The Search for Authentic Communication in the Photography Community


Society has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. However, common sense and thoughtful dialogue seem to be gradually disappearing. Instead, we are deep into the extreme world. We are very nice or very rude. The photography world has been wiped out and I think it’s hurt us.

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I’m young, but I remember when someone was able to challenge what they did and didn’t offend anyone. In addition, people had the skills to challenge someone with respect. The result is that a person may have learned something or both parties may respectfully oppose it. It’s scary how far we look today.

Today, people are so afraid of those who see them as non-good people, so they are overly nice and complementary. Or, they are full of undirected anger and want to tell people the worst possible. This happens in everyday life, but mainly on the Internet. The Internet has an overwhelming majority of our photography community.

Today, toxic communication methods in society are preventing photographers from truly developing their skills. Some might say that this toxicity affects far more serious problems than photography. Politics, race, gender, climate, etc. I disagree. However, we are a publication of photographs, and just because we do not feel the urgent need to address its implications does not mean that it is ineffective.

How do these extremes show up in the photography community?

I spend a lot of time looking at photos and photographers. Reddit, twitter, And Instagram are my main source of new photos. There are too many comments about extreme tenderness, rubbing without giving substance to photographers and ego. Shallow compliments make commenters look like good people and give photographers the false reality of how strong their images are.

Today, toxic communication methods in society are preventing photographers from truly developing their skills.

It’s rare to say why photographers don’t like images and what they think can improve them. We know that everything is great, perfect and not super cool for us who still know the reality. We recognize that photos are often flawed and can be improved with minor adjustments. Most importantly, I understand that explaining this to each other is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s much better than offering shallow praise just because you’re scared of how you come across others.

Improving communication in the photography community

Apart from fake and exaggerated compliments, it causes another problem. Being too kind to the photographer reduces your ability to handle criticism. Photographers become irritable and consider people giving something other than praise as a personal attack. It’s okay for people to say the opposite of what they want to hear and instead say what they want to hear. The following is an alternative to shallow praise.

It’s rare to say why photographers don’t like images and what they think can improve them.

  • Express your likes and dislikes of images in a thoughtful and constructive way.
  • Back up your critique by emphasizing how photographers can improve their images.
  • Share your portfolio or another photographer’s example to show a better performer of what the photographer has tried with his images.
  • If you are reluctant to do that in public comments, do it personally.
  • Remember that it’s not a bad thing to say something gets better.

Extreme feedback

If you follow successful photographers, you’ll definitely see the toxic hatred of them. Peter McKinnon got it, Eric Kim got it from the street photography community for years. Neither is constructive and does not include any benefits. Instead, it’s a stream of personal attacks, anger, and excessive attacks. If it sounds like you, I remind you that it’s okay to comment on the photographer’s work without making it a personal attack. And I understand that you may have a lot of anger in you: anger that has nothing to do with the photographer you are attacking. All I can say is that you can find a way to heal and enjoy the photography community in a healthier way.

People like McKinnon and Kim have been successful enough to overcome toxicity, but those unfamiliar with photography may hesitate to stay in the community. Being hurt by it can stop the photographer from picking up the camera again. You don’t have to. It’s a good idea to keep that in mind the next time you think about communicating in such a negative and meaningless way.

Final idea

Can you stop this super-sensitive and overly aggressive approach to life? Anyway, most of them are for appearance. Let’s go back to talking to each other honestly and with respect and make it the norm. In our world of photography, it will make us feel more authentic and will allow photographers to understand their work and improve it as needed.

What do you think about where we are communicating? Will the photography community benefit from being more direct, honest and respectful? Please let us know in the comments below. thank you for reading.


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