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When Did “Mean” Become Popular?

no more mean When Did Mean Become Popular?

MCP Actions recently celebrated six years of business as an Adobe Photoshop actions design and training company.

Sadly, a trend that has taken shape this year is not worthy of celebration.  It is consistent with the growing tone of arrogant, mean and insulting language posted across the Internet. Recently, it has infested my Facebook page and even occasionally on our blog comments. I now have no choice but to speak out on the subject.

Recent comments on our pages, directed toward members of our community, lack such maturity and tact. It makes me think of 5th grade when a “mean girl” tripped me in a rollerskating rink and then gathered around laughing with a group of kids. There was no purpose to her actions other than to be hurtful.  My elementary school age children tell me similar stories of “meanness” at school.  I am aware that the world is made up of all kinds of people and those mean kids often turn into mean adults.  Those are not the people I want on MCP platforms, as they detract from the experience of the vast majority of our customers and network.

When you own a online business, you have no choice but to tolerate criticism, unsolicited opinions, and sometimes even “rudeness.”   Lately though, non-constructive criticism is impacting photographers and friends who share on my Facebook wall and blog. While some are professional photographers or aspire to be, many just love taking pictures to capture and preserve memories of their families and friends. I personally always invite insightful critique of my photos, business, and site.  I don’t welcome bashing and spiteful comments.

Some photographers who send me “bloopers” and problem photos for before and after Blueprints feel hurt, frustrated, and scared because of unhelpful negativity. I have seen comments telling photographers that their photos are horrible, or even that the photography industry is going downhill because of them. Really?  Is there anything helpful in those words? No!

It saddens me greatly when I get emails like this: “I wanted to send you a sample of your newborn actions on my photos. I don’t want to post the images on your Facebook page with such negativity from some people.” This person is not alone.  Many photographers are scared to post images on our Facebook wall because they are afraid of “mean” attacks. This is sad. I want all photographers, regardless of their status as a pro or hobbyist, to feel comfortable posting to our sites and Facebook page.

If this continues, I will be left with no reasonable choice other than to delete vicious or unkind comments.  So, as of today, because “common courtesy” isn’t common enough, I am instituting the following rules for the MCP blog, Facebook page, and other related sites.

Rules of conduct:

  1. If you can’t say it nicely, don’t say it. Only offer critique when asked and make it polite and constructive.
  2. No insults. People have feelings. Remember that behind every image is a photographer: some are professionals and some just like picking up a camera and taking pictures.  Photo subjects are also people who often have close relationships with photographers and may see nasty comments. This will not be allowed.
  3. All respectful comments are welcome. For example, if we have a pricing discussion about selling images on DVD. You can say “I do not offer this because…”  Or you can say “I charge $X for a DVD of images.” But do not reply with “@___, people like you are ruining the industry.”
  4. Understand that we serve veterans, beginners and everyone in between. Not everyone is at your level.  Not everyone is in the same situation as you or has access to experience and equipment.
  5. We foster an environment for learning and growing. If you want critique or advice, ask for it when you post. If you give critique, make it useful not hurtful.
  6. Bring a skin thick enough for respectful, constructive commentary. Do not take comments personally unless they are personal attacks (and those will be deleted – just send us a message). It is easy to be misunderstood online, so if you think something “might be” unkind, clarify the intentions with the writer.
  7. Just because you have an opinion does not mean you are right. Just because someone tells you their thoughts about you, your photography or your business plan, does not mean they are right either. Use the differences to look at the world and further define your position.
  8. We feel the best images start with great exposure, strong composition, tack-sharp focus, and excellent white balance.  We are also realistic and know the perfect picture isn’t always attainable in camera for a variety of reasons. Maybe you are a new photographer and are still working on the exposure triangle. Or maybe your favorite expression from a subject was the one where your flash didn’t fire. Other times you may take a vacation snapshot and want to print it. And while we help photographers with basic photography skills, we are not a photography company. We are a post-processing company.  We educate photographers on using Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, and tools like actions and presets to enhance their photography.

If you do not believe in using post-processing and think every image should be ideal straight out of the camera, no matter what, you are at the wrong place. MCP Actions exists to help improve all photos.

If anyone has anything to say regarding this post, please add it in the comments. I am willing to listen to any and all constructive criticism and opinions, just not spiteful or rude ones that offer no room for improvement. A friend and fellow photographer once told me “get rid of things that suck your joy.” I hope these new rules will make MCP Actions a better place to learn, share and grow.

Thank you,

Jodi

MCP Actions

 

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122 Comments

  1. 1
    Jennie says:

    Well said! I’m glad you are taking a stand. Too often these people make themselves feel important and powerful under a veil of secrecy. Life is too short to treat people unkindly.

  2. 2
    elijahssong says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing such comments.. while not surprised.. it seems that people feel more and more that they should say the first thing that hits their minds.. sadly. I love your actions, and I hope that photographers of all kinds will continue to feel free to post on your pages while growing in their art… those who would criticize should remember that it is art.. and therefore subjective to each persons taste.. and that all of us had to start somewhere… I agree with Bambi.. if you can’t say anything nice.. don’t say anything at all…… Thanks for your post. :) It needs to be said more often.

  3. 3
    Thereasa Gwinn says:

    I think it’s sad that you have to instill a set of Rules of Conduct. Why can’t adults be adults and be considerate of their fellow photographers? Thank you, Jody for being the great, sharing and kind person that you are. I am one of your biggest fans!

