Li Proverbe au Vilain

For anyone who follows my Facebook page, you will have  noticed a lot of drama lately. A lot of images being reported and a very unimpressed photographer is the result. I have sat back the last few days deciding what to say, and how to say it. I feel an obligation to say something after so much confusion and chaos.

Facebook is a blessing and a curse. It allows me to share my work with you, receive criticism, receive praise and also gives me an amazing marketing platform. The down side to Facebook, is that it is open to the world, it allows people to interpret your work and personality how they seem fit, it gives the public the opportunity to misinterpret your status updates and creates the perfect opportunity to condemn without knowing the individual. Facebook is also an incredible way to do harm to someone else completely anonymously.
Most days are incredibly good for me, they are upbeat and filled with joyous stress of a full time buzzing career. I love it. However since I came home from Thailand I have been getting odd emails. Odd emails you may ask?  What constitutes an odd email? As many of you know I have been suffering from a constant upload ban. My boudoir, baby and conceptual photos have been targeted and reported to Facebook. Thus far I have had no luck with determining how to make it stop, or to find out what people will and will not report. It is a frustrating situation which I have voiced over Facebook. Please understand, although it frustrates me, it does nothing more than push me to succeed. You reinstall confidence in what I am doing and how I am shooting. It’s like peeing into the wind, you’ll get it – not me.

I received an odd email back in February – notifying me that an individual was copying my photos and they thought I should check it out. Odd right? Very. I checked it out and contacted the photographer. All was said in done in a matter of hours – or so I thought. Over the weekend I was notified approximately 12 times that an anonymous ‘model’ in the Capital Region had contacted my fans (random people who have posted on the JFY fan page) letting them know that they know who is reporting my images and that this photographer is very jealous of me etc etc. and they believed they should contact and tell me. The ironic part was that it was the same photographer I had spoken to back in February. I thought nothing of it and moved forward. This photographer contacted me, quite upset, telling me my fans have been emailing her and making her upset. I find it weird since I had never paid attention to the situation. Dramatic? Incredibly. Something I wish to deal with? Not so much.

See why Facebook can be used as evil?

The point is – the emails being sent to you by this model clearly have no grounds, and are being used in a cruel and vindictive way. When an image is reported to Facebook, you never – EVER find out who is reporting their work. This ‘model’ is trying to do something which I don’t agree with, nor never chose to become involved with.

On a positive note, I want you to all know that I have decided to continue to share my work, and to continue to offer shadowing opportunities. I have realized that although I will attract haters – I can’t prevent that. I try my hardest to ensure that you, as Facebook fans, potential clients, past clients and just random browsers all get to know me for who I am. It is hard – bare with me – it is incredibly hard to express feelings and tone of voice via text but I will try my hardest. Just like any other job, photography has extreme highs and lows. I love my job, it provides me with everything I could ever ask for in a career – it provides me with a new challenge every day and that is something I crave.

However, as I have told you before, I am a very introverted person – meaning I am very shy. I can be open and bubbly within my job – but to share my personal life and feelings or to have my feelings attacked is a very difficult sensation to deal with. Just For You Photography has grown and developed faster than I ever anticipated. With it has grown a feeling of being in the public eye, which has it’s immense downfalls and incredible perks. I share my life and my current thoughts and feelings because I want you to connect to me in more ways than just as your photographer. I have the idea that if you understand me, you will understand the emotion and meaning behind me as a photographer. You will get more out of my work than simply a photo. I wish to move you, I hope to inspire.

After everything is said and done, I hope this blog post has helped you put two pieces together, and that you now know the situation a bit better. I thank you all for lifting me when I have fallen, and for the massive boot in the behind to focus on the positive not the negative. I am a confident woman in my photography, but this does not mean someone targeting me to fail does not hurt. Emotions can be channeled and hurt can be transformed into the will to succeed, to push forward and conquer. I will conquer over those who wish to push me down, for I cannot feel success without first experiencing failure.

Li Proverbe au Vilain – Rome was not built in a day

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Nikki - March 28, 2011 - 5:34 pm

Hi Becky,
I just want to say how much I look forward to seeing you post new pictures on both facebook and your blog. Your work is AMAZING and truly inspires me to become a better photographer. I was always taught growing up that you can’t live your life pleasing everyone. The way you are handling this with such grace and dignity says a lot about you. So I just want to say thank you for pushing on, not giving up and inspiring me (and many others I’m sure) EVERYTIME you post a new set of pictures.
:)
Nikki

Linda Cloutier - March 28, 2011 - 5:04 pm

Hi Becky, nicely put, you know those of us that had the great privilege of being photographed by you got to know you a bit. I love your work, you do have a bubbly personality. Dont change for anyone and know that your supporters will always be here for you.

Carrie - March 28, 2011 - 4:06 pm

Very well put Becky. As we discussed when I shadowed you that day – on our long drive – I have been in your shoes and decided to completely back off on my advertising and took down my website…not that my work was in any way, shape or form as nice as your work…but it was still something I was proud of.

You encouraged me to continue to work and strive to do the best I could and I have been.

I wish you all the best in your job, life etc. and I know you will do even more than you already have in such a short time.

You are an inspiration to us newbies!!!

Jason - March 28, 2011 - 3:52 pm

Have you tried Flickr for your photos? At the least you can link to them from Facebook…

I agree that FB is better for sharing, Flickr isn’t the be all end all but there is usually more latitude there… if Flickr isn’t your thing, there are other ways and sites you can use as well (SmugMug, JPG Mag come to mind off the top…).

Best of luck, I know all to well what it’s like having to deal with sharing photos on Facebook and other sites!

~jb

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