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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> Not offering Help Anymore
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10/23/2010 12:21:04 PM · #1
So this upcoming photographer person with a camera asked for a critique of her photos. In a very nice way I pointed out problems and offered tips on how to do it better next time. I have also offered to meet with her and do some shots and offer tips. Well she blew me off a couple of times and is now pissy that I was mean to her and treated her as an inferior photographer person with a camera.

Screw it, I am busy enough as it is I don't need this crap. No wonder many professionals look down on hobbiest trying to make money. There is ZERO respect from many of these camera owners. I didn't care much when she was doing $20 shoots for people cause they get what they pay for (she was using a P&S on auto at the time. But then she took on a wedding. I hope to see her sued by a wedding couple in the future. No Respect, no desire to really learn, no desire to read or study or really practice.

I suggested she sign up here and learn, well she signed up but looks like she already deleted her page and never did anything.

This puts a bad taste in your mouth and makes you not want to help ANYONE!!!

That all being said, I am thankful for everyone on here that has helped me even though you likely have dealt with stuff like this.
10/23/2010 12:55:57 PM · #2
Nice rant.

Every now and then you'll run into idiots. If you decide to stop helping EVERYONE because of the occasional idiot, you'll turn into me.

You don't want to be me do you?

DO YOU!?
10/23/2010 01:11:04 PM · #3
Not making any judgements here, but you are coming across as though you see yourself as decidedly better than this person.

You also seem willing to dismiss anyone else as a candidate for your experience and expertise based on the actions of ONE person.

Honestly, I'd suggest that you let it go for a couple of days, then mull it over and see how much your part was in this instance.

I've never run into any reluctance at all when asking better photogs for their guidance......and never been traated badly.....
10/23/2010 02:10:31 PM · #4
Originally posted by NikonJeb:

Not making any judgements here, but you are coming across as though you see yourself as decidedly better than this person.

You also seem willing to dismiss anyone else as a candidate for your experience and expertise based on the actions of ONE person.

Honestly, I'd suggest that you let it go for a couple of days, then mull it over and see how much your part was in this instance.

I've never run into any reluctance at all when asking better photogs for their guidance......and never been traated badly.....


I have other friends that have been a part of it and I have been very nice and helpful. As far as photography, I know I am still learning and know I am not great but my stuff is better then theirs by a long shot. That being said I wasn't attacking them or putting them down, I was only constructive of the work they have done.

I will still help those that want it, and obviously those that feel as though I have something to teach. This just aggravated me as I have been nothing but nice and offered only constructive criticism on the photos and not the photog. I didn't tell them their shots sucked. I only pointed out technical errors and offered advice as to how that could be fixed next time. The problem is She pretty much doesn't care.
10/23/2010 03:05:17 PM · #5
It's not uncommon for a novice photographer to carry an elevated view of their work. After all, their close friends and family are pumping up the person's self esteem, based on the first wave of images out of the camera. I'm sure I went through that phase. Just looked back at some of my first DSLR images captured in 2003. I thought they were very good, but from the perspective of 7 years later, I am stunned by how much I didn't know about light and composition.

The best advice I ever received was to submit my work to PhotoSig AND develop a thick skin about the feedback rec'd. It was difficult to swallow my pride and admit I had much to learn. I haven't participated in Photosig for a couple years, so I don't know if the critiques are still very good from a lot of experienced photographers. ( I left PhotoSig when they removed all rules about full frontal nudity.) Anyway, beginning photographers should go through the baptism of fire of a good critique site. The worst thing a novice can do is listen to comments on the vanity sites. False praise will retard professional development.

So, a beginning photographer really needs a mentor. But, the novice's willingness to learn and the mentor's patience to reach out a helping hand don't often sync. I offer field seminars on wildlife and landscape photography. That's been an eye-opening set of experiences to see how much people don't know. Occasionally, I'll have a participant who has big bucks equipment, but couldn't photograph an animal if it was stuffed. And, I've not had one "student" who knew anything about hyperfocal distance for landscape photography or histograms in post-processing.

Offering any help to beginning photographers requires a great expenditure of energy and time. I'm now VERY selective in offering help. I'm willing to do it, but the sort is much tighter today.

Just had a good young photographer tell me they had no interest in ever capturing images in RAW format, based on one Ken Rockwell essay dissing RAW captures. Well, that's not where I am. I'd never go back to capturing JPG images (except to meet a DPC requirement.) I predict the "never RAW capture" guy will eventually come around, but he took a wrong turn early in his development.

Message edited by author 2010-10-23 15:10:01.
10/23/2010 08:26:32 PM · #6
I think everybody goes through an unteachable phase somewhere in their life. It doesn't need to be in photography, but they go through it. Usually we call them teenagers but sometimes it persists or resurfaces periodically later in life. But the thing is, as soon as you tell yourself that you've moved beyond that definitively, you've actually lapsed. Teachers also often cultivate a one way street teaching approach. The day a teacher does this is the day they stop being effective in their role.

