Something that was brought to mind when I had a meeting this past week was the topic of people who feel territorial or otherwise project negative feelings toward others when it comes to photography and arts in general.
We have been fortunate enough not to get any negativity with regards to our work from other photographers but I know that others have and it’s probably going to come our way one day. We’re in the business: it’s bound to.
I’m not worried though. I like to have fun with people that are like that.
I’m going to tie this blog post in with another thought that I had. Just follow me: anytime that you bring out new ideas, or innovative ideas, or you appear to be more successful than someone who has been doing what you’re doing “a lot longer than you,” you’re going to get some pushback and you’re going to get some haters. From my experience, the single biggest reason why this happens is this: they feel insecure about their own work and they feel the need to try to make you feel the same about yours by trying to pull you down. They’ll do this by making digs at your work or they’ll maybe try to rally others in their social network to do the same. Most of the time, if you were to analyze their rationale, you’ll find that what they have to say has no substance and comes from places that are unfounded. They’re just opinions. When you break down the actions of what these kinds of people are doing, it just boils down to a form of bullying. Plain and simple.
Let me tell you that before photography, I came from 10+ years in sales. In any of these sales positions, it was ALWAYS my responsibility to get my own leads. I was never given any kind of benefit of a large company passing down leads to me. In other words, I had to work harder to talk to people and find people who would be willing to buy what I was selling. If I didn’t sell, my personal income would be affected. I knew that because it was my responsibility to find my own clients, that if I didn’t get any new clients, the only person I could blame was myself. This scenario is no different than how Vivid Ribbon operates today. Because it’s a business, no one is going to hand us a bunch of leads that we don’t have to work for.
We have almost 1,000,000 people living in Edmonton. If a photographer were to feel threatened or insecure about Vivid Ribbon taking away business from what they’re currently doing, they’re in the wrong business or shouldn’t be in business at all. There’s more than enough business to go around and all you need to do is get off your ass, quit whining, and go to work. This scenario is true for any business, anywhere. It’s called competition and if you’re in business, that is something you have to be willing to accept. Rarely will you ever be the only one in town doing what you do. When things don’t go my way in terms of business, I don’t whine about it. I go to work! I work harder than ever and I don’t blame anyone else. I have all the tools that I need to be successful and so does everyone else.
In regards to haters: there will always be haters. Some people just don’t like to see you become more successful than them and it comes from a place of insecurity about themselves or their work. I’m very confident about the work we do at Vivid Ribbon and Allison and I are both appreciators of all kinds of art. You’ll never hear me say that clients should work with us because “we’re the best.” I know that I’m not and I know that I don’t need to be. Our philosophy with why a client should choose to work with us is that our work is in alignment with their vision. They’re choosing us because there is a fit with our style and quality. All I need to know is that we’re giving our work 100% because that’s what our clients deserve.
We appreciate other artist’s work and if we all did the same thing, the world would be a boring place. So that’s why you’ll never hear us putting down anyone else’s work because to be honest, who are we to judge? Who is anyone to judge that and make it absolute that a person’s work is better or worse than someone else’s? Arts is subjective and someone took the time to create whatever work they’re doing and that’s good enough for me.
In closing – to the haters I say this: stop worrying about what others are doing and spend time perfecting your own craft. Stop trying to tell others how to run their business and focus on your own. Stop trying to put down other people’s work to feel better about yours. With all the time and effort you’re spending hating on others, you could have spent it making yourself and your work better. Get off your ass, quit whining, and get to work. You’ll get much better results doing this than hating on others.