Photographers and Their Egos

by Amelia Kanan

K-Mo is an exception, no arrogance here, just pure talent.

I know what I’m about to say is going to be a little sexist but I don’t care, it’s my blog and I’ll say whatever I want: I think male professional photographers are so arrogant (excluding Kevin Moss and my cousin Lou Peeples ). I don’t know if it’s because they see their lenses as added inches onto their you-know-what’s or if they’re just that insecure with their own work but I’ve had too many to count experiences where I’ve been left feeling inferior because of stupid questions like “What kind of camera do you have?” or “What kind of lens do you use?”

I hate when they ask this because it leads them to scoff at me and my work without even seeing it. I have a NikonD500 with the basic 55mm lens, it’s really amazing and I love it but it doesn’t have the fastest shutter speed on the block, the largest ISO range, the most pixels or all the bells and whistles that most pro’s use. But here’s my thing: I love it because it fits me, what I do and how I operate. I don’t like being bogged down with equipment or the heaviness of my camera. Before this, I was using my manual 35mm which produced some of my all time photos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it doesn’t matter how big your camera is but it’s how you use it.

However, it’s hard when someone’s never seen your work or heard of you so their next go to is the tech-size-up. But, in a social conversation, I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I like to let my work speak for itself and guess what? At the end of the day, art is subjective so if you’re not a fan, totally fine by me but don’t try and make it about the equipment I use.

I get this can be insecurity. I hide mine by not talking about it. Everything in the art world is competitive and photography is one of the most, especially now because it’s so accessible. Not to mention, when you’re an “artist” you’re constantly second guessing yourself, hating what you create, and, in need of exterior approval and accolades. Sometimes, I think these guys have taken one look at me, my reservedness of the subject and see it as weakness, naivety and lacking in skill. I’d love to tell them to fuck off, their work is cheap, over exposed, too photoshopped and that their shirt was cool back in 2004. But, I wouldn’t dare because ultimately, I’m just like them. An artist, who’s insecure.

Note: I know this was really sexist but I’ve never experienced this sort of showdown with any female photographers.