If you can’t say something nice…. oh goodness.

Okay.  I keep putting my hoof in my mouth and then have to struggle to get it back out again over this.  I take my work as a photographer seriously.  It is a privilege to be involved in the creation of something amazing that really highlights the bond and love found between two people, within a family, or that can be found in one person’s heart.  Photography is NOT a fly by night career.  You work long and hard to establish a reputation, to prove your dedication, commitment, and skill.  Every new client is a new chance to push yourself, to become better, and I am every grateful for everyone who has put their trust in me and my work.  So when I know of someone who is just “going to be a photographer” while they’re on mat leave, on sick leave, or taking a break from their other work?  Oy!

I’m trying to be a supportive person.  Trying to encourage others.  Trying to support my fellow women doing what they believe is best for themselves and their families…  but really?  It’s a slap in the face to dedicated professionals when someone just decides to photograph people because clearly anyone can do it.  Ugh.

So please don’t brag to me, or anywhere you know I’ll see it, about the cool props you are buying (real photographers don’t rely on props – they are the tools of fauxtogs and momtogs).  Please don’t tell me about the “how to pose babies” books you are hoping to buy (real photographers don’t rely on posing techniques – they are for Sears, Walmart, and other fauxtogs).  Please don’t expect me to get excited about the huge money you’re going to make with a limited time/money investment (sorry, but that’s just not the way it works, photography is an expensive art form to be involved in).

I want to be supportive of you.  I know you aren’t trying to be insulting.  But please, please don’t expect me to say I think this new venture of yours is great…  because it’s just not.  And in my years of working as a dedicated professional I’ve seen so many “FLASH” in the pan fauxtogs come and go, and every one of you makes my work more difficult.  Every client you disappoint is that much less likely to put their trust in an actual professional photographer in the future.  And those you fool into thinking your stuff is great?  Well…  boy…  that doesn’t make it true.

I’m sorry if I sound bitter and jaded, I really do want to support you in your choices…  but it really is insulting when you figure that just by buying a semi-decent camera that you can do what it has taken me years and years of experience and dedication to learn, understand, and create.  So yeah.  Forgive me if I don’t throw you a party.


About Tobi-Dawne

Tobi-Dawne Smith is many things to many people... photographer, canine behaviour expert, equal rights activist, green politician, lactivist, intactivist, writer, crafter, dog handler, third wave feminist, etc. But most important in her life is her role as mother to an amazing five year old. Learn more about TD at http://www.tobi-dawne.com/ follow her blog at https://td365.wordpress.com/ get to know her daughter at http://lilyannslemonade.wordpress.com/ or check out her work at http://tdphotography.me/

Posted on January 18, 2012, in Feminism, Just a Note, photography, TD Photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m a momtog if that means taking many pictures of your own baby, with props on occasion.

    • Momtogs take photos of their own kids (which is fabulous) but there are some who charge to take pictures of other children too (which is not so cool). And honestly? Just like it says in the FAQ on my photography site, I’m cool with props – as in items that are a part of life (like taking a frisbee to the park, or bubbles to help entertain the little ones), and I’m cool with working an item into a shoot that has meaning for a family or individual… but using things like luggage, tutus, headbands and the like as a kitchy gimmick? It just says to me that a persons work is unable to stand on it’s own without the extras. And it’s totally different when just out playing with your own little ones. I use fun little goofy things I find when fooling around with my daughter all the time – but it’s just to be silly and for her own enjoyment. 😉

  2. I wanted to take a minute and share something. An online friend of mine ended up feeling hurt by this post, and that was never my intention. Sometimes I use this space to vent, and last night was one such occasion. I won’t apologize for feeling the way I do, but I will certainly apologize for hurting someone when I have.

    Lorianne, I think you’re a great scrapbooker, and I enjoy your company. I truly do wish you well with your endeavor! Some of what you’d shared did hit a sore spot for me, which was the take-off point for this rant… but it truly wasn’t directed solely at you, but at a segment of the population that really doesn’t understand the work involved in being a professional. I still believe that a photographer of any quality doesn’t need to rely on props, and I honestly have no respect for “prop photographers”. I can’t imagine anything changing my mind, but that doesn’t colour how I view you. I think you’re a lovely person, and I do wish you well. I am sorry that my words hurt you.

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