The Angry Among Us

An unhappy Western Lowland Gorilla

The Angry Among Us - © Copyright 2011 by William Beem

A few days ago, I was talking online with some friend about a photo project that's been done. Rick Hughes did a couple of shots with models dipped in honey, and another dipped in chocolate. 50 gallons of each liquid. During one workshop with Rick, we talked about it and he told me about how this all came together, going to the honey farm, etc. I pondered the idea of doing it with caramel…and if I could figure it out, peanuts (not sure how they'd stick to the model). Put those together and you could make a big Snickers bar.

Ultimately, I decided against doing it because it was really just a rip-off of Rick's idea. I'd like to do a theme project with a few different models, but something inside said I should come up with my own idea. It's not that I'm opposed to copying ideas, or that I won't come up with an idea that's been done before. That's not the point.  The objective, for me, is to exercise my own creativity and make something happen.

Fortunately for me, I came across an idea that I like. I found places to get the costumes that I need. There were some other details to work out and I found information on those issues, too.  What I needed next were models who fit the roles that I had in mind.

My next stop was ModelMayhem.com.  There are other sites out there, but MM seems to be the 800 pound gorilla of that market. I entered my criteria and searched for models in my area to see who fit. Pickings were slim. I need specific age, hair color, hair length and body proportions for the role I have in mind. There are plenty of models. but less than a dozen met my criteria. Of those in the search results, there were really only two that I thought had potential, and one of them hadn't been online in over a year.  Clearly, I needed to cast a wider search net. That's when I started searching Photographer profiles to see who had already worked with models that could be suitable for my project.

During my search, I came across a photographer's profile that just struck me as plain nasty. The very first words on his biography are meant to be insulting to someone else's ego, and it gets worse as the paragraphs continue. For the life of me, I can't imagine why anyone would want to make such a horrible first impression. I don't have any complaints about his photography. In fact, he's quite good, filled with lovely models in little attire. Then I started taking a closer look. As I thought about it, I didn't really care for the lighting on most shots, or the strong skin-smoothing. Bear in mind, this was all from a man who spent  the first SIX paragraphs of his profile in rants insulting others (and he closed with two more insulting paragraphs).

All I could think of while reading his profile, and again on his own website, was that I would never even want to meet this man, much less hire him. He just seemed to be so angry and condescending. Don't be that guy. Why in the world would you want to turn someone off on your intro page? Why would you want to seem like an angry jerk on your first impression?

Think about your own communication with potential clients, models, or even just with other photographers if you're a hobbyist. I can understand that everyone gets grumpy once in a while, but would you want to put that in writing for others visiting you for the first time? If so, good luck winning them over. Most people don't want to work around a Prima Donna with a bad attitude.

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