You’re Argument is Invalid.

I was in a really great mood today. I got a lot of house cleaning done (piggy beds, litter box, laundry, general house picking up…) I accomplished my wifely chore list and went out into town to gather nuts and berries for dinner tonight. Then I got an email. And in a hot second my switch was tripped. There was a loud pop, a blinding flash, and boom- bad mood. Irate. My ears got hot, my cheeks flushed and I shot off a quick (and professionally bitchy response) and carried on with coming home. I’m still pissed. One single damn email pissed away my good mood and has spun me into this dark place that brought up a lot of suppressed emotion from the past couple weeks.

Hold onto your butts- Mama Unicorn’s rant machine has been fired up and is purring like a kitten!

I am not a kid. I am a grown woman with dreams, goals, talents, emotional scars, and a sever lack of self-confidence. To treat me like some incompetent little turd makes me feel like shit and makes your ego pop brighter. Congratulations- you feel like a real big man by making another human (gracious as I was in one situation) feel like the sludge underneath the fridge. The kind that shrinks from the light and hisses when cleaner hits it.

I have been a professional photographer (yes, I put that in italics to show a point) for over 13 years. Did I start shooting in film? When I was a kid with her mom’s camera just playing around- yes. Was it quality work? F*** no! I was a kid taking pictures at high school basketball games of guys she had a crush on that wouldn’t look at her twice because she was in charge of the nerd crew too scared to eat lunch in the cafeteria because of the bullies. Do I have an understanding of “film days”? Yes. When I was a model- it was all film. It was holding still in back breaking poses under hot as hell lights, blotting away sweat with paper towel, and praying the shot turned out- photo shop not available.

When I started shooting for real- it was digital. Did I go to school to learn the in’s and out’s of photography? Nope. Self taught. Books, magazines, Youtube, and Google, bitches- that’s how I learned. I have a stack of photography magazines on my desk next to a dog eared composition notebook that I am still studying from, taking notes, experimenting. I studied photographers online who’s work I love. That’s how I learned to shoot for Suicide Girls. I don’t have shiny framed degrees hanging on my office walls or some over inflated fancy title to validate my photographer career. I have prints of photos that I took that I love. I have images from magazines that inspire me. I have images taken of me at my happiest- all hanging on my office wall. 

If you, as a fellow photographer, start an argument or try to prove a point with the opening line of “Back in the film days…” my eyes will glaze over and honestly- everything that comes out of your mouth will be rendered as bullshit when it hits my brain cells. Congrats- you shot on film. Very cool. Very powerful. Very old school. Old to the point of pretty much not being valid anymore. Do some still shoot film? OF COURSE! It’s back in style now for heaven’s sake. Polaroids (new version Instamax) are on sale at craft stores and Instagram has filters to mimic film grain. The cost now is what the cost of digital was when it first started. But- everything is digital now. EVERYTHING!! Why? Because pixels are free! You’re shot doesn’t have to be perfect from the jump! You can take five or six or a hundred shots to get that one you want! Even then you can play around in photo shop to fix and perfect your image.

Twice now in two weeks I have been belittled and treated like some punk kid because I don’t know “film”. I don’t have the “experience”. Each of these “photographers” term used loosely based on their bullshit attitudes towards me have felt the need to push their “helpful tips” on me. Treating me like a kid with her first point and shoot that knows absolutely f***ing nothing. And I’m pissed. Advice is welcome- as long as you don’t insist everything I am doing is wrong without giving me the option to explain how or why I am doing what I am doing. You’ve adjusted you’re camera seven times and have taken three images! I’ve adjusted once and have snapped off fifteen images in the same ten minute time frame- completely happy that I am shooting in RAW and know my shit’s gonna be amazing after I hit it with photo shop. I’m honestly so burnt from my experience last week here at my house that the images are sitting untouched on my camera’s card and I have absolutely no motivation to touch them- as good as I know they are I kind of just want to format the card.

Today- what tripped my trigger was the disrespect paid to me by someone that was at the photo conference a couple weeks ago. Sent to me third party- to paraphrase now three emails later-“ whom do I send my images to? I was given no information(you actually were, you just refuse to acknowledge my very being for three years running). Is it that so called Model Coordinator that was too busy doing other things (Like what? Dealing with canceled shoots, keeping model motivation up, attending staff meetings that were scheduled at the worst possible times, dealing with creepy ass photographers harassing my models? That stuff?) Perhaps she should update the website with current images! How do I get my images published as I have film experience and believe I have great images to provide better examples of the conference…” yadda yadda yadda- blow me.

There’s that line again… Film experience. Seriously? Am I not a real photographer because I’ve never seen the red glow of darkroom lights? Oh wait- I have. I played in my father’s darkroom as a kid. I watched him painstakingly develop images he had taken as fire investigator for the fire department. It was cool. The chemical smells tingling in my nose, the patience he had, all the steps it took… I remember those days as a kid helping dad. It’s not my fault technology has updated things into the digital age.

Someone I cared dearly for thought I had promise. That’s why the Model Coordinator torch was passed along to me. He saw my promise, my talent and desire to make changes. Changes that have yet to be fulfilled because of those that “back in the film days, this is how we did it…” have their way of thinking and refuse to acknowledge change. Which is over all hurting the conference to an almost lethal level. I can only do so much without help and back-up. I’ve fought for three years to get the website up to date. I have fought for three years to change the ideal that tattooed people are dirty heathens not worthy of attention. I have fought for three years to UPDATE the “film days” mindset into something more current! To assume that just because you “have film experience” is more valid and all-knowing is infuriating to me. As well as you’re assumptions I am just some social butterfly that shucks her duties at the drop of a f**king hat.

God- I am so mad I’m am just spooling out words at this point. I really am. Maybe I am just a kid. Kicking and screaming and throwing a temper tantrum at this point. Who knows?  I’m trying to change and update a mindset that’s been carved in the stone tablets by Eastman Kodak. I guess what it really boils down to is that just because I didn’t go to school to learn how to use a fancy camera (I used Google and the owner’s manual) doesn’t mean I’m not a valid photographer. Film is damn near dead, everyone. I’m sorry but that’s just the way of things now. Open your eyes, accept technology’s advances and carry on- otherwise you’ll be left in the wake.

Rant over. I’ve got nothin’ left to type that would prove useful right now…


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