Maryah, Im kind of in the same boat right now. One of my very close friends has been sucked into faux land and is making some serious mistakes, along with going into debt taking this whole “I’m going pro” thing on. In my case, she doesn’t really want my critique or advice. She even asks me in such a way that makes it clear she doesn’t want it. It’s a very uncomfortable position to be in. I try not to even bring photography into our conversations anymore. It’s difficult to accomplish, but I try. I only ofer advice when its clearly asked for. Which isn’t often anymore since I never tell her what she wants to hear. Other than telling her that no one is going to strike her dead if she puts the camera in P until she learns her settings better, while she was struggling to take snaps shots of a friend’s going away party (she had only had her camera for a few months and these pictures were too important to her) she liked that advice. lol. I don’t encourage her to buy more gear, and don’t lead her to easy fixes like actions and whatnot, like what she reads on the net and on her “nice” critiquing site she joined. She thinks it’s all about getting everything she doesn’t have and not about learning with what she already does have. I had no idea she was even thinking of going pro. Absolutely none. I knew she was having lots of fun learning, and was super happy with having a new hobby, but… Come to find out, shes already really good and just needs more gear, and an online institute degree to step up her game…sigh… People really want to buy her photography, but it’s just not affordable, and she just needs to learn how to market it better. There’s more, but I think you get the picture.
If he’s not listening to your advice/critique, then he doesn’t want it. Is he really asking you for it or is there a chance you are misinterpreting? Because my friend stopped asking quite a while ago, and I’m following her cue. Our friendship is way too important to me to risk it. She already knows my opinion and advice on the business side of things as well as how I work, think, set up, shoot, feel, etc etc. We talked in depth about all of it many many times starting way back even before she became a photographer a couple years ago, and there’s no use in repeating myself.
She may no longer respect my opinion because I am just an amateur with a lot more work ahead of me, and she feels she has grown beyond my level (she hasn’t. Take my word. I know I sound like a shit for saying it, but… its bad people…its pretty darn bad).
It may not even be about my advice at all, but more about how other people’s advice/criticism feels better and has more power than mine because of the way it makes her feel.
I say, if you have tried, and they aren’t listening, and if the friendship is important to you… time to step off a bit. Just be there for them when they fail without any “I told you sos”. It’s a shame that all we can do is sit back and watch things unfold for them, and cringe, but it’s better than losing someone important to you.