If you've been involved with photography for very long at all, you may have noticed that photographers have a variety of opinions — about everything. Unfortunately, many photographers appear as though they live in a box, where they can only see the things that they are personally involved in.
Certainly, it's just fine to have an opinion about something, we all do. However general opinions are not what I'm getting at. There are some photographers who simply can't see other photographers point of view or even understand their needs. It's as if they think their world of photography is the only way photography is (or should be) done.
One thing I learned early in life was to "think outside the Box." There are several areas that we see photographers living in a mental box, unable or unwilling to see from a new or differing perspective. Photographers can expand their skills by thinking outside the box, trying something new, or at least understanding things from another perspective.
The Creative Box
There's a type of photographer that lives in the box of creativity. Creativity is the heart of artistic expression. However, when you're working with a medium of technological hardware, ignoring the technical aspects of the craft can actually limit what you can do with your creativity.
I know someone who likes to present her photos as unedited, but I think it's just an excuse to not learn how to post-process. She claims to want to present the photos just as she saw the scene. The problem with this is that the camera doesn't always capture the scene exactly as you saw it. She doesn't even really understand aperture and shutter speed, shooting mostly in program mode. She has taken one great image that I know of. She could be so much better, but refuses to learn.
I've seen other photographers with an exceptionally creative eye (much better than mine), but they refuse to learn the basics of photography. They do create some great images, but they could be so much better with a little knowledge of composition and how the camera works.
Still, other photographers leave comments on articles that are trying to teach technical aspects of photography and just say "who cares, do whatever you want," "just bracket the heck out of everything," or "that takes the creativity out of it," as if straightening your photo somehow takes the creativity out of it.
Be creative, but use knowledge as a way to expand your creativity; there's no reason to believe that it will hinder your creativity.
The Gear Box
Ah, the gear wars. There are many different areas that photographers are stuck in a photography gear box.
One such box is the "such and such camera is the best". I've said it before: use whatever tool works best for you. If you're shooting portraits, maybe a camera with eye autofocus is best for you. If you're shooting sports, a camera with a high frame rate might be best for you. If you're shooting products, your clients might require high-megapixel images.
I wonder if some of these people have stock in that camera company; they sure act like it. The way they try to convince you to shoot what they are shooting makes them seem more like salesmen than anything else.
Some photographers don't understand why anyone needs a high-megapixel camera. Maybe that's because they shoot portraits, and they can either move closer to their subject or ask the subject to move closer to them. That doesn't always work with wildlife, where a long focal length lens is expensive and costs in the range of $10,000 to $13,000. If they were to use a 60+ megapixel camera and a lens with a little less reach, they could crop and still have 20+ megapixels and save thousands of dollars.
I recently saw someone stating that photographers were using medium format cameras just so they could brag about it. No professional photographer spends money on gear just to brag about it. If they buy something expensive, it's because they need it for what they do. No sane individual is going to buy a $2,000 70-200mm f/2.8 lens if a $200 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens is just as good.
Different photographers use different gear for different reasons. Just because you don't have a need for it doesn't mean someone else doesn't. If someone uses a different brand, it doesn't mean that your brand isn't just as good for what you do. Stop acting like the gear I use somehow affects your life, and just focus on mastering your own gear.
The Post-Processing Box
Some photographers don't understand why others don't do all of their image processing in Photoshop, Capture One, Luminar, or some other program. They simply don't understand that some photographers prefer to do basic image editing. Some don't go over the top with their processing or make giant edits or composites. They don't understand that a simple image of a butterfly doesn't require 85 layers of masking, cloning, and what-not like your portrait or composite does. Lightroom works just fine for them.
Some photographers aren't going through the routine of presenting images to a client and then having to come back and make changes. They simply produce images for themselves. Your workflow probably isn't the same as their workflow.
Let them use what they want and when they get to the point that they "need" Photoshop, they can then decide if they want to go that route. Once again, your needs aren't the same as other photographers.
The Genre Box
A quick stop by the Fstoppers Groups will certainly show you that there are a great number of different genres in photography with just about every imaginable aspect of life is represented. Someone who shoots one of these genres may have absolutely no idea about the challenges of another genre or the skill required to master it.
Isn't macro photography just zooming in close and snapping a photo? No, it often involves photo stacking, unique lighting challenges, etc. Product photography? Don't even get me started on how much a pain in the rear that dust on a glossy black surface is!
Each and every one of these genres could probably go on for hours about the challenges they face and the skill level they require to master that type of photography. Even within a single genre, the challenges that someone faces may be very different for someone who lives in a different area of the world.
There's nothing wrong with shooting just one genre, but variety in this area will help to build your skillset.
Don't get stuck in a box. Strive to expand your knowledge, expand your creativity, expand your horizons. Realize that what works for one photographer may not work for another. Your needs may not the same as someone else. Branch out, and try shooting another genre; what you learn there may be useful in your other photography.