why ya' gotta' be so mean?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

first getting started in the photog biz,
a hobby i just happened to get paid for,
and now has gone further than i could've imagined, 
and only CONTINUES to grow. . .well,
magical, for me.  
(p.s.  that's my favorite word.  well, besides, 'mommy,' 'wonderful' & 'absolutely'.) 
the point i was going to make. . .was that starting off,
a deer in headlights, uneducated, wingin' it, with little photog knowledge,
just a deeply-rooted passion for this art & capturing the most intimate of moments
of REAL people, being real,
well, i sought out help.  the help of fellow photographers, amazing artists i figured would & could take a minute or two to steer me in the right direction.
when i NEED help, i ask for it.
much to my dismay, i got nothin'.
(yes, i'm randomly displaying photos from a recent session.  aren't these two just GORG!!!)
calls went unreturned, emails unresponded to. . .i felt like a lost puppy looking for someone to toss me a bone.  
oh my gosh, i suck.  i'm awful.  they don't want to associate with me.  i'm beyond help.  maybe i need to go back to school?  that's what i thought.  no one wants to help me.
THANKFULLY i've had my dad, who grew up my grandfather's son. . .my grandfather Forest, a professional photographer, first as a Lieutenant Colonel reconnaissance photographer in the war, then a wedding, fashion & travel photographer, who taught my dad everything from how to be bossy with brides, organize wedding parties for a group shot (by being bossy,) to how to light a church appropriately, etc.  
my dad is a WEALTH of photography-related knowledge.
HOWEVER, i thought it'd STILL be nice to have someone currently active in the biz, to give me some tips.  mentor me.
again, no such luck.  frustrating as hell.  what's everyone's deal?
come to learn there are QUITE a few snooty photographer's unwilling to share, only see other photographers as a threat & competition.  why would we share our secrets?
lame & ridiculous.
that's not how i roll. 
stillwater, mn (my home town,) ALONE, has about 87 photographers.  in a population of 18,000 people.  
so, don't want to talk because you're afraid i might steal your business someday?  seriously?
there are enough people & enough photographers that EVERYONE can find what they're looking for & win.  still book business, still get paid.
but i get it, everyone secretly wants to be the best. . .it is an art, like many, filled with perfectionists, stingy business people. . .everyone wants to be recognized for their art. . .
but i didn't understand the unwillingness to connect with FELLOW photographers just to 'talk shop' & give a little guidance.
it took awhile, but slowly have found an amazing community of photographers through workshops i've attended, chat forums, friends of friends. . .
so, i wasn't left to my own devices for long.
and recently, was able to meet & chat with the amazingly talented laura ivanova out of minneapolis.  a photographer i've been following for years, looking to for inspiration & sometimes just to ohh & ahh over her amazing work.
she kindly took the time out of her busy schedule, to sit over coffee & well, 'talk shop.'
provide some MUCH needed insight in to the world of photography, to a well, sort-of-still 'newbie' photographer.
thank you laura!
i hope if you're ever asked for help or guidance, no matter what business you're in, to just do it.  pay it forward.  you never know how much you could be doing for that person, just by meeting them for a drink.  more importantly, how much YOU may get out of it.  you get what you give.
there's my schpeel on being nice to fellow photographers.


MinneWell said...

Well said! I love Laura's work as well :) Thanks for sharing with us.

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