This week I noticed two different, very popular photographer organizations reach out to their adoring fans for help with re-branding or re-working their images.
One was Devin Super Tramp. He asked for his fans to rework his YouTube page.
Devin Super Tramp makes his living on creating video content for YouTube. And he wanted someone to offer up their talents — gratis — to help him and his image.
I’ll explain it in more detail, but let me tell you, what Devin Super Tramp did … that was shitty.
And then Fstoppers — a photo blog who obviously sells advertising and has a what appears to be a solid business model — reached out to their adoring fans to re-do their logo brand.
Of course, if your work was chosen, you could win $2000. That’s cool right? But what about all the work volunteered by the 1,499 other submitters?
Well, they get nothing.
Both of these parties work in the field of photography, a field that is getting destroyed by levels of disrespect that make the SunTimes decision to fire its photography staff seem like pudding pie.
Photography, as we know it, is changing so fast. I’m one of the only photographers I know who does it full time. Most people struggle at it as a hobby. And while I’m waiting for a big break whilst making my living at it, I watch aspiring photographers give up their dreams often.
It’s not uncommon for people to think photography is easy. It’s pointing and shooting. Right. So grab your camera and come to my party or wedding.
If you do that, please stop.
Somehow publications know they can get young, hobbyest photographers to contribute their services for free. These photographers often spending WAY more time editing photos to submit to income-based blogs and web sites. And they’re doing it for minimal pay and a byline.
One publication called me once and asked me to shoot a festival — a three-day, many-band event — without so much as a small fee to pay for my travel. My pay would be a byline. I told them outright that they’re disrespecting one art form to promote another, and that’s bullshit. And it’s about fucking time we stood together and fought against the people who think they can get valuable services for fucking free.
But then you have two big names in the industry perpetuating this level of disrespect into the graphic arts community?
Fstoppers should be ashamed and embarrassed. Hey, redo our image — a service that companies pay upwards of $1500 to $10,000 for — and you all do it for us for free! There are others who pay much more for these services.
You know what, F-fucking-stoppers and Devin Fucking Super Tramp, you’re part of the problem.
Fstoppers is ostensibly out to help the photography community. But you’re a fuckup and a failure.
And Devin, I know your new $12,000 camera wasn’t cheap and your income is at least enough to buy it and maintain your gear.
It’s time to grow up and make our communities better, by leading by example. By showing that you’re willing to show those assholes who want us to work for free how we respect the art community as a whole.