Recently, a rather scathing article went up on Resource Mag’s website discussing the toxic behavior of a certain photographer. You can feel free to read the article. I, however, won’t mention him here other than to say that he is the sort of person who claims to be a teacher, but instead uses his fame to attack and belittle other, less experienced, photographers. He has made a hobby of robbing others of their love and passion for his own selfish delight.
The rock hard truth of this is that there will always be sour people in the world. Whether they are random internet trolls, bitter teachers, angry competitors, armchair critics, or just jealous of your passion. Throughout your career there will be an endless swathe of people who seem to make every effort to tear your passion out from under you.
You can’t stop them. The only power you have is how you choose to react. Your passion isn’t some sort of object that a burglar can abscond with in the dead of night, it is the core your being that is shielded by a mighty barrier of your will. No one can snatch your passion unless you let them.
Photography is not objective, it is subjective. There is no photo that has been or ever will be created that will be universally loved. The opinion of one person, is just that, an opinion. It doesn’t matter if that opinion is coming from a world class expert or an angry keyboard warrior trying to rain on your parade, you have the power to reject it.
Be proud of your best photos. Know that, so long as you fuel your passion, even better photos will always be in your future. Use this as motivation and surround yourself with people who’s opinion you respect and whose criticism will help further ignite your dedication. Ignore those who want to crush your momentum.
You are the master of your passion. Don’t misplace it and certainly don’t cede that mastery to someone who is trying to stamp it out.
Love your love of photography and never stop.