Bigtimers, or self proclaimed “Professional Photographers” are popping up everywhere you look these days. They tend to be on every social media and photo sharing website you can find; always busy trying to promote workshops and print sales. For those that don’t know, I got my first DSLR in 2006, and got hooked on photography right away. I don’t claim to be a “professional photographer” by any means. I’m completely self taught, haven’t taken any workshops, and learned everything I know from books, the internet, and simple trial and error. I’m still learning, and feel like I will always be learning something new in regards to photography.
Along the way, I have asked for help on a few forums where the “professionals” hang out, but I rarely get any valuable information. It seems that these “professional photographers” tend to be very competitive, and secretive about technique, and processing. They are usually busy trying to sell workshops and such, and very rarely will they offer you any of their secrets for free on the forums. That’s just how it is, and it’s probably not going to change any time soon. I get quite a few e-mails with photography questions, and even though it may take me awhile, I always respond in some way or another. Even if it’s just to pass on a link to something helpful; that usually takes me less than 30 seconds, and unless it’s something very hard to find on the internet, I sometimes wonder why people don’t just google the topic themselves.
Bigtimers – The self proclaimed “Professional Photographers”
This brings me to the title of this post; BIGTIMERS. Bigtimers are a certain breed of self appointed professional photographers that really get on my nerves these days. They are not true professionals in their field by any means. They sell a few prints here and there, have a fancy website, offer workshops, and carry around the latest $1500 tripod. These parking lot shooters don’t get out much, because they are too busy working their real jobs that actually pay the bills. The photos they do make are usually from one of their recent workshops, where they should have been teaching something instead of photographing. They spend their free time looking for attention on photo sharing sites such as flickr, instead of participating in critique forums where they can actually improve their craft. Sites like flickr help them to build up their false egos, and they would much rather get a pat on the back by some beginners, than have their photos ripped apart by professionals that know what they are talking about.
What is the definition of a professional photographer? Anyone can be a self titled professional photographer, and charge you for workshops and processing techniques, but that doesn’t automatically qualify them to teach anything. A professional photographer is a photographer who earns 100% of his income from photography. This is the definition required for entrance into the Nikon and Canon factory support organizations for example. 95% of these bigtimers don’t fall into this definition at all. These people think that just because they offer workshops, or have been photographing for 10-20 years, it automatically qualifies them to label themselves as a “professional photographer”. It doesn’t matter if they have been taking the same boring, crappy photos for 20 years, they somehow think the time spent entitles them to be labeled a “professional”. The term “professional photographer” gets thrown around so much these days that it’s hard to even take it serious. The term alone, certainly doesn’t define the quality of the images coming from a lot of these folks.
Just because someone has been painting for 20 years, does not mean that they are a professional painter. If they haven’t improved greatly over that 20 year period, then maybe they haven’t studied the art well enough? Maybe they shouldn’t teach painting either. With that said, I do realize that there are some people that are very natural at certain art forms, and that surely gives them a head start, but don’t think that these folks don’t also work to fine tune their work. Photographers like Ansel Adams, and Galen Rowel were gifted for sure, but that alone is not what got them to the levels they reached; they were also constantly fine tuning their techniques, and visions.
Photography has really blown up over the last 5 years, and these days it’s easy for one to learn quickly with the advances of digital cameras. The competition is stiff, and the folks that are making a living with photography, are not doing it with mediocre images. There are plenty of novice, amateur photographers doing workshops these days. Most of these folks are not even qualified in my opinion. The reason they are selling workshops? Because it’s the easiest way for them to make money as a photographer. Most of them can’t sell or license prints, because their work just simply isn’t good enough. There are REAL professionals out there that have waaaaay better images for sale. They can’t pitch their work to a professional marketing director, because these marketing guys are trained, and they can easily spot these bigtimers coming from a mile away. Every once in awhile one of these bigtimers will get lucky and score a deal by pricing their images way lower than they should be, not even realizing the affect it has on all the REAL professionals out there trying to make a living. They don’t mind giving their work away for little to nothing, because 95% of them don’t depend on photography for their income anyway.
