About a year ago, I received the meanest email I've ever had in my whole life. It was from another photographer who was upset that I dared pick up my camera and take pictures. He called me a "MWAC" (mom with a camera) and told me I was ruining the photography industry by taking pictures of people. He told me I should stand back and let professionals do it, because I didn't know what I was doing or the first thing about how to run a photography business.
Yes, it hurt my feelings. Like, a lot. I was outraged mostly, because I felt like a little of it was true. I was still finding my footing as a photographer, and I hadn't yet discovered my love of creating fine art and surreal works. He might have been a little bit right, and he was surely right about my not knowing how to run a business. But that was no excuse for him to tell me not to try. How else are people supposed to learn if they aren't allowed to do the thing they are learning?
When the sting of it wore off, I realized that he wasn't trying to "help me" as his email had claimed. "I'm only telling you this for your own good, I"m trying to help you see that there isn't any real future for you in photography" He was scared of me.
He was scared because he could see potential in me that I could not yet see in myself.
He saw future competition. And he was trying to squash me before I even got a start.
I believe this is the case with anyone who puts you down. Maybe they're afraid of you or what you'll become, maybe they feel bad about themselves and want to see you feel bad too, misery does love company after all. But for whatever their reasons are, they have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
If you look at a seed, hold it in your hand, it doesn't look like much. But plant that seed and tend to it, nurture it, and watch it grow, you'll see that it becomes a beautiful flower or a majestic tree. And if you had quashed that seed when it was still a seed, you would never have the joy of looking upon it's final form.
You must think of yourself and your talent in this same way. Especially if someone is trying to put you down. You are a seed. Or maybe a sapling. But give yourself some time and some TLC and you will grow into a majestic tree or a beautiful flower.
If you are already a tree? You must tend to the saplings. Help them grow, move your branches so they too can get some light. Only a falling tree takes down everything beneath it. Don't be a falling tree. A diseased tree will spread it's blight.
Nobody starts off in their final form. We grow into it. and must give ourselves the time to grow. Don't be discouraged. Don't let people try to tell you to quit, because if you DO quit, you'll never know where you might have ended up.
My Fellow Fine Artists
Tammy Zurak of Z Photog Studio | Memphis, TN, USA | Fine Art/Illustrative Photography Gallery:
Pam Korman of District Photography | Philadelphia, PA, USA | Fine Art Photography:
www.bonniealrifai.com Fine art photography
Handy Andy Pandy