I sat down at my computer this morning only to realize that notes for this particular post had disappeared. As I listen to a wonderful, summer morning rain tap on the roof overhead, I can’t help but laugh. Of course my pointed notes on this topic disappear. It only makes sense. Just one more reason on the ever present list of reasons why I should just give up.
The Constant Demon
Even on my best days, the thought that I should just give up creeps into my mind. Why waste time and effort when I could be doing a number of other things that bring me joy? It is truly a struggle and certainly not one that is unique to me. For every reason I have to press on, there are a dozen more explaining what a waste of time it is. Today, to help purge the demon, if only for a day, I’m going to list some of the overwhelming, constant reasons that I should just toss in the ol’ photography towel.
The Give Up Short List
I really wish my notes had not walked off on me. I had some rich material there from a particularly bad thought process last week. Since they did disappear, here are some of the usual culprits for you.
General Lack of Interaction
From my point of view, social media is broken. I get few interactions online but people will tell me, in person, how much they enjoy my posts. They mention specific posts. No like, no heart, no comment. But they want me to know they saw it. Helpful.
I am often asked why I didn’t show up to some local event. It was so much fun! I typically get the event post on social media the day after the event. Pointless. I have always suffered from, “I thought so-and-so invited you” syndrome. Social media makes it worse.
I Love Your Work. Here Are My Rates
This from the “model” whose portfolio is their social media account. Their best images bookend a series of pics from their cousin’s second birthday party. And, by best images, I mean overly-filtered selfies taken in a well-manicured bathroom. Absolutely inspiring.
Shooting Trade…For Pay?
They want me to recreate one of my print-magazine published images with them as the subject. I suggest also shooting something in the same genre as their entire portfolio to help refresh my own. That’s fine, but I should pay because they’ve already done that. Oh, and can I make sure to get them a good headshot while we’re at it?
So Many Ghosts
I once had three different photographers introduce me to the same model within 30 minutes at an event. They each said, “You should really shoot with Mark sometime.” Minimal eye contact. Not even a word. This was a more positive interaction than the dozen times over several years that another model asked me why we’ve never shot together. Because you never responded to any messages? Or when we started a good conversation, you decided not to continue the discussion without comment?
Tip of the Iceberg
I could wallow in this quite a bit longer. I’ve got a lot of examples of how much entertainment the local “industry” provides. It isn’t just the models. The number of times that potential collaborations have fallen through is pretty ridiculous. From professional organizations asking for help to photography-related events finding new and fascinating ways to make me feel like a waste of space, it has gone well beyond “humbling” and into “infuriating” at times. Being ignored is a favorite pastime of mine, apparently.
I’m Not All That
While I am professionally certified with years of experience and plenty of publications, I am nothing special behind the lens. I have plenty of flaws and foibles. My work is always lacking. Yes, there are photographers whose work makes me a bit jealous. All that aside, I feel ignored, underrated, and sometimes outright mistreated. It is certainly enough to make me want to give up.
Don’t panic, though. I’ll be back with the flipside of this thought process.