You may be asking yourself why I even care about these bigtimers, and why they get on my nerves so much. I don’t compete with them for business, and I’m not a professional photographer. I know the old saying, “fake it till you make it”, and that’s exactly what these folks are doing. I simply can’t stand their false egos, and arrogance, when I run into them on the internet, or in the real world.
They remind me of a teacher I had in college. He was teaching a somewhat advanced course on computer server security and firewalls; a topic that I had studied on my own for quite some time, and considered myself fairly knowledgeable. To make a long story short, he shouldn’t have been teaching the course, and I felt like I was getting ripped off. To make matters worse for himself, instead of admitting when he didn’t know something, he would try to talk his way out of it. More of a communications expert than a computer security expert. I spent the whole term embarrassing him in front of the class, and I’m pretty sure that he will never forget me.
I’m generally very friendly with people while out photographing, and it amazes me how many of these arrogant bigtimers that I run into all over the place. Some of them will barely respond to a friendly greeting. Some of them never stop talking about gear and how professional they are. Some of them are eager to give you their business cards, and talk about their upcoming workshops. I could easily call out a few bigtimers as examples, but they are easy enough to spot for yourselves. I’ve learned to mostly just ignore them altogether these days, unless I’m bored and feel like pushing their buttons for some free entertainment. I felt like ranting though, and this one has been brewing for quite some time, so there you have it. Thanks for making it through my random, unorganized thoughts…
Man I’m so with you. I see it every time I go to the Smoky Mt national park their are even those who drive around SUV with painted on their side that they are shooting for National Geographic……. but when you research National Geographic they can not be found or any work they ever published their…. But they have the equipment to proove it and thats what they wany you to notice. But also I noticed they dont have fun.
I rather go to some misterious backwood overlooked area and bring a couple of friends or flikr contacts and introduce them to the outdoors. Also nobody in his right mind would dare to shoot with just a 6 year old Pentax entry level DSLR and expect to be taken seriously by the top end “CANIKON” crowd. Would I like something more advanced ? Of course. But its not about the equipment.
Their is no denying I get a good ego boost when I get a lot of comments on my pictures but am I really great……I dont think so.
But I’m sure having fun after an 40 hour plus overtime on a factory floor.
I hope this all makes sense.
You hit the nail on the head with this article. I can think of maybe 2-3 other photographers aside from yourself who have been gracious enough to answer my questions and leave feedback on photos I have posted, and that’s about it – and I definitely appreciate hearing from those wonderful photographers who have been so kind. I have seen (on Flickr) too many photographers leave arrogant and condescending remarks regarding others’ questions, which is too bad since a little courtesy and honest feedback goes a long way. As you say, they are too busy with other more important stuff, I guess.
I have to agree with a great deal of what you’ve said. I have been a hardcore amateur photographer for 40 years (with a rather long hiatus for marriage and career) and came back to it when the instantaneous gratification of digital came along. I have attended a few workshops and have experienced exactly what you’re talking about. The egos in this “business” are huge, indeed! I think it’s a lot like performance arts – it’s about being seen and praised, and to some extent, that’s okay. I don’t think many artists produce work without some hope of recognition. But, if they’re real artists, they have nothing to few from sharing information about technique, because that’s not where their artistry resides.
By way of a tip, I will gladly promote at least one professional that I’ve found to be humble and very willing to share his knowledge, and that is Sean Bagshaw. Yes, he puts on workshops for compensation, but he’s also a full-time professional who really makes himself available and has no reservations about sharing his techniques. Another awesome resource is the material that Tony Kuyper provides, free, on his website – it constitutes one heck of a workshop and has, in the past few months, revolutionized by workstream.
I do love to receive encouraging comments on my work, but the most gratification comes when I believe I have produced something special. If no one else ever saw it, and I’m happy with it, that’s enough.
As for you, your work is the equal of any that I see on the net; keep it up!
