We are the Same. We are Different.

We are the Same. We are Different.

150 150 Karmen Van Derven

We have cameras. and lenses. and so many opinions.
We know what is best for ourselves, and we push all of that on each other.

And for me, this has become invaluable and yet burdensome.

The truth is, we are in the same groups and communities, but we are not on the same path.

Some of us are hustling. Making that dollar.┬áMarketing the shit out of our services. Some of us are business people first, artist people second. And that is okay. Book those sessions. Make those videos. Network and climb and make your place in your community as THE PHOTOGRAPHER TO BOOK FOR __________. This is your livelihood and how you support yourself/your dreams/your family. You are making it and I am super proud of the profession you have chosen and your enthusiasm to make waves in this industry. But you aren’t dead yet. So you still have a lot to learn!

Some of us are not so much about client work. We are documenting our families and our every day lives. We are remembering chubby little fingers and toes. We are freezing moments of our own time. Documenting our journeys, our bodies, our talents. Some of us are using a lens and light to create something entirely different every time. Some of us are artists, family journalists, inner space explorers. And I am super inspired by your rawness and your authenticity and your openness to share these unique images of your perspective. I know your heart better when I see it expressed. You are so alive. You still have so much to learn.

Some of us need SO MUCH VALIDATION. I get it, but nobody wants to hear it. Post something you are proud of, stop acting like it is the beginning or end of the world. Everybody started somewhere and you if you want to participate in forums and groups you are going to have to be brave. You are going to have to take advantage of all the information and education available, ask for CC, change things as you learn. You are amazing and you need to be doing this for yourself. I am super proud that you are being brave and posting, but stop asking for special considerations because of fear/inadequacy/passive aggressive neediness. You need to spend that energy on YouTube learning everything you can.

No matter how long you have been at this, no matter how much success you have garnered by your own definition, none of us are better than any one else. I mean sure, some people are more technical and more studied or more skilled and practiced. Some people are just lucky. Some people are trying as hard as they can and that is all they’ve got. Remember this when you give unsolicited constructive criticism. Remember that you have learned by your own stupid mistakes, and let other people make them and learn from them, too.

2017 could be a year that we stay open.
It can be the year you don’t act like you are the expert on everything.
It can be the year you learn something from someone you thought didn’t know as much as you.
It can be a year you don’t look like an asshole.

Find a mentor, find an apprentice.
Treat them the same way.

Take a step back from everything you know, and find someone who knows something different. Because truthfully, a roomful of experts/knowitalls is a super boring room. And most of us just want to like each other. So embrace the fact that we are all human, and although we have different timing, we all make mistakes, and we all deserve each other. In the best way.



Karmen Van Derven