Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum I got called a "bully" again, and was reminded of this show

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    I offered up some critisism along with others when we were asked for a group critique and it turned ugly.  I’m thinking of changing my stance.  Changing my name here to I LOVE Fauxtography and not being quite as honest or helpful, but instead taking the advice from the people who have called me a bully (or other choice insults).  I’m going to “uplift”, “encourage”, “compliment”, “acknowledge” and all around make people feel really good about the crap work they produce.  Of course this would also water down any sort of real complimentary opinions I might have about someones work, and make my words meaningless, but I think it MAY be a more entertaining way to handle things.  Have I gotten so jaded that I’d be willing to be this mean???  Maybe.  I’m angry enough to do it right now

    Anyone remember this show?  It was called Super Star USA.  The judges and audience pretended that the people that had no talent whatsoever, were incredibly talented singers, and the winner of the show would be titled the worst singer in the states.  It was so mean, but also hard not to watch.  Lot’s of very funny, unforgettable moments.  All the people who auditioned were told that they could sing, were encouraged by people in their lives to audition, and then told by judges that they were super star material.  The egos were so HUGE, and the delusions even bigger.  WOW

    Here are some auditions (keep in mind none of these were the winner of the contest… yep, there were even worse singers than this)

    Just me, or do they remind you of …eh nah… I’m sure it’s just me making that connection 😉


    I wouldn’t change a thing, stay true to who you are.  I get looks or people telling me that I was too forward or direct at times.  How the hell am I supposed to be?  I don’t criticize to hurt, but hopefully to help.  If they can’t take an honest critique, then they need to really grow up and get a pair.

    Went on a group photo trip last weekend and took a fellow friend photographer for the ride and to help him get some different shots to fill his portfolio.  We talked on the way, and there was one thing I said to him that he said was the best advice anyone has ever told him.

    I said:

    You got to have a thick skin in this business and any business.  In photography, everyone is going to tell you how they would have composed the shot you took and offer their advice to “make it better.”  Listen to their advice, don’t listen to their advice, it’s up to you.   Learn to filter out what is noise and what is actually truly helpful advice.  Don’t get too full of yourself, don’t be a douchebag, but especially don’t let people beat you down, prove them wrong by doing better.

    There was more but I don’t want to bore you guys, it was a 2 hour drive to our destination.

    I Love Fauxtography, I mean IHF, it sounds like you’re venting and that’s cool, but don’t change.  I like seeing the regulars like you dish out some true helpful advice instead of fluff praise you get everywhere else.

    I mean truly, how does one improve when everyone tells them their stuff is awesome or great when it is anything but?



    Anne Murray told a story during an interview many years ago.  If memory serves:  She was riding in a car with her aunt and was singing.  Her aunt said she sounded wonderful, and that inspired her to go on to take music lessons and eventually become a Grammy winning singer.  Sometime later, after she was a star, she discovered her aunt was tone deaf!

    Perhaps that’s the exception?  Once inspired, Murray took 6 years of piano lessons and at 15 years old, started voice lessons.

    I suspect a lot of the current educational system’s emphasis on not harming the child’s delicate psyche and the focus on not criticizing children or giving them failing grades leads to our current situation of everyone feeling entitled to constant praise regardless of performance.

    There are lots of social photography sites, most of them prefer nice, fluffy, uplifting comments rather than honesty.  That makes this site refreshing.  Like Bill, I think your comments here have been insightful and worth reading.  I like you as you are.


    There is no longer any drive for excellence in this world. Or if there is, it’s slowly fading into obscurity. People are, more and more, satisfied with “good enough” and worse yet, “it’s all amazing”. Where did they learn to accept that? Well, from childhood now, people are rewarded for mediocrity. No longer are the good or best rewarded while the less good and losers are encouraged to try harder. Instead, children are graded on curves and averages and competitions are a bunch of people sitting around the campfire singing kumbaya and are all handed medals for “participant”. Heaven forbid we insult some poor soul by calling him or her a loser, or implying it by calling the other kid the “winner”. They are all “winners”. So we end up with everyone thinking good and poor efforts are equally amazing as those produces by gifted souls. What a wonderful world is yet to come as output from a faux will be seen by all as equal to output from a future Picasso. And that’s why criticism is neither welcome nor viewed as constructive if it isn’t all simple pandering to the amazing mediocrity that the photo may be.

