Photography: The Attitude

I have a few accounts in some photography sites like DeviantArt (DA), UseFilm and (FN). I absolutely have no problem with the international art sites. If not a compliment, I will get constructive feedbacks every now and then from the other users, which is good.

However, I am sometimes troubled with the Indonesian photo site, I mean I think it is normal to also mingle with the other photographers in the country if you want to progress in the real photography world, right? But I hardly get constructive feedbacks. Even in the former days when I first joined it like 4 or 5 years ago, the comments would disappoint me as in you would think that they were clueless of what to say. And it seemed that people just commented because they had to comment in at least 2 photos before submitting an art (FN's rule). And they didn't give a damn to it.

Nowadays, I see more progress in the attitude of the users and that's why I start uploading photos again. But a slightly annoying thing strikes me again. Not as bad as the useless comments I mentioned above. But it is the culture of addressing people (in this case, me).

Indonesians cannot not address the person they are talking to. If you're not a close friend of a person, you just don't call him/her by the first name only (or last name only). You will have to put Mbak, Mas, Kak, Dik, Om, Tante, Pak, Bu, Bli, etc. I could go on and on and make a book of the various types of addressing people in Indonesia but let's just leave it right there. Anyway, I should emphasize that I have NO PROBLEM with the Indonesian addressing culture. I think it's respectful and polite and there is nothing wrong with it.

But when addressing people is a must, you should always check whom you are talking to first. Like I just submitted a photo on FN this morning. In 15 minutes I got five comments, three of which addressed me as a MALE photographer [click the image to see a larger version].

Now I was wondering... is it the pre-assumption that photographers are always males that made me deserve to be called Bro or Om? Or does the name Carla sound like a boy's name? Or is it simply an ignorance to double check the photographer?

Anyway... I'm not too upset or anything. But if it was due to the reason of the stereotype of male photographers or ignorance, I think it is just too bad. I think many, many, many Indonesians are good photographers. They shoot like pros and they are surely able to compete in the international photography world with the quality of the photos they have. But if such attitude is maintained, I'm not sure if that will last long.

Just like the other type of jobs, no matter how good you are as a cook, journalist, programmer, teacher or how beautiful you are as a model, you'll be out of the industry soon if you don't have the right attitude.


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