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|| Member Message Board

Having a Thick Skin
Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 9:58 AM on 03.22.13
->> I wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for the kind words expressed, and the support offered, for the post I wrote on Wednesday. Each response was valuable and pushed the conversation along. I also wish to thank those members who chose to email me directly because they were unwilling to post publicly for fear of reprisal if they were to do so. The responses seem to reflect both how widespread the membership feels the problem is, and also how deeply they feel it.

In the comments, several people made reference to having a thick skin. I doubt many would argue that being resilient and persistent are helpful traits to have in a business that's competitive by it's very nature. Perhaps the question is whether it's up to the individual photographer to acquire those traits as he needs them, or if it's up to vociferous SportsShooter members to produce the callouses and blisters for him.

In one of the responses, a gentleman wrote, "…when people post things like 'How do I get NCAA creds?' it's like fingernails down a chalkboard to most of us. If someone asks a stupid question like that here, a board of supposed pros, it instantly shows the lack of experience."

Yes, it does show a lack of experience. That's likely why he asked the question. And, since he asked the question, someone should answer him. His lack of experience is precisely why he asked the question. If someone is unwilling, or unable, to read questions like that and respond with a kind answer, there is ALWAYS the choice to say nothing at all. Let someone else for whom a question like that isn't "nails on a chalkboard," answer it. Then, the inexperienced photographer will have his answer—and be less inexperienced as a result—and the "real pros" can do something else. (For the record, I have no idea how one might acquire an NCAA credential. If I wanted to know, I'd likely ask someone here who might simply offer me the answer.)

Some of the members here seem to have appointed themselves evaluators of all that is right and wrong in photography. I don't know where they got the idea that they were qualified for that position or who they think invited them to have that role. Generally, if someone wants an evaluation, they will invite you to do so. It's not implied simply by asking a question.

For example, if someone wants their portfolio evaluated, by taking that risk they have invited someone to criticize their work. But, they did so with the hope that they might get something in the EXCHANGE. They might:

a) Get an assignment
b) Get advice on how they might get an assignment
c) Receive suggestions on how their images might be stronger
d) Build a relationship with the person looking at their book

When someone shames or criticizes someone here for their ignorance, inexperience, youth, or anything else, the person on the receiving end gets nothing. It's a one way street. It's also a street that's a dead-end.

It might be worth considering what the purpose of this message board really is: Is it a place where people can learn from one another and share ideas and experiences? Or, is it a place where "real pros" can demonstrate how ignorant and inexperienced some of the other members are? Based on some of the comments, a few members believe it's the latter. Based on the "informatives" on the post, many members seem to wish it were the former.

To that end, I completely agree with and support Vincent's idea. I think it's brilliant and would be effective in changing the landscape of the message board for the better. Having a mechanism in place that holds people accountable for what they write here—and for who they drive away with their words—would go a long way toward making this message board all that it could and should be.

Joey Terrill
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Steve Ueckert, Photographer
Houston | TX | | Posted: 10:36 AM on 03.22.13
->> Thank you, Joey, both for this post and starting the prior thread.

If I could offer a change to this forum it would be to replace the selection of "Funny" with "Thank You."

Thank You is not the same as Informative. I don't say "informative" to someone when I wish to express gratitude.

I also wish there was a clickable link to see who selected the various checkable replies (informative, etc). I don't need to see directly with each post who chose what but at times it would be nice to lift the veil of anonymity.

--Steve Ueckert
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:43 AM on 03.22.13
->> the negativity from so many photographers and members here is exactly why I started a Photo Women's group. It's a place where women can feel safe to ask anything they want and not be ridiculed. Joey-when I was a younger photographer I once asked another what lens he had on his camera since it was one that didn't look familiar. He promptly covered the lens and hid it from me saying "none of your business."
In my opinion, when a member here shoots down a question and tries to make the person asking feel stupid, they are showing their insecurities, not to mention showing how rude they are. This is a public board and they are showing the world how nasty they can be. It's SO SAD when members are scared to post here.


