Sorry you see things like that Thomas.
While it may be true that some criticism falls more in the realm of bullying then actual helpful criticism, I have seen good bad and ugly on this site. I think you may be just focusing more on the bad then anything.
At first, I was a little intimidated to post anything on here, but I fell that I am comfortable with what I say. I’m not the best photographer, anyone who says that is an ass, getting high off their own farts.
I call things as I see it. Not to try to bully people, mock them or to prove if my skills are any better then anyone else’s.
Truth is, we all start from zero, it’s what we do after zero that defines us as photographers. we, and I mean all that comment on this site, point out the short-comings of those that think they have the game all figured out, just because they don’t. When you fail to realize that your skills are not at a particular level but fail to improve on them, you have just ventured into the Fauxtog area.
What separates true “professionals” from the “Fauxtogs” is the willingness to learn and know the basic fundamentals of photography and improve upon those fundamentals. Going into a photo session not knowing how to compose a shot and shooting in full auto does not make a professional. Having a lighting kit or OCF and burning retinas of your subjects does not make you a professional. Not going to seminars or workshops to learn new and better techniques because your better then that does not make you a professional.
I have no problem with beginners charging for their services and making some cash on the side, but this is a hobby, not a profession. I have no problem people using just a facebook page to sell images, if anything, it keeps the overhead low and manageable when starting out. What I have a problem with is people doing bad work and passing themselves off as “professionals.” This gets exaggerated by people who “like” bad photography and don’t want to hurt the Photographers feelings by telling them that their photography is bad to begin with.
What defines me as a photographer? The fact that I pay taxes as a photographer, I have a Tax ID number, a business license, I have a web-site and I am always trying to improve my skills by continually learning new techniques and processes. When I said that I was first intimidated, I was. I have a web site by use a G-mail account, my business name is really long and easily misspelled, so I shorten it to make it easy for people; I bought my serious DSLR after 2008, I could not afford a “real” camera until fairly recently. Does this make me a Fauxtog, well maybe in the very beginning, but I hope that I am well beyond that, I think I am, but my journey os not over just yet.
I learned to shoot photography 25 years ago, winding B&W film from bulk stock into cartridges and developing the negatives. From there I was spending all my time in the darkroom, making my own prints, skills that have burned into my brain. The camera I learned on does not have ISO, it has ASA speeds to give you an idea.
Am I the best photographer? Not by a long shot. Photography is like a golf player, you can play all your life and not get any better, but with time and practice you can become a pro.
Feel free to add any comments, I welcome them.