  4. 4
    Irela says:

    Thank you Jodi…….I agree totally with you. Great post and I pray that it reaches those who really need to read it and makes a difference. LOVE MCP Actions!!

  5. 5
    Adria Peaden says:

    Well said and great list of respectful rules. I teach college students via distance learning and I have found the same mean spirited discussions can happen there too. Every semester I begin with an email that includes conduct notes similar to the rules you laid out. My main suggestions is “If you are about to critique someone first type it, reread it, leave the computer, come back and read it again. Then decide if you could say it to the person face-to-face and if you can’t don’t submit it”

  6. 6
    Eileen Hamilton says:

    Jodi, if the rules above were a contract to be part of your site, I would sign up without hesitation. I completely agree with you and I commend you for your tact in being able to address it. I personally do not understand mean people. I understand that they want to put others down so that they feel better about themselves, or so I’ve read. However, good manners dictate what mothers all over have stated for centuries, “If you can’t say something nice, keep your mouth shut.” I enjoy your site, your work, your insight, and wisdom. I encourage those out there who are afraid to post. To the “haters”… I believe you are welcome to make your own blogsite, fb page, and do as you please. I do not care to join you.

  7. 7
    Iain says:

    I fully agree with you on all the points.
    Nobody learns from being put down.
    Everyone has different standards and expectations.
    If they’ve asked for advice they are willing to learn.
    No one has the right to stop that.
    They are usually the ones that need to learn.
    It’s always gone on though.
    Just the internet has helped then be more public.

  8. 8
    Ashley F says:

    Jodi THANK YOU for posting this. I think this is something that everyone should start to implement. Just last night I saw a very crazy mean thing going on with another semi-local photographer and some boutiques…it’s not necessary to be RUDE, MEAN, and HURTFUL. And I LOVE that you remind people there is a face behind the photo AND people in the photos!

  9. 9
    Laura Ballard says:

    Very well said! I hope your message gets through.

  10. 10
    Brenda West says:

    Inspire each other! There is nothing to gain by knocking someone down. It will NOT lift you up. It just makes you look, as Jodi says, “mean” and “mean” is NOT cool.

  11. 11

    This was fantastic and I’m honored to have you in my friends on Facebook and to subscripe to your website. I could not agree with you more! I’ve included a link on my new photography blog to your website. Outstanding girl! :) oxox love, Shannon

  12. 12

    Thank you for taking a stand and saying it is NOT okay to treat anyone like that…MCP has brought much joy to my photography. People need to know that there is a difference between constructive criticism and outright rudeness! Thank you again. Knowing there are people like you out there protecting us from people like them makes it a lot easier to post what WE think are fabulous photos….
    “Smile, you never know if there is a lens nearby”
    Melanie
    AKA..Ms.Mac Photography
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/MsMac-Photography/176379099076044

  13. 13
    Becky says:

    So sorry mean is in. Your approach is well done.

  14. 14

    Bravo Jodi! I don’t know if it the fact that I’m becoming more aware & sensitive to these things or if it’s just becoming more acceptable. Thank you for taking a stand and making your corner of the online world a respectful place.

    Also, I love the 4 Gates of Speech from yoga- it has really helped me control my mouth/fingers: The Four Gates of Speech:
    • Is it truthful?

    • Is it necessary to say?

    • Is it the appropriate time?

    • Can it be said in a kind way?

    • 14.1

      This is great – I read a similar one called THINK last night. So is this a motto taught in yoga classes? I have not taken yoga. I do spinning – way different – and no motto except sweat and get your heart pumping. :)

      Can you link me to its origins? I may want to make a graphic with this but want to credit it properly.

      • 14.1.1
        Shari says:

        I believe it is a Sufi practice but closely aligns with the Right Speech within Buddhism. At least that is what Google told me. Yoga probably adopted it because it is awesome!

    • 14.2
      Vicki DeVico says:

      Amanda, I love Jodi’s Rules of Conduct and think your suggestions are a great addendum to them. Well said!

  15. 15
    Kara says:

    Great post Jodi! The witch hunts in this industry can be intense. And while I personally like to get it right SOOC to make my own workflow easier, I loves me some Photoshop :) I think anyone that can create a beautiful image — whether their medium is a sensor or a software — is an artist.

    • 15.1

      Exactly, in camera best, out of camera (post) helpful too. What I cannot figure out is why people who hate post processing and think it is the devil come around MCP at all. It would be like someone who hates exercise sitting at a gym all day harassing those who sweat.

      • 15.1.1
        Denise says:

        I LOVE this analogy! Well put! Great post and blog as well. I am a budding photographer and am always nervous to post on pages for fear of losing my confidence. Thank you for posting this!

  16. 16

    Very well put Jodi and I concur wholeheartedly! It is very sad that the simplest concept of “common courtesy” is appearing to be an endangered species in today’s society. We should be willing to extend a hand to our fellow photographer (or human being for that matter), and share knowledge, experience and offer moral support. Doing so makes the sky not the limit any more. Kudos to you for taking a stand! I hope this allows many to see that the negativity will not be tolerated, not just by you, but from all of us who want to grow as an artist, friend and person. Thank you!

  17. 17
    Mark says:

    Truly unfortunate that you had to take the time to post rules of conduct. Jodi, I think you’ll find that the majority appreciates what you do and how you do it. Don’t be discouraged by the minority. Thank you for supporting ALL of us: professional to avid hobbyist to casual shooter. We are all better off for your efforts.

