Saturday, March 23, 2013

Photojounalism, Editorialized Documentary Photography and Sensationalism

This is a really interesting article, illustrating some interesting exhibits:

But, I'm not sure I agree with the premise.  I think of "documentary" work as still aiming to be unbiased, hence "documenting."  What the author describes seems to be more editorial.  But, it is interesting, and this raises an important question of whether some photography, whether journalistic, editorial, or art, just goes for shock value.

It's human nature, that we all rubber-neck at an accident, even if horrified, because curiosity in the tragic, piques our interest.  At the same time, photographers often feel an obligation to show the world what is happening, without judgement, which in turn may spark some action.  It's a fine line.  In any case, this one is worth a read.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The importance of Good Karma in Photography and Business

Recently my website was the target of an attack by another photographer.  Rather than harp on the technical details of what happened, or why, I figured I would focus on what I think are the root causes and solutions.

We know it's a dog eat dog world out there.  Face it there is a limited amount of work and we are all scrapping for a piece of the pie.  Most of us are upstanding business-people, who do everything on the up and up.  But, there are those that are so bitter about another person's success that they focus all their energy on taking their competition out, rather than improving their own work.

So if something like this happens to you, and believe me if you do well, it will, what recourse do you have... Certainly not to stoop to that level and play petty war games.  I think the best solution is to fight negative energy with positive energy.

I know it sounds a little Pollyanna-ish, but it does work.  On a technical level, if you focus on doing good work, you will build a strong following.  Your happy clients will provide good feedback both e-versions and real-world word of mouth.  And, that will eventually overshadow the false negatives from an embittered competitor.

On psychological level, if you focus all your energy and catching the culprit, your work will suffer, and more importantly, your state of mind.  It's tempting...Believe me, I wanted to cancel my jobs this week and hire the best investigative team to figure this out.  But, the better solution is to fight fire with water, and go do good work. 

Plus, if you feed the ego of the culprit, and let it get to you, they will only continue.  If you not only succeed, but flourish, in the face of their barrage, that person will eventually get bored and move on.

The last point I want to make to any would-be assailants out there, is that we photographers are a community of brothers.  If we destroy each other, the whole ship will go down.  If we hold each other up, have open lines of communication and help each other out, we can all succeed together.