When You’re Good, You’re Scary.

“I don’t know what happened, but as I started getting better and better at photography the photographers I looked up to and the people who has supported me when I was just beginning started to disappear” -Anonymous local Photographer whom you all know (not me)

This is a short read, and you should read it to the end. There’s a cycle I’ve seen in the creative world, be it photography, writing, music, video it doesn’t matter. It’s a vicious routine that pumps people up only to dump them in the gutter as they grow.

The better you get at anything, the more people hate you for being good at it.
Louis Mendes outside of B&H Photo in NYC | Photo: Jonathan Edwards

Let’s be honest though, it’s not a one-way street. So often we meet people who aspire to do something similar to what we are doing, we help them along and then one day, seemingly out of nowhere, they are being recognized for their talent and their hard work. That person you helped from being a crappy little pee-on wannabe photographer or videographer is now getting the jobs you want.

We get jealous, angry and we feel threatened. Why? Because when the people we helped sucked at what they did it made us feel important and needed to help them out.

It’s coming at us from all sides! We are upset that our mentors are ignoring us and we’re upset that our students don’t need us.

“When the people we helped sucked at what they did it made us feel important…”

So how do we break this stupid cycle?

Try to recognize WHY you are helping someone else. If you genuinely enjoy helping other people learn and grow than great!

But if you’re doing it to feel better about yourself and feel important, that’s actually ok as well, as long as you recognize it and realize that this person WILL get better and someday may not need your help.

Instead of saying “That person isn’t so great, I taught them everything they know” think to yourself: “I’m so glad I was able to help, it’s super cool that they are doing well, we should go out and get a drink!”

So what if you are NOT the mentor, but you’re the student who feels abandoned by the people who used to encourage you and help you?

random photo of a badass camera.

Well, that one is easy, stop being so damned selfish and publicly thank the people who helped you along the way! Seriously!!! That’s all there is too it!

Don’t believe me? Try it. You will lose absolutely nothing and stand a good chance of rekindling some long-term friendships!


Contention Media is a Photo & Film production Service located in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. You can find us online at:
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