Fake it ‘till You Make It
Oh how true these words ring. How often do you find yourself stretching the truth? Not major life changing lies, just enough to give you a sense of self worth or more importantly, to impress someone else. My friends this is the world of photography. I often find myself sharing something that MAY happen as something that WILL happen. Such as, “Oh yeah I am talking with that magazine and have actually said they really want me to submit.” When really they have said you can fire them some low res JPEGS and they will see if it’s any good. Awkward. Or the, “Oh yeah man all of my followers are 100% organic I would never pay for followers…well after I hit 10,000 that is”.
These are all legit things that I have heard from many different people within the industry.
Integrity and self-promotion just do not work well together.
So how did we get here? What brought us to the point that made lying and deceiving people a norm? I think this all stems from the initial act of sharing a photo. We present the single best 1/1600th of a second to our friends and peers from a three-day adventure and say, “here is how the whole trip went!” Lies, lies, and lies I tell you. You get to see the beautiful ridgeline with the sun setting over the ocean and the perfectly clean non-sweaty shirt and the hat just at the right angle (logo out of course) because that’s what you want to see. You don’t want to see the parts that aren’t fun. Just like you don’t want to know how a hotdog is made. You just want the satisfaction. So when it comes time to present our work we exaggerate, we try to make it seem as though the adventure or scene was larger than life. We bring you entertainment and in exchange we want to be appreciated and more importantly, we want to get paid!
Being a photographer is about making things look and sound better than they actually were. The sad truth is that by stretching the truth and glamorizing the struggle we receive more exposure and eventually more money and sponsors. So blame the system not the man. Still, an honest photographer is a poor photographer but he sleeps better because of it.