Seriously, why? I can not tell you how many wanna be photographers, pro-photographers and people with cameras have an attitude. Let me clarify before we get into this topic more, these are primarily men. I have yet to meet a female photographer who is rude, throws attitude and just completely acts like a jerk. So I guess the title should really be, “Why are male photographers such assholes?” Well, let me share with you my experiences over the years with other male photographers. If you don’t already know I photographed weddings and portraits for over ten years. I built my business from scratch and found success before deciding I was burned out from shooting large events. I had a great time doing it, met a lot of people and traveled to beautiful locations. Along the way it became more and more evident that there was always at least one guest at the event who seemed to be intrigued with the hired photographer. They would stare, follow and even shoot over my shoulder. Yes, you heard that right, shoot directly over my shoulder.
At one wedding during the outdoor ceremony and over 100 degree weather, I could see a man hovering over my shoulder. Now, remember I’m working. Everyone else is enjoying the moment. This man was trying to get the exact same photo I was, from the exact same angle. I gave him a few quick looks that said, “You need to move.” He didn’t get it. Before I knew it the couple was moving toward me down the aisle and as I was moving with them and I ran into him! Nothing pisses me off more than someone who disrupts my work. He never said a word to me, not a sorry, not an excuse me, not even a lame excuse as to why he almost made me trip and fall.
Next, over the years their seemed to be an increase in guests with big cameras. By big cameras I mean a DSLR similar to what I was shooting or newer. Again these men would follow me around waiting for their moment when they could start asking me about me gear. “Is that a Canon?” “What lens are you shooting with?” “What is that thing on top of your flash?” I would do my best to humor them after seeing their shiny brand new gear that was most likely set to A. (automatic for my newbies). They were taking me away from my job to talk tech talk or to brag about what camera gear they had.
You may be thinking, wow, you couldn’t take a few minutes to chat with them? I did. I was kind, gave a few tips and then did my best to get back to work without missing anything. But here’s the thing. In the beginning I was thinking it was just a nice conversation about photography. Maybe one out of ten were but the other nine were men who were comparing what they had with what I had. You know what I mean. Like when men talk about cars and say “I have a V6 under the hood, what do you have?” Honestly, I don’t have time for that egotistically bullshit. Here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter what gear I have. If I can take a great photo with it then that’s all that matters. It’s not a race, it’s not a game. I’m hired to do a job and you are a guest, so enjoy the party! I gotta get back to work. I always wanted to show up to a wedding with a necklace of instant point and shoot cameras and see how people would react. You know I’d get that photo!
Then there are my colleagues. For a few years we had a really great group of all working photographers who would get together and hang out, have a few drinks and talk shop. Depending on who would show up there were about three to four women in the group and the rest were men. On average we would have a group of about eight show up. When we would start talking about photography topics you’d be sure that one of those men would be listening intently to hear what you were doing, how you were doing it and if you were making money from it. Some would just eave drop while others would pipe in to let you know how they were doing it better. Ugh. Really?! I didn’t get the memo that we were competing. Can’t we just support one another? This brings up an interesting point. Many photographers are very guarded especially if they are full time photographers. This is because they truly believe there is not enough work to go around. So the need to protect what they already have is strong. If they have the attitude I’m better then you, I have better gear than you, I know more than you, than they think they will book the job over you. Makes you sick to your stomach right? Me too.
Why am I bringing all this up? I hate to see women photographers not pursue photography because it is yet another male dominated field. Men like gear. They like technology and the way things work. As women we are more intuitive and may feel pressure to understand all the techie talk, but I’m hear to tell you that you don’t have to. You can be a rockstar photographer without knowing how many megapixels your camera shoots on RAW. As I’m putting myself out there and sharing more and more with you about what I have learned over fifteen years of shooting, I know that these kind of people will emerge. They already have. I wrote an article for Digital Photography School and have been getting great feedback, then one person, a man, comes along and felt the need to write his own article about posing in the comment section. OMG! Really? If you want to share what you know then submit your own article, start a blog or write a book. We all have different knowledge but one thing I know is that I continue to learn from my colleagues and respect the ones who are kind & helpful. We have to always keep our minds opens. You never know what you might learn from someone else.
Join my newsletter below if you have been treated unfairly, if you understand what I’m talking about. I’m working on a video series that will help you be a great photographer with out buying all the fancy, expensive gear, without knowing every single detail of your camera. It’s ok. You don’t need to be a “know-it-all” to be successful in photography. I’m hear to help and support you! Thanks for stopping by and here’s to all the kind, helpful and fun photographers out there! Keep supporting one another, there is plenty of work to go around.