work. While I try not to take the things trolls say too seriously, it’s still worth reading and trying to see if what they have to say comes from a good place. People often mean good things but say it badly.
Asking about light setting time too much
I’m sure that no matter how much I try to tell people not to use light fixtures, they’ll still tell me to “set it up.” The truth is, there is no setting that I use. In fact, half the time I put the light on by the feel instead of the base. It’s more about the image I see in my head than the light setting. There are other times when I just want a “dim light” and honestly, I can care less if it’s done the “right way” so as long as the result is what I want, it works. So, don’t be the annoying one who is always looking for an easy way to light – learn to light instead. It’s good to be curious about one effect or another, but when you haven’t tried it yourself first. Chances are, you are able to do it your own way already.
What are some things you find annoying about other photographers? Let us know in the comments!