It seems 2018 is carrying on the strong tradition of crapping on music photographers which is super cool but I’m getting over it fast. I’m definitely reaching a point where if I never photograph a gig again I just wouldn’t care because the attitudes from all corners of the industry suck and any fun in it is long gone. In the past three weeks I’ve had some guy photographer be faux-concerned over my camera while I’m busy taking photos because apparently I don’t know what I’m doing, someone dumped their glass in my camera bag – yes IN my bag – so I came back to find it wet from the ice that melted in it freaking out over the state of my gear inside it, got slammed so hard that I almost dropped my camera and last night some ass stuck his cigarette butt in my camera bag. I’m pretty sure we’re going backwards as a society because who the fuck does this?! Just how little respect do you have for other people and their belongings that you think this is ok behaviour?
Thankfully it’s not too often compared to the general crap us girls get off guys at gigs (You might have seen this Wall Of Sound article ‘Don’t Be The Scum Disrespecting Women At Gigs..‘) like egomaniac security, bitchy doormen and arrogant promoters who think it’s ok to yell at the photographer (he didn’t want to have a go at the reviewer who also wasn’t on the door) but not the people responsible for screwing up the media passes or the fact that most guys see a girl at a show and just assume you’re the girlfriend of someone or want to be (because girls can’t possibly like music, what nonsense!), but men need to stop telling me how to take photos. This probably pisses me off the most out of everything. Fun Fact: Girls can do more than photograph babies. I’m pretty sure I know what I’m doing, I’ve been taking photos of bands since 1997. I’ve won things. Girls don’t feel the need to tell me what I’m doing (until they want a photo of themselves and 20 photos later they still aren’t happy..it’s not me, it’s your face) so why do men?
I’ve had this for years online from male photographers who felt the need to belittle everyone else so they feel good about themselves. Whatever gets you through the day but maybe try another hobby. I had a guy tell me my airbrushing was “shit” and so were my lecturers. My lecturers were all ex medical/cinematic/photo journalists and one is still a wedding photographer…but yes, they are terrible. It was my first ever go at airbrushing and she didn’t look like Barbie so I wasn’t sure what the problem was, but this was coming from a guy who thought buying an L lens made you a better photographer and proudly proclaimed it took him 20 hours to edit one photo. If a portrait needs that much work sell your camera dude. You clearly don’t know what you’re doing with it.
So you tend to expect it from male photographers because any forum has at least a few with their heads so firmly wedged up their own asses they need to remind everyone how much work they get and let you know how crap you are, when everyone started that way. It took me six months to grasp the point of the aperture just in time for my final assessment at tafe. Fine Arts is not the place to learn photography in case you’re wondering. At gigs it happens and at most men there should only be discussing the music and which beer is the best. I’ve had men tell me where I should stand to get “the shot” after having done just that, how to take photos while grabbing my lens (by the front) attached to my camera IN my hands! Fellas you aren’t a 3 year old in a toy store that needs to press all the buttons that makes all the noises and shiny things happen. Keep your fucking hands to yourself! This is up there with touching a girls ass uninvited in my opinion, don’t touch what isn’t yours. It’s really simple! My favourite is when they look at my gear like I don’t possibly have the first clue what I’m doing and the prime example of that was just recently where some guy stopped taking photos to let me know mid-set my lens had a shattered filter as if I possibly had no idea. I smashed that thing with a hammer on purpose. I’ll have you know it makes for epic photos. Amazingly nobody has questioned when I’m using the Lensbaby but I figure it’s only a matter of time.
Last night was no exception. I’d already shot one gig at Badlands and was down at The Boston to watch some mates play and casually taking photos. Keyword there was casually. Nobody asked me to take photos but since my cameras were there why not take a few. Some guy leans in to tell me I’m in a prime position to get good photos of the bass player then offers to use my camera for me because I didn’t rush to use his advice and take a photo. I’d only been standing on that side of the stage half the night taking photos. There’s more to standing in the right spot to get a good photo and I tend to think mine are medicore at the best of times but you need to capture the right second to get an amazing shot. Plus some of my best shots are of Matty, that guy is nuts onstage and after 5 (probably more) years I have a pretty good idea when to aim my camera at him.
The moral of this tale is I really hate people and don’t leave gifts in my camera bag.