So, swell... I was abruptly taken out of my bubble this weekend, when a thread in a prominent photography forum decided to discuss yours truly. Usually, I'm not a fan of forums, for the simple reason that creepers decide to hide their identity and cowardly go after someone without any rhyme or reason.
I just happened to be that someone this weekend.
The thread in question has since been taken down, which REALLY got my blood boiling because I wasn't even able to respond. I was, however, able to see it, read it, and slowly formulate a response that wasn't completely littered with four letter words.
The post in question came from "Anonymous333", a "photographer" who struggles with getting a press pass to cover some of his favorite concerts. In it, he describes how many of his favorite artists he had to give up on taking pictures of since the 'Italian photographer got all the best gigs", and implied I did so because I'm a woman.
Well, Mr. Anonymous333, did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe, I get those gigs because the labels and promoters want really good pictures of their artists? I didn't have a chance to view your portfolio, Mr. Coward, I mean, Mr. Anonymous333, but something tells me that it may not be up to par with someone who does this for a living.
Also, I wanted to let you know that yes, I'm a woman, and very proud of it, but because I'm a woman:
- I had to work three times as hard as my male colleagues to be taken seriously as a photojournalist and not a groupie;
- I often had to put up with a misogynistic crew that made my job less than enjoyable until I made a name for myself;
- I have never and will never sleep my way through a gig, way too hard to do when you carry a 40lbs backpack all night, crimps my style;
- I had the pleasure of being thrown up on, elbowed in my eye and yes, even had a concussion or two because, you know, I'm half your size;
- I took three self-defense courses to put up with drunk assholes who think it's ok to grab my ass in a venue, while I'm working (oh, did you know that my camera is an awesome weapon and I wasn't charged when the drunk asshole lost a tooth, thanks to the security guard who witnessed the whole incident and made sure the truth came out with the police officer?);
- I lost many jobs at the beginning of my career because I was "cute" - bet you never did;
- I dealt with stalkers;
- I dealt with women who hated me for being that close to "the band";
- I was literally lifted off my shooting spot by a body builder who decided to bench press me.
Because I'm a woman, I have to deal with people like you, waiving a penis around with a sense of entitlement.
Next time you're not given a press pass, buy a ticket. Support the musicians who make my job actually enjoyable. Support the economy. Support passion, talent and creativity.
But most of all, support photography if you want to call yourself a photographer.
And if you see me in a venue, then know I've earned the right to be there and I am trusted to do a good job. A great MF job. Because that's how I get the best gigs.