The Sickening Photography Community

Somehow or rather, I find that photography world… or perhaps the photography community has evolved to a stage where it is rather… sad and discouraging. It’s sick for sure. Perhaps this is because cameras and photography has become more and more accessible by the mass, and therefore all sorts of people are getting into it.

Brand bashing and fanboism has become more and more obvious day after day. It’s okay if you like to shoot with a certain brand of camera, and it’s okay if you like a particular model of camera. It’s your camera, it’s your choice, and that’s about it. I wonder why is there a need to bash other brands, is doing so will make you feel better or take better picture in anyway? There’s no need for you to constantly telling others to buy what you like and what you are using. Different folk different stroke, just get over it and start shooting instead.

Wherever you go, everyone is talking about the latest gear, latest camera features, latest lenses available, what to buy next and so on. There are this group of people who will just buy the latest stuff and still feel that the cameras are not good enough. Perhaps they never realized that is their skill that’s not good enough, not their camera. Some will end up in the endless loop of buy and sell, in search of the “best” gear they can find, which is rather sad. This is not photography. Photography is all about taking the camera you have now and go out and create pictures. End of the day, your picture will define you as a photographer, not your gear.

With camera technologies advance so quickly on daily basis, manufacturers need to try to generate more revenue for their company by selling more cameras. And to do so, some are doing false marketing (with fine print everywhere), everyone is claiming themselves for having the “world fastest auto-focus” system, while some collaborate with professional photographers to promote and market their camera and saying that they are not paid to do so, but end up proven that all the photographers are sponsored after all. Is the world of business, and it’s getting harder to sell if the mindset of consumers are not altered. Hence, there comes the waves of online reviews, commercial videos and so on telling how this camera can improve your photography overnight, and to distract us from the roots of photography and get ourselves sucked into the endless hole of gear buying.

Then, there are these group of people who make use of photography for their own agenda. There are some who gave photography courses to others when their photography skills is simply inadequate. They might end up giving wrong information or teaching the wrong facts, which will mislead those who learn from him. And there are some who make use of the social media to gain interest and crowd, and then transferring them into their own business. Some negotiate for sponsorship or some advantages from camera brand, and in return they will write a good review about the camera brand and even to assist in supporting of fanboism via forums and so on.

Oh, not forgetting those who are dying for more “likes” from their Facebook and Instagram post, they will do whatever it takes just to grab a shot that’s different from others. In principle, this is a good thing. However, people are taking it too far to the extent of endangering their life, others’ life, and even the nature itself. On the other hand, some “photographers” spent all their time sitting in front of the computer, surfing through forums after forums and throwing comments all around. They can do this day after day, and calling themselves “photographer” while not even picking up their camera and shoot.

In many ways, the essence and reason of photography has changed, or to be more precise, has been diversified. To me, photography is still as simple as it is. Look for the right framing, compose, dial in the exposure settings and take the shot. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not against discussion about gear, I do agree to a certain extent you will need some new gear to improve on your output. But I’m wholeheartedly against fanboism and all the dirty business tricks that’s being played in the industry. Everyone plays a part in making a better and more sustainable photography community. Let us all do our part, take up our responsibility, and together we can grow and become a better photographer.

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