  18. 18
    Srah Bauer says:

    When I was in my 50′s I was bullied by someone I thaught was a friend, negative and spiteful comments still hurt today 8 years later. Some bullies think it’s OK to post hurtfull comments on a website but as you say, behind very image is someone who whether a professional or just starting out is a real live person who has fealings. Well done for standing up and putting into print what is considered acceptable by any society. My Mum always said ‘if you can’tsay something nice, then say nothing’ and as you say that still stands today.

  19. 19
    Sarah Bauer says:

    Oops, left the A out of Sarah!

  20. 20
    Erin says:

    Thank you so much for saying it. I don’t by any means pretend to know it all and realize that I have a lot to master but I’m always hesitant to ask for help because I don’t want to be put down, I want help. It’s nice to know that you are trying to create a safe place for even stupid questions! Thank you again for all you do.

  21. 21

    What is going downhill is all the internet thing… That impunity that comes associated with the social network is ruining not only the use of language (any word can be written in any way) but also the tone of the comments: the agressiveness of those who feel protected by the anonymity is increasing.
    I notice both things in all kind of sites, with all kinds of people. It´s truly dissapointing.
    I totally agree with your words.

  22. 22
    Bern says:

    AMEN Jodi, thanks for taking a stand against negative people, it really ruins the business. We ALL started somewhere!! :) Keep up the good work!!

  23. 23
    Jen says:

    Right on, Jodi! You rock!

  24. 24
    Brian says:

    It is great that you are trying to encourage civility in your corner of the online world. Too many people do not consider the recipient’s feelings in most online communication. Thanks for trying to make the world a nicer place!

  25. 25
    Kim says:

    Amen!!! Our world is changing and sometimes not for the better. Maybe if more people start demand manners and common courtesy we can change the future! Thank you for a very well said post!!!

  26. 26
    Ang says:

    All forms of art are subjective. Alot of those “meanies” I wouldn’t hire as a second shooter if THEY paid ME!

    In the same breath, however, I am also (what’s the polite word for this?) frustrated at the photographers out there who haven’t taken the time to learn the proper techniques to achieve a correctly composed shot before they tag it with a -whatever-photography and charge for a mediocre product at a CRAZY low price, putting the professionals in a jam bc we took the time to learn techniques and the business end.

    It’s a double edged sword but nobody has a right to bully!!

    • 26.1

      Ang, I think some of this has come from frustrated photographers who have not evolved as the industry has. I get it. Even as an action maker I am experiencing this. When I first started there were 5 or so that I knew of. Now there are hundreds or maybe thousands selling actions and presets. But I focus on my brand and making my products and services the best I can. As a result I have survived and actually prospered. Talented photographers can do the same.

      I better stop that train of writing or I will have another post within this one – something for another day.

      I hope more people, at least around MCP, will not be open for critique, knowing that as long as I catch it or it is reported to me, that MEAN comments will not stand.

  27. 27
    Suzanne Baumruk says:

    Beautifully put :-)

  28. 28
    Wells King says:

    Thank you Jodi! Your post is right on!

    I’ve been marketing my photography services for a little over a year now, and I’ve had a great time providing people with photos they love.

    I think many forget that there is a huge difference between being a skilled photographer and being a skilled business person. I’ve noticed that the most successful photography businesses usually have one person who does the photography and another who is the “people” person who markets the services. It’s often not about who has the best photos, but who best markets his or her services.

    I personally find it amusing when “professional photographers” complain about clients price shopping, clients negotiating for services, or having other photographers “steal” their ideas. It’s called business and it’s tough. Get over it. You’ll get bad checks, you’ll get cancellations, you’ll get clients who make promises and never deliver on them.

    Enjoy photography.

    Wells King

  29. 29
    Cindy Rippe says:

    Thanks for posting this. It’s really sad that so many think they “know it all” and have the right to make someone feel bad. Cyber bullying…..

  30. 30

    [...]  Here is the post where, unfortunately, the owner had to set some ground rules on critiques and comments on her blog and facebook page.  She fosters a learning environment so that all levels of photographers can post images and get advice on tweaks using photoshop.  It is a great learning site but lately some have turned hateful in their remarks. [...]

  31. 31
    Tara says:

    Perfectly put Jodi! :)

  32. 32
    Adele says:

    Very well said, good for you.

  33. 33
    Eliza Daniels says:

    Thank you for setting things straight!

    I had stopped going to your page to look around, due to so much debate, and hurtful “critisism” being thrown, so casually, around. Everything on there turned into a debate, not always a good debate. We all need help getting to where we want to be. There is enough people out there for all of us to photograph, in all $ brackets, so people shouldn’t feel so threatened. I would love to be able to come back and participate on your page! I hope your posting helps bring it back to adulthood lol

  34. 34
    Alicia Ellison says:

    Excellent post. Well said. We need to remember this in all we do. Thank you. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  35. 35
    Robyn Brown says:

    Hear! Hear!!! Well said.
    I really believe these people are sad and bitter inside and it spews out.
    As a young child I was taught once a day to say at least one nice thing to someone else. It becomes habit and your mind begins to think that way. It becomes easy to compliment others. Try it and spread a little kindness. The golden rule is still the golden rule….do unto others…

  36. 36
    Danielle Luchner says:

    I think that was all very well said! I will never understand how people can be ok with bullying regardless of face to face or over the computer. my 3 yr old recently won a “cutest kid” contest and i was floored by a few of the adult parents mean comments about her winning and thank God my daughter isn’t able to read that! Toward a 3 yr old! I don’t know how it will happen, but i hope eventually people just learn how to be respectful toward one another b/c i can only imagine the lessons the children are getting with what i’m seeing from the adult generation.

