Everyone on the internet has an opinion and many of them are not exactly productive or supportive. This is even more prevalent in the photography community and in a ten-minute video from Miguel Quiles, he discusses five of the most common “negative” opinions that need to be stopped if creatives want to elevate their craft to the next level.
While there are toxic opinions everywhere you look on the internet, the creative community needs to strive to do better and be better so that they can all rise and improve as artists. Constructive criticism (when asked for) can be appropriate and has its time and place, however, simply being negative for the sake of trolling is not doing anyone any favors. Here are the top five negative opinions on photography that need to stop, according to Quiles.
“You Can’t Take A Bad Photo Of A Beautiful Subject”
Many people will say that it is impossible to capture a bad image of a beautiful person, and Quiles is not alone in arguing that is just plain wrong. Sometimes the subjects are just having a bad or off day, sometimes the photographer is. Maybe sometimes it can be both. The bottom line is “bad” photographs happen all the time for a wide variety of reasons, so saying something like this to a photographer is most likely a passive-aggressive jab to try to take away from the credit they may be due.
“Person X’s Work is Better Than Yours”
This happens a lot on social media, and often someone will say “person X did it better” or the ever-popular “I would have done this so much better by…” in response to a photo. This is a clear sign of someone’s ego being their own enemy.
“Photography as an art form is subjective and there are going to be images that you like and others really hate for one reason or another regardless of the actual quality,” Quiles says. “So telling someone their image sucks is just plain rude. So keep it to yourself and the world will be a better place for it.”
“Retouching is Wrong!”
Processing images has been happening since the dawn of photography, and that includes film processing labs and the original “dodge and burning” for prints. Yet, somehow, there are still many vocal critics who feel retouching in any capacity is “wrong.”
While some creatives may go heavy-handed in their editing, as mentioned above, photography as an art form is subjective and everyone will have a different style. Just because one person may not like the way another person retouches their image does not mean they are not or will not be successful in their careers. Photographers should be welcome to express themselves however they like with our work, so unless a subject or client specifically asks to have things done a specific way, it is not for other photographers to decide a person’s retouching or edits are “bad.”
“Better Gear Makes A Better Photographer”
A wildly debated topic on the internet and in person, there is no straightforward answer on whether gear makes a photographer better or not. As Quiles says, sometimes a new piece of gear can free up a creative to achieve a look they’ve been striving for (thus making them “better”), and then there are times when no matter what new piece of equipment a photographer picks up, their skill level never improves.
Some will even argue that showing up to a client shoot with older or “less than” gear will earn them some sort of grief on set. The truth is, as long as the photographer can deliver the same quality of content that the client hired them for, the gear being used is irrelevant.
“Natural Light Photographers Don’t Know How To Strobe”
Many photographers who regularly use flash will lash out at “natural light” photographers and say that they just don’t know how to use lights and that their style is somehow lesser for it. Maybe that is true and they haven’t yet learned or tried to use strobe or continuous lighting and maybe it was a stylistic choice. Regardless, it does not mean they are not good photographers or cannot produce great images.
Sometimes they may know how to use every light and trick in the book, and yet the natural light available is just much better and more convenient than pulling out a bag full of lights. Sometimes it could be as simple as it is a style that their clients prefer and ask for. Regardless, natural light versus strobes should not matter as long as the photographer is creating images in a way that speaks to them and their clients.
Image credits: Featured image licensed via Depositphotos.