Well written, and oh so true. As I’m only 25 and actually starting building a business, it bothers the hell out of me when I get the high nose from a 50-year-old “professional”. The kind of photographer that only judges someone by their gear, not by the quality photos they take. I mean, some of my better selling work I used a shoe for a tripod…because anyone truly trying to make a living off photography knows that every cent matters and buying the newest and shiniest isn’t necessary. This business is about blood, sweat, and a crap-ton of waiting for the shot. Not hanging out in a parking lot talking with people about your gear as the world passes you by.
I’m reminded of when National Geographic made all their photographers shoot an entire issue using entry-quality equipment…because they wanted to prove once and for all that equipment doesn’t mean a thing for taking good “professional” photos.
Really great post.
I heard Mary Ellen Mark speak a few months ago and she ever so mildly touched on a similar topic, stating that it is very easy these days to make a good photograph but it is still incredibly difficult to make a great photograph and very few great photographs are actually made. I do agree that some photographers out there confuse the difference between the two. Interesting rant, Jesse. I cannot wait to see what else you have up your sleeve. ;-p
I agree with much of what you said in this blog post. Certainly there are bigtimers who carry an ego as heavy as their camera bags and their bottom line is to make much more on selling to other photographers (workshops/edocs/dvd’s/etc.) than they do on the quality off their own image sales.
I wrestled with that same distaste for the ego-laden bigtimers. But you have to ask yourself where does your own distaste for these bigtimers come from? There are answers inside and it gets much more interesting when you shine the light on inside yourself when you are upset with those others.
Take care and your images are wonderful — love your work and vision.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. So true. It seems that anyone now a days can go buy a DSLR and call themselves a professional, pisses me off beyond belief.
Your work is truly amazing and I see this in every photo you take and I look foward to seeing more amazing pics.
Your rant really hit the nail on the head. I’d only argue one point-photographers now feel that they are qualified to teach workshops after only shooting for a couple of years, not 10-20!
DJ Schulte – Thanks for the feedback. I did mention where my distaste comes from towards the bottom of the post 🙂
Zeb – I had never heard of her. She has some good photographs, but in my humble opinion, I didn’t see any great photos during my short 5 minute visit through her portfolio. Same thing happened the other day while I was looking at the blue moon group on flickr 🙂 I have all sorts of rants; stay tuned…
Kevin – Yeah, I suppose I wasn’t so clear on that, and I agree with you.
Now Jesse, you really do need to calm down, if I had half your skills/talent I would not mind if some country-club jerk with a Hasselblad and a degree from the ‘international school of obnoxiousness’ followed me around and tried to steal my shots. Let whirling dervishes whirl. Just look at your incredible photographs and laugh ! Keep shooting, your shots are inspiring. The world has always been crazy!
Had to give this one more thought. I have had more experience with these type of photographers than you might realize, because as bad as you think Flickr might be, try working in a camera store! We get these guys through every now and then who have chips on their shoulders and need to prove how much smarter than you they are, or maybe it would be more accurate to say you become a target for their assumed knowledge. Generally my opinion is to just humor them, as you can rarely change their minds and really, why bother wasting the energy trying when you could put it towards your own photography?
As far as Mary Ellen, there are a couple great ones in her portfolio but also lots of really good photos, so they might be easy to miss. Truly great photos are a pretty rare commodity, I would not expect to see any in the Blue Moon group, though their are lots of really interesting photos. 😉
I would agree Jesse, and this is by no means limited to photography. When I worked at a golf course when I was younger, I would see people all the time who had really nice equipment, had all of the lingo, and would give the same general advice “You’re using too much right hand”. There was one golfer however who was extremely soft spoken, had been using the same equipment for 15 years and would regularly flirt with the course record.
I’m not a professional in the terms that 100% of my income comes from photography, but I’m working toward making that jump by the end of the year. It’s a tough business. My passion is landscape photography, but wedding/portraiture photography pays my bills.
