Content in any situation

By |2014-01-11T10:24:41+00:00Jan 3rd, 2014|
My friend, Colby Brown, just dropped a post that really got me thinking along some lines that he drew and also along other lines that may have been undertones. It also played into some other posts and conversations that I’ve recently seen having to do with people expressing a disproportionately strong and gutteral response about what other photographers are saying and doing rather than just focusing on making themselves better at whatever it is they’re trying to become.

This is something that I just don’t understand and the more I think about it, the more I want to actively distance myself from any of it. I have always found it interesting how photographers jockey to other photographers on these social channels, as if it’s a contest or popularity ball. When I get sucked into that dreadful vortex, all I do is turn to some of the truly successful photographers I have the privilege of knowing, my role models and my mentors, to see how they handle their social media affairs. I try to model my own social workflows around theirs and have been doing so for several years now and, if I can be so bold, it has helped me out tremendously.

In short, stop concerning yourselves with other people’s jetsam and flotsam. Why burden yourselves, or those who you encounter, with things that, in their elemental nature, have no material impact on your life? Rather, focus on more introspection and developing yourself to grow into whatever you want to be. No one else will do it for you, at least not without a cost or ulterior motive. I promise you that.


  1. Andy Smith January 3, 2014 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Hear hear.

  2. محمد أبو نور الغامدي January 3, 2014 at 11:32 am - Reply

    تريد تطوير الفكره

  3. Mike Goodwin January 3, 2014 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder +Brian Matiash

  4. محمد أبو نور الغامدي January 3, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

    تريد تسجيل صوتي لي

  5. Mason Marsh January 3, 2014 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Do musicians spend so much of their time looking for appreciation from their peers? I often wonder if photographers suffer from a collective sense of inferiority. I agree with you and Colby on this, but I wonder if some larger community effort may be in order. Do we all need a hug?

  6. Sunny Wu January 3, 2014 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    beautiful long exposure

  7. Steve Kruger January 3, 2014 at 12:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts +Brian Matiash. I would much rather see G+ being a forum where we can all share our media and knowledge, as well as socially interact in a warm and friendly environment.

    If we sink to the toxicity that can seen in other social media arenas, we have lost a truly interesting experience.

  8. Ricardo Williams January 3, 2014 at 12:05 pm - Reply

    Well said +Brian Matiash

  9. Ryan Zeigler January 3, 2014 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    i think most of it is the difference between introverts and extroverts. i don't necessarily believe that those guys are bragging etc., if they were car salesmen they'd be showing you pics of that world. Of course there are exceptions but I welcome the food for thought

  10. Kevin Moore January 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Although I am still fairly new to it, I have always felt that Google+ has a lot less bashing than others. I have completely left a few forums that I used to frequent because most posts were so negative. My motto this year is talk less-shoot more.

  11. George Fletcher January 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Love the long exposure and it's effect on the water and clouds! Good words… comparison with others generally leads to frustration rather than growth:)

  12. Adam Lee January 3, 2014 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    For me I could care less. I don't have many followers here or on Facebook (where I share more stuff) and initially I was a bit bummed by that. Then I came to realise that followers, fans, likes or whatever won't make me a better photographer, and that's really all I'm interested in.

  13. michelle cubellis January 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    well now you have a follower im not a photographer, but i do try and paint landscapes hi im Michelle,and i like your pics have a happy sunshine day

  14. Ananda Sim January 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Thanks for highlighting the post – I had not seen that one – it's a two way street – the envy begins on the viewer's side as much as it is an in-your-face flaunting by the presenter

  15. Rob Follett January 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm - Reply

    Which is why I never post my 'critical' work to social media…. Nor critique others…. With 225K photos uploaded to Google + a day, my mind turns to mush… Not to mention, photos with web output?? To what screen?  Nah, print review by someone you respect —

  16. Paul West January 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the post.  It is so true.  Everyone has their own eye for the shot.  Just because one may not like it, others may love it.  I took some head shots of my nephew at a 45 degree angle and he loved them.  Others asked why…I say why not? Please keep posting and ignore those who think they know everything!

  17. Brian Matiash January 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    Everyone falls into the ol' covet pit now and then but the real problem is the result of that – the offline toxic conversations of people letting emotions fester.

    The worst part of that is it's almost always based on speculation, which further begets toxicity. A practice that I've tried setting on myself is to identify whenever I start feeling pangs of jealousy and audit it. What am I jealous of and why?

    Sure, I am envious of all the locations +Colby Brown traveled to or the cool toys that Trey gets to play with. Those are knee jerk reactions. The problem that I cut at the knees is when that envy turns into resentment of the person him/herself. I know Colby and +Trey Ratcliff quite well and am very well aware of how hard they work, the time they put in and the sacrifices they make with time that could be spent doing all sorts of other things. When that resentment is left to breed and gets injected into groupspeak, the output is usually vitriolic and ugly and I want no part of it.

    When I finished reading Colby's post this morning, the VERY first thing I did was ping him directly and ask him where it all came from. I didn't wax about it behind his back, speculating what could have prompted him to write it. I confronted him head on and you know what? The answer was TOTALLY not what I had expected and it really opened my eyes and was the inspiration this post.

    Bottom line – there will ALWAYS be another photographer who will have more, travel more, and even earn more than most everyone else. None of that affects me in the slightest so I pay no mind to it. Instead, if paths do cross that that person's personality and qualities mesh with mine, then I'll be more than happy to forge a relationship with them. If opportunities arise out of that relationship, great. If not, great. At the end of the day, I find myself with just enough energy to handle my own personal affairs and of those who are truly close to me. Everything else is static.

  18. Ananda Sim January 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Hear Hear +Brian Matiash
    I don't covet +Trey Ratcliff s toys, I kinda wish I had more days or months where he lives right now.
    But it doesn't have to be a celebrity, it could be an old friend from school who's done way better. In a gathering of Secondary School mates a few years back, millionaire phones up from a personal chauffeured limousine says he's not able to make it and could someone pass the message to me that his school life was ruined because I was the tall dude blocking his view of the blackboard and teacher said he would be one of the group least likely to succeed. I laughed, weakly…

  19. Ken Kaminesky January 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    "Comparison is the thief of joy" ~ Theodore Roosevelt

    Just do your own thing and stop worrying about your so called competition. The only person you should compete against, is yourself. The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were today.

    Let the good that you do in the world be it's own reward. Other will notice and if they don't, and this bothers you, then ask yourself why you're doing any of it in the first place.

    Photography is an art not a sport. The aim is to create not to win.


  20. Ananda Sim January 3, 2014 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Amen +Ken Kaminesky
    But for some (not me) it is a source of income and thus status, lifestyle and Kardashian. In which case, that's a different scene

  21. Michael Seeds January 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    You take this?

  22. Simon Woodcock January 3, 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Wise words +Brian Matiash

  23. Christopher Germano January 4, 2014 at 12:22 am - Reply

    well said +Brian Matiash

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