- Ignore All Criticism
- Act Like a Copy Cat
- Go Crazy Over New Tech
- "Forget" to Thank People
- Talk to Everyone Like They're Networking
- Talk to Everyone Like They Don't Know What They're Doing
- Buy Expensive Equipment They Can't Use
- Offer Unsolicited Advice
- Ask Other People to Work for Them for Exposure
- Brag About Who Published Them
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Let's be honest, in an industry where you're constantly fighting to gain clients, and then constantly fighting to get those clients to pay you and pay you properly, the last thing you want to do is network with people who are annoying.
But, as in every industry, some photographers just get on your nerves.
If you do any of these ten things as a photographer, you should probably reevaluate your life.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Ignore All Criticism
If you ignore all criticism, you're probably an annoying photographer.
There are a few examples of when avoiding criticism is probably a good thing, like when you've been in the industry for 40 years and have pretty much figured out your niche, or when you don't respect the person offering advice.
But, if you would consider yourself new to the photography game and someone is offering some piece of advice and you are blatantly ignoring it, without thinking about the implications of acting on the advice, you are probably stopping yourself from growing. Plus, you're definitely bothering the photographers who are lending their time to try and help you get better.
2. Act Like a Copy Cat
On the other hand, nobody likes a copycat of a photographer either.
Trying to find people you respect in the industry and implementing some of their techniques is a phenomenal way to learn, but bothering them because you want to do exactly the same thing as they are is not the way to go.
I think one of the reasons we have seen such a rise in selling filters on Instagram is copycat syndrome. Why would you want your pictures to look like someone else's? Isn't the point of photography to bring new art into the world that has your brand and look?
It's okay to try and utilize certain techniques, but if you're using someone else's pre-packaged filters, I wouldn't consider yourself a photographer and don't think you should either.
3. Go Crazy Over New Tech
I know I have been on shoots before with a photographer who won't shut up about the newest rumored DSLR or a $500 tripod they just bought, but here's the thing: if I'm in the industry and I'm getting upset over your inability to small talk about anything other than photography, I can guarantee your clients aren't happy either.
Join a Facebook group, or better yet start a thread here on PhotographyTalk to dish about the newest Lightroom update, but don't harass people who don't care.
4. "Forget" to Thank People
Everyone knows that photographers absolutely cannot do their jobs without the help of about a dozen other people.
Your clients should be your number one priority in terms of thank you cards, or emails, or even just a smile. But, if you're on a fashion shoot, don't forget about production assistants and makeup artists and models.
And if you're shooting a commercial, there are hundreds of people behind the products you're filming and dozens of people behind the scenes (many of whom you've probably never met). Thanking these people in person is obviously the best way to go, but if you can't do that at least give them a shout out on your Instagram post about how great of a job you did on set.
I listened to a podcast about a man named A.J. Jacobs who tracked down over 1,000 people responsible for making his morning cup of coffee happen. He traveled all over the world to personally thank the people who picked the beans for him. Ever since then I have even less respect for photographer's who forget to thank the other individuals who help them more than they ever know in their career.
5. Talk to Everyone Like They're Networking
Photographers and salespeople are similar, there's no denying it. You're constantly selling your photography, your brand and yourself to everyone you come across. But, there's no need to be so transparent about it.
Focus more on making genuine connections with the people you meet and you're going to get more clients, I promise. Nobody likes to feel like they're only a means to an end, and that end being more money in your pocket.
6. Talk to Everyone Like They Don't Know What They're Doing
Be sure of yourself.
Of course, this is easier advice to give than to follow because imposter syndrome is very real and you don't always feel like you know what you're doing. But, fake it if this is the case.
Asking questions when you first begin as a photographer is normal and healthy, but if you frequently work with the same individuals and are always double and triple-checking what ISO they are using, it's going to be so annoying.
Confidence, like everything else, can be earned. Do your research on your own time and let the other photographers around you just do their jobs.
7. Buy Expensive Equipment They Can't Use
If I meet one more brand new hobbyist photographer with a $6,000 mirrorless camera they shoot on automatic every day I might scream.
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I understand that the stigma to have the best, most expensive equipment in photography is very real. And I admit I made this mistake when I first started out, but if you're going to invest so much money into something you do 2 hours a week, maybe double your time investment and research your camera for another 2.
8. Offer Unsolicited Advice
My niece is an incredible nature photographer; she's been doing it for years and learned from some of the best nature photographers in the industry. She landed a really lucky internship with National Geographic and has gone nowhere but up.
The issue is, she's a woman and she looks incredibly young. She has called me crying before because older photographers (without the accolades she has) gave "advice" she never asked for and definitely didn't want.
Frequently, people give her advice about beginning in the industry and talk over her when she tries to inform them that she has over a decade of experience.
Unless a fellow photographer is explicitly asking for advice, ask if they'd like help before you blindly give it. It will make everyone more comfortable.
9. Ask Other People to Work With Them for Exposure
Do you want to work for "exposure," aka free? No. Then don't ask other people to do the same thing.
I was flabbergasted the first time I heard one of my acquaintances ask one of my photographer assistants to accompany them on a 12-hour shoot for the shout out on their website.
If you really need a free hand so badly, go to a local photography school. Better yet, post on Craigslist. My point being, you're not going to get a good quality photographer assistant for exposure, so stop asking.
10. Brag About Who Published Them
Nobody cares that you got published in Vogue Korea in 1995. This is the type of information you put on your website and then shut up about it until someone asks you.
What else annoys you about other photographers? Post about it in the comments.