PS-for any woman that wants more info about the Photo Women Group, please email me. It is on Facebook so you will have to have an account there
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Scott Mapes, Photographer
Jackson | MI | USA | Posted: 11:20 AM on 03.22.13
->> Just wanted to add you don't have to be young to be inexperienced. I have just completed my first full year of photography and I am getting a late start into the game being 44 years old. I have a love of sports and a love of photography and now I am trying to combine the two. Being new to this site, I can tell you it is intimidating wanting to post to this board if I have a question. I have learned alot about my camera the last year, learned how to shoot in manual and understand exposure and I am now comfortable shooting in the darkest gyms or high school football fields. I am still learning alot of the terminology as it is still quite new to me and have wanted to ask questions about something I didn't quite understand on this board but was afraid to ask as I didn't want to come off as an idiot and get flamed on a public message board for it. Id like to thank Mr. Terrill for his last couple of threads and the replys to them as it has made me a little more comfortable to maybe ask some of the questions I might have in the future. Someone once told me while I was in the military, the only dumb question is the one not asked.
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Craig Mitchelldyer, Photographer, Assistant
Portland | OR | USA | Posted: 11:37 AM on 03.22.13
->> Joey Terrill, you rule. Thank you.
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Robert Herrera, Photographer, Assistant
Lakeland | FL | United States | Posted: 12:01 PM on 03.22.13
->> @Scott Mapes

I'm right there with ya bud. Just turned 41 and don't have many years behind a camera.

I have been involved in sports most of my life (playing/coaching - still play baseball) and I ingest as much photography related knowledge as I possibly can.

Thank you once again for your words of wisdom and sanity, Joey!
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:07 AM on 03.26.13
->> A couple of thoughts that might help those who struggle with remarks that "hurt" them. These are from lessons I learned a long time ago when I suffered from the remarks of others. The good news: You can grow a thick skin.

1) If a remark hurts you, there's a question you need to ask yourself: Is the person asking the question or making the remark trying to help or hurt you? If it's a question that is just asked poorly, that's one thing. If it hurts you because you're emotionally immature, that's a issue that begs you to sit down and think about working through it.

If, on the other hand,it's a question or comment that is meant just to hurt or manipulate you into a response, that's another story. You can ignore it, or respond with a question of your own: "Why would you say that?" or "Is making a remark like that something that you get off on or do you just have trouble communicating effectively?" After you ask the question, wait for the response. The predators will attack again because that's the game they play. At that point, you can let them know that you're going to walk away. It drives them nuts because you won't play their game - and it gives you control. There are a few personalities on here that this can work very well with. They love the war of words and getting the last word in - but if you walk away - they can't play.

2) I don't pretend to understand the personalities that pull the crap we see on here and out in the world. Typically they tend to have fairly strong ego-centric personality styles ("the world revolves around me") but that's not always true, either.

I don't spend a lot of time worrying about these folks. Why? Here's a reality: It's obvious that there's something wrong with some of these folks and your job isn't to fix them. Your objective is to make sure they don't impact you and your life. If you have a thick skin, you'll be able to deal with them because what they say won't impact you. If you don't have that thick skin yet, you need to understand that they have issues of their own and they'd rather attack others instead of dealing with those issues. When you understand that, you understand that in many respects, they really are sad. The simplest thing you can do is just ignore them and move away.

Hope this helps.

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Jamey Price, Photographer, Assistant
Charlotte | NC | USA | Posted: 2:16 PM on 03.26.13
->> Thank you for the original post, Joey. Well written. Well spoken. Damn true.
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Arthur Spragg, Photographer
San Angelo | TX | USA | Posted: 2:20 PM on 03.26.13
->> Joey, thank you for your candor and taking the time to share your thoughts.

Steve Ueckert, you make a very good point as well, thank you!
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Tim Gangloff, Photographer
Knoxville | Tn | USA | Posted: 4:03 PM on 03.26.13
->> Joey,

Thanks for posting this and hopefully starting a bit of a dialogue (and perhaps serious thought by those who run the show)that should have happened long ago.

While we should all recognize that having "thick skin" can be helpful at times, I don't like to spend my time or energy in places that require it. Especially, when that time is my leisure time.

For example, if I frequent a local drinking establishment but a couple of punks are always being rude and bothersome, I probably won't keep going back to that establishment. Have I ceded the place to the punks. Well, yes I have. But if the owners of the establishment continue to ignore the problem patrons, then why should I continue to support that establishment.

I came here a few years ago to learn from the best of the best. Unfortunately, while I still see some benefit from the membership here, I don't frequent the forums as often as I might because so often it is just not any fun...or often informative.
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Thread Title: Having a Thick Skin
Thread Started By: Joey Terrill
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