Not a Simple Pet Peeve...

Provo River Falls

Provo River Falls

I think this might be my last post…for a little while…on the little nuggets of wisdom that I received while at the Click Away Conference. I have been chewing on a lot of stuff, and I’m sure there is more to be written about in the future, but I need some more time to digest and process.

I’m sitting in the Salt Lake City airport waiting to fly home with The Rocket Scientist. We have had a glorious week enjoying each other and God’s amazing creation in the Wasatch Mountains. Alas, we are at that stage where we are not really on vacation still, but we aren’t home yet. And all we want to be is…home. Ginger is missing us I’m certain (although our kiddos have been checking in on her during the day and our son has stayed with her at night…and she thinks he hung the moon, so I’m sure we have missed her more than she has missed us!). So…by the time this publishes I will be happy in my own home.

Ok, back to the post of wisdom (sorry…I just had to compose myself as I busted out laughing in the middle of the airport when I typed that! People were looking!).

While at the conference there were so many running themes in the main sessions and in the breakout sessions that I chose. Additionally, in some of the conversations I had with different women from all over the country, the themes were the same. Oddly comforting and sad at the same time, that we all fight so many of the same demons in our very separate worlds.

Such is the path of women…or so we have fooled ourselves into thinking.

Yesterday I was reading a question posed on one of the many photography boards I’m on. The funny thing is, I have seen this question posed on multiple forums…in some form or another. It looks something like this:

“What is your greatest pet peeve that other photographers do?” or “What technique do you see other (new) photographers doing that you just can’t stand?”

Then the original poster will usually go on to state something that others do or don’t do that drives them crazy. Followed by everyone else who replies to the post and either agrees with the aforementioned “pet peeves” and then they will add more.

Sadly, most of these “pet peeves” are things so many of us have done before, when we were just starting, or when we have been trying a new editing technique, etc. Sometimes the “pet peeve” is actually the style in which a person shoots or edits. I often think, because I have actually been on the side where I was doing some of these things that drive other photographers “crazy”, how must it make the new person feel when they read this? Maybe they just posted one of their very first pictures and one of these “mortal sins” was committed in their photos – but they are so proud because they may have mastered another technique. Is that so bad?

How do they feel? Does that “pet peeve” post then make them want to give up? Maybe they do. Maybe they retreat, and give up on moving any farther in a creative are that is, for the most part, subjective. Can we not, especially females in the industry, just be happy there has been something new learned – that will, in the end, help move that person forward in the learning process.

My question is this – WHO do we think we are posing any of these “questions” and letting people know what our “pet peeves” are when it comes to another’s work? After all, given the way these questions are usually posed, they are not helpful or constructive…they are usually a backhanded way to insult others.

We have all done it. Not just on photography boards…but on craft boards, or when talking about other people blogs. Listen to self-proclaimed ‘Grammar Nazis” – if you want to feel complete uneducated and worthless, have a one of those folks speak with you about their “pet peeves”. Warning though…you may need some therapy following that conversation!

Here’s my thought: what if we actually stopped doing this? What if we took the time to build people up – not backhand them with our ‘advice’ or our ‘pet peeves’.

I say this particularly to women. We fight so hard to figure out who we are in society; to find our footing as creative souls. Why, oh why, do we have very little thought process when we set our fingers a flight or loose our tongues with these gems of hurtful ‘wisdom’ (and I use the term wisdom very loosely in these settings.)?

Again, this is just one of those things that has been swirling around in my head since Click Away. I want to be a better support to those around me…to those who read this blog…to my family and my friends. I want to support them, not tear them down. Maybe we can all work on being better in this particular area.

(I lest you think I have no real pet peeves…just try getting super close to me in the grocery store checkout line…my head nearly explodes!)

Just a thought as I prepare to enter my new reality once we return to Tucson.

end of introspect for now…