I get bothered by people who have large followings, yet produce really sub-par photos, and there are many points that I agree with you on but I also agree with that golfer I know. He simply golfs, and doesn’t pay any mind to the “big timers”. I try to do the same, take photos, continue to learn, and apply my knowledge.
Wow. An intense rant, but to what end? Obviously, you are passionate about photography. Imagine if you had used the energy it took to write this, and used it instead to create another wonderful image…… : )
Hi Jesse, great blog, you were kind enough to answer a question for me when I joined Flicker a few weeks ago. For me, there is so much on the dicussion boards I had to single out some peoples work that really inspired me and one of those guys is you, your advice to me was a great one. Not only your pictures but your profile on taking photos is helping me try to get to the next level.
Its like when I played in a band, everyone thought they were the next Beatles…and sad to say they were not…Pauls bass (Hofner) was the cheapest bass you could buy in 1964 (88 dollars) and he didnt do too bad…. Thank you for your kindness….
Read this post several times, just to digest what was being said. I have been taking photographs since i was 12 years old, over 30 years. I am a photographer, and though i earn 100% of my icome from photography, and not even close to being a “professional” photographer. There is just so much still to learn and now in this digital age it has become more complicated because technology is always changing. I understand that equipment really doesnt make the picture, as you outlined in your previous post. But it does impact how the picture is taken and how its presented. I too have struggled with understanding facets of the technology i use, to improve my images. I wish it was all down to having a good eye, and the ability to pull “pictures” from where they dont exist for the average person.
I find that i rely on post processing for a lot of my images, mostly because i dont have the latest and greatest equipment, which means sometimes my initial image is lacking. I do post on flickr often and hover in some of the Yahoo groups, and get so frustrated when asking a question ..often not something difficult, and the responses i have received have on occasion made it seem like the person answering is saying “hey are you an idiot you cant figure this out”. We all learn and absorb information and skills at different rates, otherwise there would be no need for the so called “Professional workshops” and classes. So i would say in response to a post like that, please give us a break and show a little tolerance, if someone asks a question and use a little courtesy when responding.
I have followed your work for some time now.. you have an incredible talent, and are very inspiring to me. Perhaps if i am lucky i will achieve some little success in my part of the world. Best wishes.
This is a really well-written post, and I understand what you mean on several points. First though, I’d hate to think of myself as a bigtimer as per your perspective here. I love chatting with other photographers in the field, and more often than not, I’m likely the one that goes up and starts a conversation. I tend to not mention that I’m a pro, namely because I just like to keep things casual and friendly. Sometimes I meet other photographers who have that nose up in the air attitude ‘cuz they have all the best gear yada yada yada. Most of the time, when I later look at their work online I’m underwhelmed, but a few times they’ve had a superior collection of work. Maybe they see me as a pesky amateur. I know one web site where the Pro forum is filled with so much spite and vile on both sides, amateur and pro – I just stopped going there. There are some great places on the net to get honest critiques, but you need to be sure and ask for it. Most places are pat-on-the-back societies, and people will get offended if you try to offer some constructive criticism if it wasn’t specifically asked for.
Ryan – I like your story in regards to the golfer. I don’t rant all the time, but when I do take the time to do it, it’s usually something that has been brewing for some time.
GaryB – Thanks for the kind words, and I’m glad I was able to help…
Clive – Thanks for the comment; it really is just the false egos and arrogance of these folks that gets on my nerves…
Hi Gary C – Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I surely don’t put you in the bigtimer category, and have followed your work for quite some time. My rant is aimed at all the “fake it till you make it” amateur photographers out there that are setting up fancy websites, offering workshops, and calling themselves professionals. I don’t mind that part as much as all the false egos, and bigtimer attitudes that I find when I run into these folks. I do hangout on one of the critique forums from time to time, and it’s excellent for getting honest helpful feedback. I’m not aware of very many places on the net that have qualified individuals offering critiques though, and would love some info on that if you have the time to shoot me an e-mail.
That’s quite a rant! But I think you touched on the nature of the human race when you mentioned your teacher was more about communication than content. I do not believe that photographers have a corner on the “Big time” market.