  37. 37

    Thank you for posting this! I am so fed-up with all the negative posts from people nowadays! If you don’t like what you see, that’s okay, but please KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF! Photography is an art, a way that each individual sees the world, and we all see the world differently. We don’t have to like someone elses vision, but we do need to be respectful of it. The only people hurting the industry are the ones saying the rude and negative things because its making the whole photography industry look petty and vicious! Please, please stop!

  38. 38
    Clare Barone says:

    Constructive comments are a great tool, but I too have noticed the mean trend in online comments. Thank you I agree with your rules and wish they were more frequently used, I look forward to sharing with you all.

  39. 39
    Michelle says:

    Could not agree more! Well said Jodie. I don’t understand why people have to be so horrible to each other. I don’t understand how people can talk to others the way that they do. It’s so sad. Thank you for for taking a stand and doing so, so eloquently.

  40. 40
    Allyson says:

    It saddens me that people feel the need to put others down. Words hurt, doesn’t matter who they come from. If you can’t say something nice, then why bother? Whether a photo is the greatest ever taken or not so great, it doesn’t matter. Give that person constructive criticism so they can make it better the next time. I”m a hobbyist and am scared to death of something like this. People need to stop and think before they say/type things.

  41. 41
    Naomi Chokr says:

    Bravo!!!! i’m finding that the photographer industry is an amazing industry with people that are willing to help others grow. While I think this way, it is also the exact opposite. It also includes those that are mean, spiteful and just hurtful people. Thank you for posting this. It’s unfortunate that many veterans in the industry or industry professionals act this way and feel the need to give tough love or “criticism” that hurts or means to intimidate others. Until this day I experience this and know exactly how it feels to be afraid to post something for feedback. for fear of getting scolded because they feel im either inexperienced, too new, lack confidence or lack the skills. So thank you so standing up for people like myself. It should never be tolerated. Bravo!!!!

  42. 42
    Marjolijn says:

    I´m pretty sure people who write and say mean things are pushed by jealousy to do so… So, sometimes we should simply take their harsh comments as a compliment! :D
    Good luck with all your beautiful work.
    Marjolijn (Belgium)

  43. 43
    Carmon says:

    This is a wonderful post. As an aspiring “pro”tographer I’m always hesitant to post pictures on blogs or online communities for fear of ridicule. I appreciate constructive criticism, but photography is so subjective – something one person thinks is beautiful art someone else might deem trash. Who’s to say what me and my clients think is wonderful, someone else might not speak up and say is horrible? That is their opinion, but I’ve chosen not to put myself out there in forums to have my art and work subjected to the type of ridicule that can occur in the photography community. I don’t know if this type of hatefulness is something that happens across all artistic communities – but I know the level of disrespect that I see some photographers have for others in this field is disgraceful and almost makes me hesitate to continue on into the profession.

    I appreciate you speaking out against it, and hope that others might stop and think before they type up a hateful remark from the safety of their living room. Keep up the good work! I love your blog and your actions!

  44. 44
    Tammy says:

    Well Said… Sorry you had to say it. I appreciate your blog, and face book posts and look forward to seeing “what’s new”. Keep it up, I think you’re doing a great job! I love my MCP Actions! Couldn’t do half my editing without them. :)

  45. 45
    Cindi says:

    Very well said and I totally agree! Thanks for all you do for this community Jodi!

  46. 46
    Sabrina says:

    Jodi,
    Well said! I have never understood people who are mean for no reason. I am constantly amazed how some “adults” act. Everyone had to learn from some starting point, and I think it is great to encourage others to learn and grow! Life is short, and I choose to see the positive side of things!

  47. 47
    jaime says:

    I agree with Wells. In fact, I fully admit that I NEED a business minded person to help me.

    I am still reeling by some meanness and cut throat tactics from other photogs. It can be a mean industry but as individuals we must not let ourselves get caught up in that!

    • 47.1
      Julie says:

      Jodi- thanks so much for this post! I really liked the point you made about there being a person behind every picture as well as the person in the picture!
      I’m really hoping to post more pictures using your actions with the rules you have in place.
      Thanks again

  48. 48
    Tammy says:

    Oh and I usually beat myself up enough over my work. No one need chime in. ha! I’m my own worst critic. This is my son Jack, taken yesterday. In the moment that he would stop working the yard for me to snap a photo. Sun is goofy on his face. (again my own worst critic). ha! Just a little processing with MCP actions. :) Couldn’t live without your actions.

  49. 49

    Thank You for this. “Pro-tographers” have been using all kinds of mean words to put down up and comers. I DESPISE the word “Faux-tographer” to the end of the earth and back. If you can hold a camera and take a photo, you are technically a photographer. Implying someone is “Faux”, like a fake Louis Vuitton bag, or cheap pleather jacket, is nothing more than demeaning, rude and downright mean. Love that you’re bringing attention to this – I’m so tired of the negativity!

    Happy Thursday!

  50. 50
    pam says:

    It is so sad that you have to post something like this, really. But as a teacher, I can tell you that the amount of “mean” kids and parents is astounding.

  51. 51
    Ryne says:

    When I e-mailed Jodi offering to write for MCP Actions, I was thrilled when she said yes. As I worked on my article, I was focused and intent. When I finished the article, I sent it to my sister for review. I looked at MCP on Facebook, waiting for my sister’s response. I noted a few harsh words here and there. When I got my sister’s response, I started to panic. I had my mother, my father, and my husband look it over. Then, I read it myself about 6 times.

