Professionalism between colleagues in the photography industry
This blog post comes out of months of seeing the same conduct by professional photographers on other professional photographers or vendors pages.
To be honest, I just can’t take it anymore.
My heart is so saddened (and enraged) that people forget their professionalism and bestow their personal opinions on Faceboook fan pages/blogs with reckless disregard for their professional counterparts, the audience and most of all…the clients.
Photographer to Photographer interaction
The clients are why we do this.
At least for me … not money.
not fan fare.
not to have something to do.
but for my clients.
Sure having an opinion is fantastic but blatantly writing negative comments for the world to see on a professional page speaks badly of you, the photographer who owns the page and in the end the hurt party is the client.
It’s one thing if I post and ask “which do you prefer, black or white?” but to make comments about the body image of the subject, or how the picture makes them look.
One instance, I had an individual make a cutting remark about a teenage girl and how it made her look fat. What is wrong with the world when we are calling children fat? Was my pose the most flattering? Maybe not. Maybe it was. It’s a matter of personal opinion. But was it professional and courteous for that fan to publicly make that comment? Heck no!
All that being said I’m more than open to constructive criticism (CC) if you email me. I’m NOT okay with cutting remarks on my business page about my clients. I may sound like a complete witch but I’m tired of it being done to me, and seeing it done to others. This isn’t about safeguarding my feelings or a photographer’s reputation. It’s about safeguarding client’s feelings and their perception of their photographer. Anything on a professional page reflects on the page owner, whether they wrote it or not. For this reason I have adopted a “no tolerance policy” to safeguard my clients. Delete and ban. I hate to lose fans this way but fan count means nothing to me. I want to reach those that want to be helped and will offer professionalism in return.
As many of you know, and all should know, my email is ALWAYS open to help others and accept critique. It’s the only way to grow. I want to improve. We all do. We all need help along the way; we can’t do this alone.
But NOT at the expense of my client’s feelings.
Please consider this when you’re posting on someone’s public page. Professionalism is key. Am I always professional? Probably not. I’m a goof and I love to share that with my fans. But I’m begging everyone who reads this to take the client into consideration when posting.
If people take issue with this post, I am sorry. All of my actions are with good intentions to help others succeed and grow. Succeeding and growing is not always surrounded with rainbows and butterflies. We must look at the hard truth of what happens around us. I never claim to know it all or be the best. I do claim that there is a line that has been crossed more times than I can count. Not just to me but other photographers and vendors.
Will I lose fans because of this? Maybe, but it is worth it to me to preserve the integrity of my business and the feelings of my clients.
Photographer to Vendor
Now let’s talk about how photogs treat other vendors.
This is so sickening sometimes to see.
People seem to lose a filter when posting on pages of vendors for free stuff or mad when they misread something and openly express it – wrongfully putting the vendor in a negative light. Why? Why must we do this? It’s one thing to give feedback or express a dislike for a product or service. It is another thing entirely to demand someone give you something for discounted or free. Are we not all business owners? Should we not respect each other as such?
If you want help from another photographer or vendor, it is fine and dandy to ask. Just watch the message your words (absent vocal communication) may relay. Give people time to respond – everyone has lives and obligations. Waiting through a weekend or a few days is more than sufficient. If you don’t hear back, then simply follow up with a nice email. Not rudeness. Especially when you’re seeking free advice or a product. Which brings another topic…if someone offers a service of mentoring/consulting but willingly responds to your emails with advice without charging you, consider sending a thank you email. It can be so discouraging to help so many freely and never get a simple thank-you in return. It stinks of disrespect for someone else’s time. You have obligations and committments, right? We all do. We all have businesses to run.
Seriously. Let’s respect one another. Please.
Institute a no-tolerance policy. Negativity, entitlement, and rudeness have no place being said when you hide behind a keyboard. Be a professional. Be an adult. Contact the other business owner privately. Be respectful.