To define a professional as someone who makes 100% of their income from photography is ridiculous. That leaves no room for income from interest on their savings accounts! I have seen a number of competitions where the definition is making more than 50% of your income from photography.
Is a person who sells $500 a year of prints, and holds down no other job, any more professional than someone who photographs weddings, gives classes, sells to magazines, and makes $20,000 a year from that, but also finds it necessary to hold down a part time table waiting job to makes ends meet?
I like to think that “professional” means that the approach to photography includes sales, marketing, contracts, accounting, and all that other stuff that takes us away from the things we like to do most; take photos.
And then there are people who are natural teachers, and others who just don’t have that in their blood. I think it is too much to ask that everyone be a teacher. It takes all kinds, and I feel that I am better off for accepting that not everyone is a good “people person”. There are often underlying reasons for this that we do not understand.
Anyway, that is my rant. It is often a good idea to put in writing how you feel. That usually brings up some good comments! You do some great work – keep it up, and enjoy it!
Alan – You have some good points, and I can agree with some of them. I didn’t make that definition, and I did state that the term “professional photographer” gets thrown around so much these days, that it’s hard to even take it serious. And, the title alone certainly doesn’t define the quality of the images. When it comes down to it, I don’t care about titles and all the ray ray, I just like great images. I hope you didn’t completely miss my point though. Thanks for stopping by…
True, true, true. You see those suckers everywhere you go, too.
If anyone is interested, I’m hosting a workshop next weekend at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Hahahaha, totally kidding. I’m also just a self taught completely amateur guy taking pictures because i find beauty in nature. I’ve asked for help before too from the ‘big-timers’ only to be met with the cold shoulder. Not quite sure why people are like that but it pisses me off to no end.
Not sure whom this other Alan is but I agree with a lot of his points.
People who are overly arrogant are also undoubtedly a nuisance. However, there are many benefits to taking workshop I think you’re overlooking. My teaching in photography is a virtual mirror image of what you describe for yourself, unless perhaps I picked up something by osmosis checking in print orders at my fathers camera shop when I was a teen (couldn’t stand photography then).
While not for everyone, if you think about it I’ll bet you could recognize some bene’s to workshops. I say this having never attended one; think of it as a guide service. Some people just won’t try something unless someone will hold their hand. Learning by observation works great for some folks. Take the Wipeout Zone for example… The first guy always gets knocked off the tilt-o-basher at least twice as the second dude will just cruze right through. What if you planned a trip somewhere you’ve never been and had limited time to capture some image you’ve been after. Why not hire someone who will take you where and when to be for the best light. What if it was a dangerous location? Might be nice to the assurance of someone with experience and know how in the environment. Last but not least, some might really enjoy the group atmosphere more than the learning itself.
All that being said, there is something that gets me torqued about workshops… Considering the growing popularity of them just look around and give a big thanks to the leaders who are contributing to the over use and eventual restricted use of our wonderful natural areas.
Oh, I got your point! Thanks for your response.
AH – It wasn’t so much about workshops, and I think you have gotten a little off track in regards what I was talking about. The workshop thing is for a different rant. I have done some traveling, and of course when you are out of your element, it can be very useful to hire someone to take you to the right places at the right time, but that’s more like a guide, than a workshop… Anyhow, thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for the stimulating thoughts. I often ponder some of these types of things as I wander the back-country enjoying nature and photography, but never seem to take the time to write them down.
I’m always amazed at how the digital revolution has dumped the world of photography on its head. The black and white line between professional and hobbyist has blurred to a long shade of gray. What surprises me is how many hobbyists aspire to be professional. I realize that the conventional wisdom is to make your living doing what you love, but turning your passion into a job is a great way to kill that love. I suppose I’m opinionated in that regard, because I try very hard to not make photography a job. (Try to order a print or sign up for a workshop on my website 😉 .)
When it comes to big egos and postured professionals, I tend to follow the advice you’ll often see on homebrew forums, RDWHHB (Relax, don’t worry, have a homebrew.) In the end the chips usually fall where they are supposed to, and people are usually exposed for what they are.