    Never in my life have I been worried about my writing. I have always been able to write. However, noticing how some fans address others made me nervous. When I finally submitted my article, I felt like I had just regained my ability to breathe. My article didn’t suffer any harsh criticisms (at least not that I noticed) BUT reading some of the comments left for others has deferred me from participating as much on Facebook.

    I LOVE this article, Jodi. I strongly believe in standing up for others, maintaining peace, and trying to ensure everyone feels comfortable. You may have fans, Jodi, but you also have a community. Many of your fans feel a sense of belonging. Everyone deserves the right to feel like they belong. If any of your fans didn’t notice that MCP Actions serves photographers of all levels, they might question how much the term “fan” actually applies to them.

    P.S. Bashing someone else’s work will NOT make you a better photographer.
    P.S.2. If you can find time to bash someone else, you’re doing something in your business/hobby/life wrong.

    I’m going to post on Facebook now, as I’d like some advice from the MCP community.

    • 51.1
      Shelley Pennington says:

      Well said! Look forward to seeing what you write for Jodi. I love the articles and advice that the guest writers offer!

  52. 52
    Tammy says:

    I do think you’re so right about photographers evolving with the changes in the business. I too get frustrated when I see overnighters pop up charging nothing. But Here’s what I think is happening in the industry… When I take on a client, I want to be their photographer for life. I want their weddings, 1st birthdays, family photos, etc. I am building a long term relationship.

    Used to in the old days, the average family would go here or there for photos. (Sears, Walmart, or the local studio in town.) They might visit each of those places once for some updated photos. No loyalty because there wasn’t a need to be loyal to your photographer.

    I’ve had people contact me, we discuss an appointment date, then a week later I see where they’ve used someone else to do some recent photos. This gives me a little icky feeling. Why book with one photographer, and then use another before your appt? I have no problem politely contacting that person letting them know that I’ve seen the photos, and I’m so happy they were able to get in to another photographer and if they are happy with the results, it’s best to stay and build a relationship with that photographer.

    My point is, do what you love. Give your photos your interpretation of beauty and the clients that are drawn to your style will come and if you treat them right, they’ll continue to come back!

    MAYBE THE EVOLUTION OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS IS REPEAT CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE?

  53. 53
    Mags says:

    WELL SAID! In fact…. these rules would be quite helpful across a number of areas, Facebook groups, etc.

  54. 54

    I definitely respect you for taking a stand. I sometimes read the comments on your sites and it is just ridiculous to see some people put others down. These “mean” people need to realize…THEY TO STARTED SOMEWHERE AND EVEN THEY SUCKED AT ONE TIME! Everyone begins as a beginner and grows, even professionals. Thanks Jodi for the post! I hope you inspire others like you did me!
    PS….LOVE all of your actions…even the ones I do not have…YET!

  55. 55
    Gina Miller says:

    Well Said! That’s a shame that people are so disrespectful. Very sad.

  56. 56
    alice says:

    thank you, jodi! so much! i really think the reason i’ve not “gone professional” with my photography is because i don’t think i’m good enough. and i base that on comments i see on the internet from “professional” photographers who think their way is the only way. i have been so disheartened by it, that i have put myself down and questioned my abilities. well, that stops today. my style is my style. thank you for accepting us all – professional, or not. i love your blog, your product, and i like who you are!

  57. 57
    steph says:

    Jodi,
    A few points.
    1- your website and tutorials (so many freebies) have really helped me to learn my way around, my camera, my software, AND the business.

    2-I remember a while back I did a boudoir mini-session day. Your actions were perfect for helping all those ladies out. They were gorgeous already, but your actions helped and EVERY SINGLE ONE felt awesome afterwards.

    3-I don’t understand this industry…I used to work in a highly competitive software job. No one ever got this mean. It is so unprofessional. We socialized with our competitors…it was ok. It’s just a job.

    4-Someone commented a while back, “we all had to start somewhere”. Yes, and sometimes doing it wrong is part of the journey. And there are clients for all of us. Trust me, if someone is looking for a photographer who is more experienced, or less expensive than me, that is fine. I used to be the less expensive photog and someday I will be the more experienced.

    5-As for the old school photogs who are so sick of mom’s with cameras taking their clients (I hear this every day), you might want to look at the missteps from companies that weren’t capable of moving with the swiftness of the industry. Take Kodak or Netflix for an example.

    6-I know that there are a multitude of photographers who are better than me. That’s ok. It makes me keep working to get better.

    7-Lastly, photography is absolutely an art. Clients will find and hire us based on our eye and personal tastes. If my work looks completely different from the next, that is okay.

    That’s all.

  58. 58
    Teri W. says:

    Awesome post, Jodi! I am a photog newbie and have benefited SO much from using your actions…thank you, thank you, thank you! May the “haters” take their negative opinions elsewhere! Keep on doin’ what you do, Jodi, because you provide a wonderful platform for all levels of users!

  59. 59
    Tracy says:

    I’m glad you posted this. As someone who isn’t in this full time (yet), I’ve been really put off by people (and not just comments from folks on this site) who are so crushingly harsh on us beginners who have found a small market but who may not yet be ready to charge high prices.

