I dont normally write blog posts. After all, I am a photographer, not a writer, but I feel that I need to say a few things this morning.
Yesterday, a letter circulated around the web that was “allegedly” written by the client of a photographer.
I dont really care who wrote the letter. I dont really care if the letter was written at all. I dont care what the motives were. I think the message of said letter was interesting and a little heart wrenching, but ok, that’s not really important.
What is important to me is the mayhem that has ensued all around this wild west of the Internet regarding people’s emotions on not the topic of the letter but on the skepticism of whether the letter was real. I woke up this morning to messages pointing me in the direction of my own name in various discussions surrounding the “value” of photography.
Let me say this, and rest assured, I think many of my colleagues feel the same way, although I wont say “we”, just I. I do not care what a group of moms on various message forums think about the value of my art. The venom that I have seen put forward surrounding this letter is incredibly disheartening to me. It appears that women stayed up all night to argue about photography. I have yet to figure out why this topic is such a trigger point for so many mothers, but it seems to be.
What I also find sad, is how this industry has began to define an art. Being a mother, does not define one’s profession. Whether you make pictures, clothing, jewelry or a major advertising campaign, perform surgery or litigate in front of the Supreme Court , you do what you do because you have a talent, not because you are a mother. Talents big and talents small, they are all talents.
I do not care if you take a picture yourself and spend .64 cents printing it at CVS. I do not care if you hire a photographer who gives you a disc for $100.00. I do not care if you spend $5000.00 on portraits. WHAT I DO CARE ABOUT, is respecting the work of photographers who charge a little and who charge a lot. There is a place for all of us. It is unfathomable to me that women can sit behind a computer screen and spew inarticulate, repulsive words about people who work hard and run their businesses honestly. If you choose not to use any certain photographer, FINE. I will not miss the people who hire someone else and I am sure many of us feel the same way.
So, I have a suggestion in the wake of this mess. Instead of carrying on about this letter and everything else you think about it, just find a picture of your kid(s). Remember how lucky you are to have them. Enjoy the photograph, enjoy the memory. And if you want, take some more. Or hire someone to do it. Find someone who suits your needs and dont worry about everyone else.
in your hands.