On the other hand, and where I do join you in your rant, I get frustrated when photographers try and elevate themselves by secrets. Many photographers are able to produce the photos they do because others have shared locations and techniques with them. To then be unwilling to help others is quite the paradox in my mind. Even those of us who are “self-taught,” and I define myself that way, have typically gained a huge amount from what other people have shared in books, forums, websites, etc. I greatly respect photographers whose stature comes from skill, not from info they are unwilling to share.
I’ll add to what the others have said, keep up the good work. I really enjoy your blog (I’m jealous of your travels), and keep a feed of your Flickr posts on my aggregator to enjoy your photos. Awesome stuff. Hopefully we can get out into the field together again sometime.
p.s.- I would appreciate it if you would ask my permission before posting a photo of me in your blog, especially when you caught me smoking.
Hi John – Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts here. I agree with you about turning photography into a job, and that’s also why I haven’t pushed into that arena myself; I believe it would take a lot of the fun away from what I love to do right now. Yes, a lot of these bigtimers are very secretive about locations and techniques. It seems it’s getting more and more competitive out there in this regard. I would love to get out there with you again, and I remember you talking about a cool place up on Lolo pass that you had in mind for winter. Let me know if you want to try that this year…
Sorry about posting your self portrait on my blog, I will ask next time 🙂
Great blog post. You really hit the nail on the head with this one. In a fact a lot of what you say in the article is exactly what I have been feeling for many years. As you know I do make 100% of my income from photography. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t feel the pressure from this gig called photography. What I mean by pressure is that if I don’t sell my work I can’t pay my bills, feed my family, etc… This pressure is elevated when I see so many “so called pros” out there running around the country shooting and then selling photographic prints at ridiculously low prices under cutting the people like my self that are trying to feed/house their families. Then they go back to regular weekly job, earn their normal paycheck so they buy the latest/greatest gear so they can rub it in to all of us working pros that have been using the same camera for the last five to ten years.
The same goes with workshops. There isn’t a photographer that I know of that isn’t doing workshops. I know there are some people out there that do the research, buy the necessary permits for workshops in national parks, take a required CPR class, book hotels for their clients and charge appropriate prices for a workshop. Then there are others that water down the process with low ball pricing and not doing any research to benefit themselves and more importantly their paying clients. These are the people in my opinion that are destroying what it means to be a working pro.
I know that I have ranted on to much, but it feels great to get this off my chest.
I’m not even close to your skill level, but I really enjoyed your rant. I’m 22 now and since I’ve picked up a camera, one of the most difficult things for me has been trying to get strong feedback, good or bad. Flickr was my first stop that was a joke, I’ve recently came across 500px (where I found your work) and it seems to be a good improvement, a decent sense of community but still no real help.
-Just a fellow self taught photographer with some rants of his own.
Very well written Jesse! Being a young photographer that looks up to a lot of other photogs, I see this syndrome all the time. I’ve always shot with the bare minimum gear I need and keep it simple so it can be intimidating when someone sets up near a location your shooting with their mega-tripod and crazy gear and attitude along with it.
Thanks for stopping by Khristian! I have seen your work and watched you progress over the last couple of years. You really have some great images, and are a very talented young photographer for sure. Keep up the great work!
A bit late in reading this compared to when you posted, but I found it nevertheless and was glad to have read it, as I too have struggled with internal rants (that occassionally spill out when it gets too much) about the same issues, mostly related to the bigtimers running workshops, who’s only comments on an image on sites like flickr end up being “Ohh where is that??” followed by a “favorite” and a week later a posting of their own from the same spot. Drives me up the wall sometimes, so much so that I actually privatized my entire photostream at one point (blocking every big shot that had listed me as a “friend” or “contact” who I’d never even heard more than a peep of actual conversation from). I actually had one of them go so far as to favorite a shot that I’d made public and email another photog who I shoot with to ask if she knew where I had taken the shot because he wanted to get out there immediately. I guess what bothered me the most about the concept was that this wasn’t about exchanging anything or offering up critique one way or the other, this persons sole reason for interacting with my stream was to compstomp me and pretend he’d found the location himself. Big surprise this is one of the same bigtime “professionals” who leads workshops to every place you see overshot these days. Upon telling some of my fellow flickr friends (those who I had actually met and shot with and talked to one on one) they were shocked that I had blocked some of those individuals, and my thought was “why? they aren’t providing anything useful, and interacting with them in any way is just pissing me off, which is not where I want to be”.