    Yes images are art and photography is forever, but not everyone can drop $1500+ on family photos. Those people aren’t cheap losers and neither are the photographers who may be more affordable as they are starting out. Everyone deserves to have their precious moments and milestones photographed. If you can’t pay thousands are your milestones less worthy of capturing? That’s ridiculous. If people are willing to pay them, then good for that photographer.

    Many clients do want the best of the best, but there are some who want the best they can get for the money they have. This is America – we price shop – we want the best deal for our dollar. I just don’t see why some feel there’s not room for us all. Beginners question themselves so much already, we don’t need others to pile on without being constructive.

    The other thing that’s so sad to me are those who forget where they came from. We all had to start somewhere, so why not mentor a young photographer rather than be so hateful if an image is a little soft? No one came out of the womb expert photographers. If some waited until they perfected the craft to go pro – that was their choice. If others got in earlier and found people to support them with smaller sitting fees then YAY too!

    I love these forums and belong to several, but it IS hard to put yourself out there when you risk the wrath of so many ugly people.

    Thanks Jodi. Keep up the great work.

  60. 60
    Shea says:

    Well said, and AMEN! We are all human. Lets lift each other up and help when we can. Life is too short. I gasp when I look at some of my early work but it’s mine all the same. Everyone has a different style, and we are all continually learning.

    Thank You for this Jodi. I hope people listen.

  61. 61
    Stacy Judd says:

    Right on Jodi! I’m sorry you saw the need to write that, but I’m so glad you did! Sometimes we need to face the ugly parts of the world straight on. You did so clearly and you let people know you are requiring respect for people in your world, you put your foot down. Thank you and I hope this post gets shared a lot!

  62. 62
    Liz Stabbert says:

    While it woild be nice it we were able to discuss all topics politely, I would recommend not bringing up hot topics like pricing, especially DVDs. Although I didn’t read the conversation you’re taking about in 3, by the nasty comment I can tell what happened: photog 1 said “I give a DVD away with my $50 session!” (exaggerating I hope), photographer 2 is trying to make a living as a photographer and is sick to death of photographers all but giving their work away and snapped. That doesn’t excuse them being nasty, but threads about pricing are going to bring out plenty of both photographer 1 & 2 types and clashes will happen again. Unfortunately if you really want to keep the peace you’ll have to stick to fluffier topics (so no Canon vs Nikon vs whatever)

    • 62.1

      Liz, I see why you would say that. But I do not want to avoid hot topics just because of mean people. That means they “get away with it.” There are civil ways to discuss things like pricing. Both parties need to come to the table open-minded and not say hurtful things. I will probably try to test this and see if it is possible. We will find out.

  63. 63
    Ryan Jaime says:

    Well said! I wish it were common courtesy for most.

  64. 64
    maureen says:

    Amen to you Jodi! Everyone has to start somewhere and I feel sure most of the critics were beginners wanting to improve their craft at some point in time. I know lots of professional photographers who use actions to improve their already great photos. Unfortunately our world is no longer as kind and compassionate as we were even 10 years ago. It’s sad. Hopefully your post will help!!

  65. 65
    bobbie says:

    glad you said it but so sorry that it had to be said.

  66. 66
    Barbara says:

    Very well said. Thank you for being “brave enough” to put all this out there. I agree with everything you wrote and read your newsletter just after finishing a conversation with a fellow parent on the “mean girls” in our children’s school. Your statements remind me that we as adults and parents are the role models for our children. If we can’t treat each other, as adults (professional photographers or not), with common courtesy and kindness, then how can we expect this from our children?

    Thank you.

  67. 67
    Heidi says:

    Thank you for posting this, Jodi! I have been following your blog and facebook page for a couple of years now, and have a deep appreciation for the progress I have been able to achieve in my photography that I can directly attribute to your content. I was just commenting to my sister last night (also a photographer) that I have been afraid to post my work on a local photographer forum for the very same reasons that you listed above. Sad, but true.

    As I tell my kids about 100 times per day, “Be NICE!” :).

  68. 68
    Rowena says:

    Wonderful post, and so well said!! I don’t understand mean spiritedness and the need to tear someone down to feel good about yourself. It’s so much more rewarding to be gracious in life. We should always be mindful of how hard our words might “fall” on someone else.

  69. 69
    Kristi says:

    Well said Jodi! Thank you! The only way that mean people are going to stop being mean is if we don’t tolerate it!

  70. 70
    Crystal (momaziggy) says:

    Well said Jodi and I agree 100%! I’m glad you posted this and will be enforcing these new rules! We should support each other and help each other…not bring other down. I’ve felt this way about the photography industry for some time. Sadly I find more people that bring down than lift up which is why I am not nearly as active as I used to be! It’s become so negative and hurtful and it makes me very sad! Just remember everyone…be WHO you are. Grow and learn but ALWAYS STAY TRUE TO HOW YOU ARE AS AN ARTIST! Don’t let anyone bring you down! HUGS!

  71. 71

    Whatever happened to the Golden Rule????? I salute you and congratulate you on standing up for the dignity and climate of you site. Bullies come in all ages these days and it befuddles me as to why people would feel some gain from tearing down or hurting others. In these days of strife and uncertainty, it is imperative that we learn to work together. I wish all of you blessings and peace.Namastee.

  72. 72
    Jeanie says:

    Bravo!!

  73. 73
    Jamie says:

    Amen to that!

  74. 74
    Rebbecca says:

    Jodi,

    Thank you for posting. I wanted to comment but Tracy—Comment 59 perfectly said and matched how I feel. I totally agree with both your post and her comment (as well as most of the comments).

    I love to learn and love what you do.

