Stock Image conveying the discontent with Heather Photographer's opinionated posts.
facebook is a social network. I am here to give opinions and welcome being challenged for any of them. If all I ever posted were portfolio samples and updates on where I am shooting, it would be safe, but also bland. There are thousands of facebook pages that do that already…it isn’t very engaging. I like to engage. Social media is where we can behave like humans. I have feelings and so do you. Why suppress our core selves just to be safe in business?
In the past 2 months, I have made 2 posts (that I know of) that inadvertently offended a previous client and another that offended one of my previously preferred vendors. These posts were in no way, direct attacks on these individuals.
Offensive Post #1:
The previously preferred vendor was offended by a post that made comment of how stock photos CAN be cheesey and canned. Apparently, she had posted some photos the day before and felt my post a day later was in direct attack of her “stock” photos. This earned me a de-friend. I actually liked her site and her photos.
* Side note on my criticism of stock photos:
I was referring to companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars to create a website and then insert these cookie cutter photos of business people of diverse ethnicity smiling and shaking hands when they could have had custom photography of their own employees for a couple hundred dollars more. I feel it makes your $10,000 website blend in to the sea of websites out there especially when you depend on business from Google searches. I find this to be good marketing advice. Potential clients want to see your employees, your offices, your warehouse, your product. I don’t apologize for this opinion. It comes from 10 years of marketing experience.
Offensive Post #2:
The posting that offended a dear past client was in criticizing the person she hired to photograph her baby. My criticism apparently attacked her “taste” or “style.” She said I made her look cheap and like she doesn’t care about the quality of pictures taken of her son. I can understand her ill feelings – I would probably be a little hurt too by my post. At the same time, I am human and have feelings too. Despite her being hurt, I felt it was time to discuss and educate that there are people out there that have no business doing photography. Just because they have a logo, a camera and a price list doesn’t mean you are going to be happy with the outcome. You’d do better to use your own camera sometimes. I am in this business… I hear the horror and sob stories. I am merely trying to educate and spread the knowledge I know.
* Side note on my criticism of “people with cameras” charging for photography:
Although I outwardly criticized the “person with a digital camera,” I never named the person out of respect. I am optimistic that they will advance in their craft and truly don’t wish to attack individuals and bring them down. I believe I acted with integrity and ethics on the matter. I feel I can vent and criticize when someone enters my field without having put forth a nano of the effort I have. I went to a 4 year University for my craft. I read books and research almost every day. It offends me when people with cameras (that obviously didn’t even read their camera manual) water-down my industry. It makes it hard for the true professionals to make a living. I would rather someone go to JC Penny Portrait Studio if you are short on money. I’ve had pictures from there before. I’ve even had my hair cut at a Super Cuts. I’m not afraid to admit I’ve pinched pennies before.
*One more side note on “people with cameras”:
I said something above that is sure to insult some of my photographer friends that didn’t go to 4 years of college. I don’t believe you have to go to college to be a photographer….talent and research and self-teaching are completely appropriate and I respect those individuals. Throwing in that I graduated from college studying in my field was only meant to convey that I devoted TONS of time to my craft – not that you can’t do that on your own time and not go to college. The thing is, I can tell if someone isn’t educated AND I can tell when someone isn’t talented.
*A side note on me claiming I know talent:
You may want to skip by this now as I feel I have to defend yet another statement above. I don’t define “talent” as being “things I like.” I can be unaffected or turned-off by a fellow photographer’s work…but if the composition, consideration of lighting, and thoughtful conceptualization are there, there is talent. What constitutes no talent or and obvious need to further educate? That’s an article for another day.
I have been told to not talk about politics, religion, or…what was the other thing?? oh well…I may actually give you my opinions on those things too and I sometimes even have negative opinions – oh, the horror. I look to my friends on facebook to support me or give me a different perspective. This is my reason for engaging. I have so much love for all – even people that use stock imagery and people that water down my field of study.
I have love AND I have opinions. Novel idea. Sometimes my delivery (in posts) is kind of cheeky. Well, that’s who I am. My momma told me not everyone would like me….stop trying to please them all and just be yourself. I think that is good advice.
Trying to stay positive.