Creation is a beautiful place filled with wonder and power. We as photographers are privileged to capture its most beautiful moments.
So if we are so privileged, why all the grump?
I frequent many nature photography websites, YouTube channels, and various social media groups. What I have noticed is a lot of people are just plain grumpy. They are grumpy about peoples gear choices, compositions, subjects, backgrounds, photo finishing techniques, clothing, hair styles, and likely what they had for breakfast.
This could manifest for a variety of reasons and here are a few which come to my attention:
- The need to be Right. My 8 year old son had the habit of always needing to be right. He would fight tooth and nail to be right about something regardless of what the evidence showed him. If he was proven wrong he would get angry rather than simply accepting his error. I think many people never get past this phase in life and so they get mad anytime someone disagrees with them. In photography we see this all the time in the Nikon, Canon, Sony, Fuji, fight. “If you don’t shoot with X then you are a terrible photographer. It just so happens I shoot with X.”
- Couch Photography. It is easy to be mean, rude, and nasty when no one knows who you are. It is a sad state though when you consider you really get to see the character of an individual in these situations. Many of the grumpy people sit on their couch with their laptops and they troll. Why? Because it’s easier than going out and actually taking photographs.
- The Changed Industry. You know, the industry is different than it was 20 years ago. Digital cameras are a dime a dozen and it seems everybody’s a photographer. The industry is saturated. This can have a negative effect on people who are trying to make a living or even just have their work viewed. They get angry and frustrated with all the “would be” photographers.
- Jealousy. People see others who are having great success in the industry perhaps after a short period of time and it frustrates them. These folks could have been struggling for years to make it only to see a “nobody” become a Photo Rock Star.
With all this being said there are legitimate complaints people may have and they of course should feel free to voice those complaints. However, I have some advice to all the grumpy people out who are grumpy for grump’s sake. Get over yourselves. There is enough negativity in the world and we don’t need it in photography!
I also have some advice to those who are often the victims of said grump. Brush these people off, they will never make a positive impact in your life or in photography.
Lastly, I will leave you with the immortal words of Mr. Bobby McFerrin,