    Thanks,

  75. 75
    Ann J says:

    Hallelujah!!!!!

  76. 76
    Tara says:

    Jodi,
    I had to kind of laugh when I read your new rules……(please keep reading)……only because the rules you listed are something you would have to post in a kindergarden class, not to a group of adults! So sad you have gotten to the point you had to actually put in writing please be kind to each other, we are all human and have feelings. Thank you for taking the time to remind us all that we need to treat each other the way we want to be treated. MCP is my one stop actions shop!
    Tara

  77. 77
    Stephanie says:

    Thank you Jodi for posting this with such eloquence. It is a wonderful reminder that we should all be kind to one another. Every body started somewhere and we are not all at the same level of development in our careers or art. Keep learning, keep trying and have fun!

    Have a wonderful day!

  78. 78
    Melissa H says:

    Big thumbs up! I am a rank amateur and not afraid (or ashamed) to admit it. All I want to do is learn for myself, no steal anyone’s livelihood. For the most part I have found the photography community more than generous to newbies. Sites like yours are a tremdous help to those of us who don’t have the time or resources to go back to school and get a photography degree, but want to learn. Keep up the great work!

  79. 79
    Myoshamoga says:

    Amen, sister. Mean people suck. Good for you for sticking up for your clients.

  80. 80
    Sophie says:

    It’s so sad when people put down others to make themselves feel more important. We all have our opinions, but there’s a time and a place to share them with others in a respectful way. Perfectly said, and kudos for taking a stand!!

  81. 81
    Steven Felix says:

    Thank you Jodi!!! You are the best and have learned a ton from you.

  82. 82
    Allee says:

    How sad that you had to write such a post and come up with rules which should be common sense (which I have found lacking and should be referred to as “uncommon sense”). I am sorry you have had to deal with this element on your site.
    “I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man’s self-respect is a sin.”
    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  83. 83
    Sarah C says:

    Thank you, Jodi! I wish we could all just encourage each other :)

  84. 84
    Alisha says:

    You get a standing ovation, girl. Well said. Bullies suck, online and in real life. The last thing we need is them polluting our art.

  85. 85
    Shelley Pennington says:

    Thank you Jodi for standing up for people that follow you appreciate what you do.

    One lady posted something that to me, fell into the “mean girl” comments though. Talking about photographers that maybe don’t have her skill level. Ok…so all photographers start somewhere, as does anyone else in any other career field. Let’s say you get a job, and as the “new guy/girl”, you have to learn your job and perfect how you perform your job. It’s a learning process. For any job. Keeping with the “Practice makes perfect” motto!

    Also, she mentioned less skilled photographers charging less. Ok, how would the world be if ALL houses were the same price, or ALL cars? Carmakers know they have to put out cars that can be affordable to all budgets, or they will limit themselves on who they sell cars to. So, if I can’t afford a Mercedes, I should just have to walk or ride a bike? Not everyone can afford to pay $45 for an 8×10 photo. I come across people everyday that can’t afford anything but Walmart’s $9.95 package. I don’t think by essentially “price-fixing” photography, that you would be helping yourself, it would just limit the number of people that could get a truly wonderful family pic on their wall!

    I hope this doesn’t come across as mean to anyone, I just think some people need to quit being selfish about the money in their pocket (or out of their pocket) and realize that everyone deserves to be able to buy a great portrait of their kids or family.

  86. 86
    Diana says:

    Jodi, thank your for putting into words what so many of us feel. unfortunately, the ‘virtual anonymity’ of a typewritten post allows people to write things they would never say face-to-face. Worse yet, the habit of saying less than nice things in a post is carrying over into people’s everyday lives and dispositions. Thank you for adding your “Terms of Use,” and I hope it makes a difference for everyone’s sake, especialy those who want to learn (like me) but have other full-time responsibilities and only have the opportunity to learn a little at a time.

  87. 87
    Lisa McCully says:

    Well said :)

  88. 88
    Shawn says:

    Thank you for that Jodi. I must admit that I stopped visiting the MCP website and the Facebook page. All the negativity was really getting out of hand. It was as if people were posting on your site just to degrade other people. It just kept getting worse and worse. It was uncomfortable to read. I just can’t believe the nerve of some cowards! I love all of your actions and the helpful information and tips here! I know there are truly good people here. Very talented ones too! I have learned so much here and am so glad I can start stopping by and participating more often. :)

  89. 89
    Alice C. says:

    I completely agree with everything you said! It’s sad that you have to make these rules, when it should really just be common courtesy.

  90. 90
    Alison says:

    Well said! I think to often people hide behind the internet when they are being cruel. It is still a real person you are talking to and you should comment as if you are standing face to face with them. It is very sad to see this becoming the trend, but thank you for addressing it!

  91. 91
    R says:

    Isn’t it terrible what people say online, it’s not a free pass to say whatever you want. well said!

  92. 92

    I don’t get to post here a lot, but kudos to you for addressing the issue and AMEN.

  93. 93
    Paul says:

    People are rude online because they are anonymous and don’t have to endure the consequences of their actions. If you treated people like that in real life, you’d either make people cry or get your teeth knocked out. Either way, you would be ostracized by people. The Internet took the consequences away. People don’t learn from antisocial behavior because they can do whatever they want, walk away, and not even notice the havoc they wreak. Its obnoxious, and Im glad you wont tolerate it anymore.

  94. 94
    Mandi says:

    I, too, have to tell you thank you!! and AMEN!!

