Every year, we all take steps to grow as photographers, but maybe it's time we start growing as a community. Here are some things we can all stop doing in the new year to grow positively together.
No More Gatekeeping
We have to collectively stop thinking there's a hierarchy of real photography. Shooting film doesn't make you better than DSLR shooters. Shooting on a DSLR doesn't make you better than a mirrorless user. And shooting mirrorless doesn't make you better than an iPhone photographer. We're all photographers using our own favorite mediums to shoot what we enjoy shooting. Stop looking at everyone else and snickering, and start looking at what you're doing. The best thing you can do for photography is be inclusive of everyone no matter what they do or what they shoot with.
Stop Talking Bad About Clients
We've all been around gossip, but what we all need to realize is it's better to hold that in than let it out. You never know who it's going to get back to or how it makes the person on the receiving end feel. At the end of the day, the negatives heavily outweigh any potential positives from gossip.
Every day, I see on Facebook groups or other photographer's Instagram stories complaints about models, photographers, and clients. It might make you feel better to get it off your chest, but going that route only makes you less trustworthy to other potential clients.
No More Complaining About Social Media
What do you think you're accomplishing by complaining about it? It's not going anywhere, so stop complaining and start trying to understand it. For many photographers, it can be the best part of your marketing mix. You might not be getting millions of followers, but you don't need millions to benefit from the powers of social media. You just need to understand how you can maximize it for your own business.
Stop Thinking You Know Everything
We're never done learning; there are always things we can do better, and as soon we get complacent, we start to drop off. The more you learn, the better your chances of staying successful.
Stop Caring What Other People Are Doing
We all need to stop looking over our shoulders and measuring ourselves by what everyone else is doing. Others' successes often have nothing to do with us, and we can't control what they're doing. The only thing we should worry about is what we can control. And if someone is succeeding, we should be happy for them, not jealous.
This new year, let's not just work on our photography, but ourselves. Being part of a community, no matter how big or small, comes with personal responsibilities. We all could benefit from being more inclusive and positive to one another, even if it's just back and forth online.