    On another camera forum, someone started a thread along the lines of “if you are out and about taking photos for fun, and you see someone struggling, do you go up to them and offer advice or walk on by?”. If you think dealing with these people (aren’t I just the greatest types) are fun on photo forums, try them in person. Ask me for advice though, and I’ll try to help if I can and if I have questions, I too will seek help. Turn it into a “pat on the back” session though and again, I’ll say I need to hurry to meet someone.


    Some people deserve to be bullied. Fauxtographers that rip people off are on that list.


    Don, I’m with you… how fun would it be to

    “OH!  WOW!  How I love selective color!  Look how it made their eyes just pop right out and grab hold of you.  AND I love the way you kind of colored outside the lines, and how you used blur to convey.  It’s so brave and rebellious.  I don’t even have words to describe how amazing this picture is.  If your clients don’t by a 30×20 of this to hang in their home they’re crazy!”


    “I love how dark this image is.  It’s difficult to make out the faces in the photo, and that adds some very artistic mystery to the photo.  I’m unsure of what this event was that you were capturing, but you did wonderfully.  I bet your clients just raved over it.  We all get self conscious in front of a camera, but the way you shot this, leaves out all the details that make us squirm when we see ourselves in photos, and just as simply as possible, depicts the memory of this family being all together.  Just lovely”

    You are AMAZING at photography!

    UGH!  So tempting… yet…. I just can’t make myself be that cruel



    and again, thank you for allowing me vent, and hearing me out… Just typing to you all made me feel better.  I’m not alone.  There ARE sane people with a grip on reality out there 😉


    Don’t succumb to it, IHF. The world still needs people like you to keep the people who strive to be better-than-average in check. The passive-aggressive BS will undoubtedly just go over their head.

    For me, I’ll leave a critique (when it’s requested) and see how they take it. If it’s a childish reaction, I don’t even bother ever commenting again…or really looking at that person’s work. Can’t work with people like that.


    People don’t know better and because everyone around them constantly tell them how awesome their pictures are they take your lone voice as someone who only wants to put them down.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever watched Gordon Ramsay’s kitchen nightmares? Preferably the British and not the really dramatised American version. Lots of those people are as deluded as the fauxtographers we see on facebook but far more heavily invested into their business. They are almost always failing because they aren’t producing high enough quality, their business model isn’t up to scratch and they don’t know how to run a business. All these things probably sound familiar. Most of them don’t really want to accept that they are rubbish at what they do either. We need some angry photographer with a camera crew in tow to sort some of these fauxtographers out and hopefully some will fall in line and realise just how useless they are.


    My 8-yr-old daughter Francesca has inherited my old 50D (with a Holga lens to start), and I assured her that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU will share you inner-most feelings on her photography prowess once her flickr acct is up and running. 🙂



    Nesgran – I’ve been dreaming about a show like that! Come on Channel 4!! But who is the photographer version of Gordon Ramsay?


    “But who is the photographer version of Gordon Ramsay?”  I don’t know… But I sure wish he’d show up lol



    One time in grad school, I signed up for a course entitled “Hard Problems in Combinatorial Optimization”.  I was struggling the first few weeks, so I visited the professor and asked what I could do (background reading, etc.) to understand the course material better.  His entire response was basically that I might not have the mathematical maturity to handle the course.

    Objectively speaking, he was correct.  However, the way he stated it made me think that not only was I presently unprepared for the course, but also that I had no hope of handling it ever.  I ended up taking a few semesters off because of how hopeless that meeting made me feel.

    It would have been far better if he’d taken a few minutes to look at what I was having trouble with, comparing it to my background, and recommending a few courses or books that would get me up to speed for his course.

    Perhaps the OP’s mistake is not giving realistic feedback, but whether or not it’s presented in a way that leaves the hearer with (a) crushed morale, and (b) no idea of how to proceed to address the shortcomings.



    i completely get what you are saying.  This time it just wasn’t the case (or maybe it was, but… Unavoidably so?). The picture (from a paid session) was OOF, and she was given advice and links to help with learning focus, and told to hold off on the business end of things until she got a better handle of the basics.  It was pretty cut and dry, and I DO think the information given was helpful as long as she puts it into practice.  It may have felt harsh to hear, but… How else can you say “your picture is out of focus”?


    How else can you say “your picture is out of focus”

    My, what a powerful depth of field effect you’ve gotten there.  It’s rare for a photographer to be so bold!  If you ever decide to sell out and go mainstream, your camera may have a cheesy “AF” function for less artistic individuals 🙂

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