One other story that I thought you’d appreciate, I attended a presentation by a “professional” bird photographer who has shot many amazing photos of various birds, but who’s big “claim to fame” basically was replicating down to the time of day, number of birds, type of birds, body of water, amount of mist and exposure of shot, of another photographer who’s shot he so admired that he had to have his own to sell. He stands up in front of us and tells us all how he triumphed over all these variables to get this shot and called it “pre-visualization” and all I could think was, “no, you didn’t pre-visualize anything, you saw something and you figured out how to copy it, yes you spent a lot of time to do so, but you didn’t create that image any more than somebody tracing over somebody elses’ drawing did”. It totally blew my mind to this day that 1) Anybody would actually WANT to do that, and 2) he is not alone in that effort, and a lot of these bigtime photographers spend all their time chasing other peoples shots and then telling everybody they started it. I’ve seen amazing locations absolutely KILLED by this effect, so much so that if I see another shot of “Thor’s Well” I might just lose it. I actually started making a list of places NOT to visit its gotten so bad in some locations.
Anyway, that’s my 2 cent addition, again, I really enjoyed reading your rant as I could relate a lot and it was nice to see the attitude is not mine alone. Keep up the great work, you’ve done some really amazing work especially this last year visiting some amazing locations and portraying them in a way that creates a story, which are my favorite types of images. Keep it up man!
Hi Orion. Thanks for stopping in!
Since I can read between the lines here after asking Dene Miles about the general area of one of your shots (just out of curiosity) I am curious why you didn’t contact me directly if you were so worried about it. I only asked her because I knew that she knew you, had been out shooting with you lately and I happened to talk to her the day I saw your image. It was a great shot, but if you think I was trying to, or would ever NEED to compstomp you to create great images you have lost your mind. Next time I make you mad because of your own insecurity, feel free to contact me directly.
Love your images. I am from the Prairies of Canada, so having oceans, rain forests and mountains to shoot on a routine basis is forgein to me which is one reason I enjoy landscape photography. Good images can help you understand and feel the moment the shot was taken.
My question related to the (off?)topic at hand is why does the Pacific Northwest generate so much photog on photog hatred as in the posters above? I would think in an area with bountiful natural beauty there should be no shortage of new vistas to discover. Is it just because the market for photo tours and workshops is so large ($$$) there? It seems that whenever I come across people ripping on a landscape photographer, it leads back to the PNW.
Anyways, keep up the travels and good work.
Hi Kevin – Thanks for the kind words, and I guess I do take my location for granted from time to time. We really have some great things to photograph around here. In regards to your question, I’m not sure what to say. I think it has a lot to do with the repetitive photos made over and over. Someone finds a great spot, photographs it, and then 100 others go and set their tripods in the same exact spot down to the same cluster of flowers sometimes. There are a lot of photographers here in the Pacific Northwest, but very little individual creativity going on for sure. I guess people think they need to be competitive and really just lose the whole sense of being out there and photographing. They are more concerned with rushing home and posting their “version” of the latest spot on flickr, 1x, 500px, 72px, or whatever so they can get a bunch of comments and feel good about it. Instead, they should just work on their craft, and maybe find their own spots once in awhile.
Take care Kevin!
I started writing this whole big Thing. And realized that I was saying the same thing as you were. I came up with a line that I have used and liked though.. ” I will teach you how to use a camera, but the photography is up to you”.
Keep up the great work!
Heya Kenny, that’s a good line. Thanks for stopping in…