So despite my thick (39 year old) skin, and my long career in making marks as an artist, designer, community builder and now photographer, I still find the small stuff a thorn in my side.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff”.

For the most part. I don’t give a shit about what people I don’t know think of me. I’ve had so many people tell me that they’ve heard their friends talk shit about me, stuff like “He’s a drug dealer obviously as he’s loaded and always buying shit”… actually it’s almost always money related, but those who KNOW me know I’m not a drug dealer (lol), and that I have no money in my savings account because I choose not to “save” money, and instead enjoy it when I make it.

But when I hear negative things from people who I respect, it hurts.

“Your photography is porn” – Really?! Come off it. I can show you porn, then I can show you my work. If you can’t distinguish the two then I’ve got no time for you.

“You’re a one trick pony” – Get fucked. I’ve only JUST started shooting a year ago. It’s VERY new to me and I’m having SO much fun learning. I’m genuinely hungry and obsessed about shooting more in order to develop more confidence in my shooting abilities.

“You need more diversity, you always shoot in the same locations” – What’s the difference between me shooting in my house as opposed to other photographers only shooting in a photography studio 24/7? In any case I’m not shooting my location… I’m shooting people!!! During the 2-3 hours of my shoots I’m trying to get to know the girl in front of me as best I can in order to capture the person as best I can. Ultimately that’s what it’s all about.

“So you’re a Lingerie Photographer now?!” – No I’m not. I simply get girls to bring whatever they like. I then shoot them in whatever they wear in front of my lens. Sometimes I end up with a natural and sexy set of photos of a girl, sometimes I end up with amazing artistic concepts, again, it ALL depends on the person in front of me. IE: I am NOT about to come up with an amazing concept for a shoot for a girl I’ve never shot as that could just be a disaster and it’s far from real (or natural). On the other hand if the girl in front of me does overt sexual poses because that’s what she likes to do and how she wants to be represented, then who am I to tell her to stop being herself and put more clothes on?

“You’re sexually objectifying women” – I can’t win a gender debate, but again, get fucked. I don’t shoot girls for my own sexual pleasure (and if guys out there get off on my images it’s their problem not mine). I’m an artist. My work is art (because I say it is). I sincerely look for beauty. I am not selling a product with my photography. I dead set respect every girl that sits in front of my lens for doing so (good on you girls!).

End of the day you can’t please everyone. I know this. And of-course I don’t NEED to justify myself to anyone, especially as I’m having SO much fun learning and pushing (I’ve only recently gotten over my fear of shooting in low light/at night and I’m now giving that a go) and fuck yes I enjoy the recognition and praise, especially from the girls I shoot and their parents and friends (this makes me so happy!). But I felt the need to vent (I do this less and less).

I think I feel better now. /vent.