Message edited by author 2010-10-23 20:26:47.
10/24/2010 02:48:13 AM · #7
Here's the viewpoint of both a teenager and someone who gets paid for their work(im not going to say professional at this point because i dont have a studio or shop, and to me that's an essential part of being a professional photographer). I am actually intimidated by 'da pros' because many of them look down upon my "cheap" pricing and relatively small (in the scheme of things) portfolio. When i say I've shot one wedding i seem to be poo-pooed, and my 30-some senior portraits are just some beginning teenage brat with a camera her mommy bought for her. So i suppose upity profesionals are a turn off for us youngins, as they dont seem to really want to teach without putting themselves in an aggressively dominant position. It's hard for me to even ask questions about other photographers pricing or shooting styles or whatever because i feel like theyre going to think less of me. Might be a self-confidence issue, but its still an issue that is certainly helped along by certain professional photographers
10/24/2010 09:53:23 AM · #8
Originally posted by hahn23:

It's not uncommon for a novice photographer to carry an elevated view of their work.

Perhaps, yet the same can be said of photographers with any level of experience. Hubris is not the exclusive domain of the novice. DPChallenge itself has no shortage of 'instant experts' and experienced, technically proficient professional photographers with vastly overinflated egos, many of which suffer from a near total lack of artistry and couldn't create a good photo to save their lives.

Originally posted by jminso:

This puts a bad taste in your mouth and makes you not want to help ANYONE!!!

I think it has a lot to do with the way younger generations are being raised. Common courtesy is no longer a part of today's curriculum and personal rudeness is becoming the norm. Then too, people often undervalue things they get for free. Maybe you should charge for your advice, or at least made them work for it somehow. :)

10/24/2010 09:59:46 AM · #9
Eschew advice, and most of all avoid giving any.
10/24/2010 01:24:42 PM · #10
Originally posted by ubique:

Eschew advice, and most of all avoid giving any.

That's a sure way to avoid being insulted. However, it does not work for many of us. One of the greatest satisfactions I have received from DPC is, as I have slowly improved my own photography, has been sharing what I've learned with the folks that are where I was a couple of years back.

That being said, the other day I was approached by a coworker for some feedback on some of her photos. IMO, they ranged from mediocre to a handful that were ok, and I was diplomatic, but truthful. I could see her face drop when I didn't tell her how wonderful they were. I definitely saw a lot of effort in the set, so I wanted to be kind, but I don't believe in false praise. She shot the subject from many different distances and perspectives, trying to get something that works, but it didn't.

Those of us that take well to DPC develop a thick skin, and when we ask for feedback, we expect someone's honest opinion. It's hard to know if someone actually wants that honest feedback, or if they really just want encouragement.
10/24/2010 02:26:14 PM · #11
Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by ubique:

Eschew advice, and most of all avoid giving any.

That's a sure way to avoid being insulted. However, it does not work for many of us. One of the greatest satisfactions I have received from DPC is, as I have slowly improved my own photography, has been sharing what I've learned with the folks that are where I was a couple of years back.

That being said, the other day I was approached by a coworker for some feedback on some of her photos. IMO, they ranged from mediocre to a handful that were ok, and I was diplomatic, but truthful. I could see her face drop when I didn't tell her how wonderful they were. I definitely saw a lot of effort in the set, so I wanted to be kind, but I don't believe in false praise. She shot the subject from many different distances and perspectives, trying to get something that works, but it didn't.

Those of us that take well to DPC develop a thick skin, and when we ask for feedback, we expect someone's honest opinion. It's hard to know if someone actually wants that honest feedback, or if they really just want encouragement.


The thing is encouragement can be given at the same time as constructive criticism. Did you acknowledge the effort made to shoot from several angles? Suggest additional options or just identify what didn't work with the shots presented?

Just talking about the method. It's not clear in your statements that you did these things.

ETA: A method that works well most of the time when giving a critique is to start with a positive statement, go on to the constructive criticism and end with another positive statement. This encourages the person to keep trying as well as provide feedback as to where improvement can be made.

Message edited by author 2010-10-24 14:29:34.
10/24/2010 02:45:56 PM · #12
Originally posted by cpanaioti:

Originally posted by Yo_Spiff:

Originally posted by ubique:

Eschew advice, and most of all avoid giving any.

That's a sure way to avoid being insulted. However, it does not work for many of us. One of the greatest satisfactions I have received from DPC is, as I have slowly improved my own photography, has been sharing what I've learned with the folks that are where I was a couple of years back.

That being said, the other day I was approached by a coworker for some feedback on some of her photos. IMO, they ranged from mediocre to a handful that were ok, and I was diplomatic, but truthful. I could see her face drop when I didn't tell her how wonderful they were. I definitely saw a lot of effort in the set, so I wanted to be kind, but I don't believe in false praise. She shot the subject from many different distances and perspectives, trying to get something that works, but it didn't.

Those of us that take well to DPC develop a thick skin, and when we ask for feedback, we expect someone's honest opinion. It's hard to know if someone actually wants that honest feedback, or if they really just want encouragement.


The thing is encouragement can be given at the same time as constructive criticism. Did you acknowledge the effort made to shoot from several angles? Suggest additional options or just identify what didn't work with the shots presented?

Just talking about the method. It's not clear in your statements that you did these things.

ETA: A method that works well most of the time when giving a critique is to start with a positive statement, go on to the constructive criticism and end with another positive statement. This encourages the person to keep trying as well as provide feedback as to where improvement can be made.


I did start with the positives and mentioned things that were done well and so on. It wasn't all bad.
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