Battle between Photographers continues…

The battle between photographers is crazy. Last night I couldn’t sleep, it was about 3:00am here in SA when I saw it explode again. The sad thing is that NO one will ever wins these fights. In fact everyone loses.

I see time and time again on social media:

  • Your work looks like xyz’s.
  • This one is copying my ideas.
  • Be original, stop stealing other peoples ideas.
  • Stop teaching techniques that you learnt from me.
  • Look at all the copycats.
  • She is only charging xyz – how can I compete with that!
  • This is my bread and butter and now there are so many photographers stealing work away from me.

The list goes on and on.

I must say mostly SA togs, are supporting, helpful and a nice group of people. I’m so glad we have this here in SA. However like everything in life there will always be a few who are the exception.

These are MY honest thoughts and opinions on the photography industry.

You stealing my ideas.

I think that pretty much every idea has been done before. We are all just borrowing ideas from each other all the time, whether we know it or not. By that I mean, even if you post a photo that you thought was your idea – it’s not. Guaranteed that someone else has posted a similar photo to yours before. You might not have intentionally gone out to “copy” it, but trust me you WILL find someone else has done it before.

There is a big difference however between following/stalking another photographer and blatantly copying their ideas week after week and trying to sell it as your own ideas – that is  just wrong.

Another favorite of mine that I see time and time again is.

This is my job, I have studied photography and its my only form of income. Now everyone thinks they are a photographer. They taking my bread and butter away.

Ok, I’m guilty here. I will be the first to admit that. I did a course on how to use my camera on manual settings, but I didn’t study to the extent that most photographers did. That does not mean I have not put blood, sweat and tears into my business. I have worked – worked really hard at what I do.  I have been doing photography and educating myself for about 10 years now. I only went into it professionally about a year and a half ago. I always lacked the confidence and I wasn’t prepared to let clients pay, until I knew I could give my 100%.

I don’t intentionally mean to take work away from anyone, but I love photography with every inch of my soul. Photography is not a job to me, it’s something I’m passionate about!

The biggest take away from here is: Clients will pay and book you on your WORK. Not because you studied for it, or because it’s your only form of income. They book you because your work speaks to them.

You stealing my photoshop techniques.

Let me tell you – I have done loads and loads of photoshop editing workshops. It mostly teaches their workflow. When it comes to photoshop there is no magic formula, it’s all about knowing the tools available to you. Photoshop just like photography and nothing is new. There are hundred of tutorials on you tube that can teach you how to use photoshop. No one’s ideas are original. There are also several ways of doing the same thing just by using different tools.

With this been said, if you want to learn Katie Andelman is a fantastic person to learn from. She will answer all questions and really teaches technique.

She is only charging xyz for her photo’s, how can I compete with that!

Everyone has to start somewhere. I believe you charge what you feel you are worth. When I did my pricing I based it on, what would I be prepared to pay for that? There are people way cheaper than me, and people way more expensive than me, but what I still believe is that people will pay you for work. If your work speaks to them – that is what will make them book with you. Clients always look at the photographers portfolio and style of photography. Clients book you on that, not because your name pops up on google.

All creative artists have the same problem.

This is not only for photographers but relevant to all creatives. People selling props, designing beautiful outfits, the same happens to them. There was someone making props and then everyone was posting the same sort of props. When she said that people were copying her, she was hammered from every side, saying that she got the idea from someone and they just doing the same thing. Sadly she closed her business (even though hers were probably the best ones available). Then everyone cried because she closed shop.


My final words on this would be:

LEARN how your camera and lighting works to capture beautiful images. Create images that have meaning to them. That is what will make your photos special. Don’t deliberately go out to copy someone else’s work, even though guaranteed the idea will be out there somewhere.

Just to give you an idea, I was following a photographer from SA. I had an idea in my mind that I wanted to do. I had it all set up to do the photo shoot that Saturday. The Friday before I saw a photo that she had posted on facebook and it was the exact same idea that I had planned!.  I was heart broken, in the end I never did that photo shoot. Why? I knew that I would be labeled a copycat, even though I never saw her picture, but other people would have said that I intentionally went out and copied her, even though that was not the case. Well needless to say I unfollowed because I also think that following hundreds of other togs it inhibits you and your creativity.

LEARN how photoshop works. Learn the ins and outs of photoshop and then it will be your best friend. Google tutorials, you tube is wonderful. There are so many people willing to share their techniques. Look at all the different ways of doing something and find the one that works for you.

Photography just like any other business is a competitive industry. Focus on your own work and lets try make this industry something to be proud of.

I’m in some wonderful groups in SA that offer cc – in a kind, helpful and respectable way. They give advice and really care, this is what we should all be doing.

The battle between photographers is just so ugly, mostly I see it from the international newsfeeds, but I truly hope it will not become the norm in SA too.

People, be very careful with your words, they hurt! They can never be taken back. Once words have been said they can never be taken back. Below is a story. I always, always think of this before I say anything that could be potentially hurtful to someone.

Battle between photographers

We can all individually be the change. Do we let the battle between photographers continue? or do we let the battle between photographers stop? We are all in the same industry, lets work together as no amount of ugliness will change the way things are.

Someone posted this video on a group, and it really is worth watching if you are a creative artist.

I think Elizabeth Gilbert is an amazing woman, she is so genuine. Maybe if every creative artist saw this they would change their way of thinking.

The battle between photographers – is ugly.

The battle between photographers – is unnecessary

The battle between photographers – is not going to change a single thing.

The battle between photographers – Is bullying and not professional.

The battle between photographers – No one will ever win.

The battle between photographers – Causes hurt, pain and no one needs more of this in their lives.

The battle between photographers – Needs to stop.

The battle between photographers – We can be the change.

You can agree or disagree with me on what I have said. Everyone is entitled to the own opinions. But in the end the same statements will still come up time and time again, but it will not change the way things are. The way you react however is where the difference comes in.