The Virus
I recently came across a user on who likes making comments about others in a very technical, emotional, and manic way.  I don’t know what he does or what credentials he has, but he has over 23,000 posts on the forums.  If you post that much then you either should be a professor or you’re someone who takes  minimal photos with hardly any experience at all.  This user made an attack on me stating, “A good portrait photographer (a real artist) knows that, and that’s why 99% of the real artists use stopped down lenses and selects the background accordingly so that it is not disturbing, or invisible if needed.”  Just by making that statement we can assume that he is in fact no “real artist.”

When reaching the level of being an artist, we have a mutual respect among each other, recognizing that there are no rules when it comes to art.  His view of what makes an artist real or what qualities a true artist possess has no meaning in regards to art, it only defines and sheds light upon his massive ego.  He also made another remark of, “Why? Does the truth hurt? Could you please explain what is a personal attack in the above sentence? Isn’t composition a VERY important part of photography, ESPECIALLY for an artist?”  Again, composition is subjective so how can it be within his school of thought to set the rules for the entire general public.

By rule of what this user states, one can assume that a real artist should only be recognized according to his rules.  If they don’t meet the criteria he has provided, you must not be a real artist.  Well heck, let’s just remove 99% of all works of art because they don’t meet this person’s standards.

An Important Message From Me To Everyone
Don’t let anyone tell you about your art, regardless of if you are a photographer or not.  We all have different styles and approaches to art.  Anyone can be a photographer.  All you have to do is pick up a camera of any make/model and shoot at least once.  To be an artist is different, but there are no rules to art so stop listening to what anyone else deems acceptable. Just do it because it moves, and express yourself in a manner that frees you as a person.  It’s also not a bad idea to ask for advice, but don’t take photo critiques and apply it to all of your photos.

Remember, your photo is of your own creation.  If I looked at 100 random photos and picked out three that I knew were yours, then you’ve made your mark.  It’s your signature!  So please… stay away from this dangerous form of advice known as the  “The Virus.”  Eventually you will get caught up and lose yourself and your art will be their art, not your own.

Bruce Lee said it best, “Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water.”  His own heritage stopped him from teaching his own style of Kung Fu, but he defied it and opened minds like a wild fire.  Be remembered for your struggles and triumphs, not the negative ideals thrust upon you by others.



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