Friday, April 24, 2015

When Being Professional and Being Honest Collide

(Originally posted on February 22, 2015)

I launched this site a little over a week ago, and I'm still trying to figure out in what direction I should take it.  This dilemma applies specifically to the professional vs. honesty conflict I have to deal with when thinking about my photo comments, and blog posts, etc.  This probably isn't a black-and-white issue, so wherever I land will be neither 100% wrong, nor 100% right.

The honest truth is that I am not currently a professional photographer, but some clarification on the way the terms are interpreted is necessary.  I'm not a "professional" because I don't make my living at photography.  Yet.  Perhaps within a year, I'll be able to unhesitatingly claim to be a pro.  That's the dream, anyway.  Having looked at a fair number of "professional" photographers' sites, I can confidently (although, admittedly, with an unfair bias) conclude that my work is good enough to exist, and hopefully stand out, in the world of "professional" photographers.

So for now, do I make my site, and my comments, and captions and the personality I try to portray on everything I do related to my photography, clinically neat, politically-correct, and for lack of a better term, bland, in order to appear professional, while being self-aware that this is not an honest reflection of my personality?  Or do I make non-PC jokes and write my captions casually, as though I were talking to a friend?

It's tricky.  I pride myself on my honesty.  I want my writing to reflect my personality and opinions, but I'm aware that making jokes about praying mantises eating their siblings isn't likely to help me sell pictures of a praying mantis.  But this is something I would likely joke about when telling a friend about my interesting photo I just took of a praying mantis.  So what do I do?  I guess I toe the line, for the time being.

One nice part of being unestablished is that I can write blog posts like this, since in all likelihood, no one will read it.  Years from now, who knows.  But for now, I guess it serves as some kind of a photography-related diary.

"Dear Diary, does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on this matter?  If so, they're encouraged to leave a comment."

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