    I don’t get on facebook much ever, but I must tell you, one time I was on the MCP facebook wall and I was soo taken aback by rude comments. It’s like a punch to the junk, and they weren’t even directed at me.

    You wouldn’t think photography would be something that would push people’s buttons, but apparently, it is. So much arrogance and opinions and snarky pride out there– pretty disappointing.

    Frankly, I’m tired of people hiding behind internet anonymity. You know that saying? The one about the person who’s nice to you but not nice to the waiter isn’t a nice person?

    Same goes for the internet. If you’re nice to people’s faces and unleash on the web, you’ve got issues.

  95. 95
    Jennifer Novotny says:

    Agreed! There are far too many grouchy, mean people in this world…

  96. 96

    AMEN! Mean people have always been around. Unfortunately, the internet allows them to spread their hate all over instead of just at the playground.

    When I first started selling my art online, I asked for a critique on Etsy. Someone responded with “WTF are those?” I took them all down and they have been in the back of my closet ever since.

    The effects of mean are long lasting.

  97. 97
    Kari says:

    Thanks for addressing this. It’s sad that you had to. Some people think their anonymity over the Internet is an excuse to act in ways they never would in real life, and it’s too bad that others get hurt in the process. :(

  98. 98
    Kate says:

    Great post! Thanks so much for sharing :) Love your rules!!

  99. 99
    tarryn says:

    thank you.

  100. 100

    I could not resist from commenting. Flawlessly composed!

  101. 101
    Karen says:

    Fine job, a shame it had to be put in black and white – but you did a great job. Thanks for your devotion to your vocation and the inspiration you give to others! Have a great weekend!! K

  102. 102
    Jenn says:

    It’s a pity you had to do this, but I think you’ve been very diplomatic and fair. Besides, it’s your house, we have to play by your rules!

  103. 103
    Rae Higgins says:

    Great article!

  104. 104
    Tapio Kukkonen says:

    Thank You very much for great rules. They should be self-evident to everyone, but they aren’t. The same behaviour has been seen on different forums here in Finland too – ‘if you don’t agree with me you are wrong and stupid’. Sad, really sad…
    I wish You a blessed trip to Australia.

  105. 105
    Debbie Owen says:

    I have recently found this site and I’m really enjoying it. Thank you for the information you are providing.

  106. 106
    Juanita says:

    Finally,, Thank you so much, I rarely comment in blogs, but read them a lot, and I find it so so sad, that people feel that they have to hurt, be disrespectful and down right nasty, to others. Not sure why they do this, one thing I am positive about, is that they certainly would not be able to take it. Bullies tend to be as weak as.

    It’s time every company, every person who has a blog, no matter where it is, took the time, and expended the energy to take your action. Well done, and I very much appreciate and respect what you have chosen to do.

    Enjoy your trip to Aussie land, most of us are really nice people, and I am sure you will love it here.

    Cheers and thank you

    Juanita

  107. 107
    Shay says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing this! I have a photography studio and have photogs in my group and if you don’t mind I’d like to share these rules with them! Thanks again for addressing a sensitive subject with such class.

  108. 108
    Andy says:

    “Some photographers who send me “bloopers” and problem photos for before and after Blueprints feel hurt, frustrated, and scared because of unhelpful negativity …”

    I don’t mean to be ‘negative’ here, but I think you’ve taken some sort of personal remark you’ve seen posted and extended it to some sort of threat to personal safety or ‘safety’ on the internet. If someone is ‘scared’ that someone may not approve of, or compliment, their work – and therefore need special rules and moderators to make sure there work is ONLY complimented and praised … they need to see a therapist.

    • 108.1

      Andy, constructive criticism is great. But attacking another person’s work is not. People don’t like being told they suck – that is not useful. They want to know how to do it better. There is a huge difference.

  109. 109
    Jacki says:

    Back in the “old” days all this was done in the dark room and no one saw you do it. Exquisite photos just appeared on paper. Now we use Lightroom, Photoshop, etc… instead of chemicals and light. Other than not getting cancer from the constant use of chemicals, I don’t see the difference. Keep up the good work.

  110. 110
    Sheila Pack says:

    Jodi, you have addressed a sensitive subject delicately, and with a level of diplomacy rarely seen these days. Photography takes time and effort to learn, it is an ongoing process… I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help pay my bills doing something I love for over thirty years now, but learn something new almost every day! It is a process of improvement and growth for anyone who is open to the exciting experience. Nobody is BORN knowing photography, we are all at different stages in that journey, and what a wonderful venture it can be! Love your actions, I’m just learning to use them (another adventure!) to give even a wider range of ‘looks’ to my photographs. Thank you for making it clear that this is a NICE place, and that all people who want to BE NICE are welcome to participate freely. The rest may wish to spend their time elsewhere…

  111. 111
    Jean says:

    Great article!

  112. 112
    Heidi W. says:

    I think we are so lucky to have such technology that allows us to make these changes so people feel good about sharing photos of themselves. Substandard photos will get tossed or shoved in a drawer never to be seen again. Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions about photography & editing. My opinion is that I’m grateful to have access to such fabulous options. We all know that no matter how good your photography skills, your camera isn’t perfect and doesn’t always duplicate what your eyes see. Certainly using different lenses and filters changes the look of a photo. How is that so different than making edits after the shot??? Besides, it’s not like you changed their eye color or altered their bodies. And removing acne is essential if the person wants that. He won’t have acne forever and if he was a girl, he would have covered it up with makeup. What’s the difference? Thanks for sharing!

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