I'm sure you've heard the old saying that if you try to please everyone, you'll please no one. Not only is this something to think about in our everyday lives, but it's an approach us photographers should really be following too.
The team over at The School of Life are back once again with a fascinating video on the subject of being a people-pleaser. Philosopher and Author Alain de Botton goes into great detail about the origins, the effects, and the dangers of trying to please everyone. de Botton talks about how as children, we are less equipped to express ourselves and maybe go with the flow because we either don't know any better or don't want to risk upsetting someone. As we get older, however, we form much stronger inclinations and are also much more able to articulate tactfully our feelings and preferences if they don't match others around us.
While I appreciate behavioral patterns from earlier on in life can be tricky ones to shake, it's dangerous for us photographers to try to please everyone. Copying the style du jour which is currently popular on Instagram, saying yes to every job no matter how removed from your field it is, or not speaking up when a client suggests something you know will look terrible really doesn't benefit anyone in the long run. I understand that it is a bit of a balancing act when it comes to working with others, but by not being authentic to yourself photographically, you may just find your work or career following a path you really never wanted it to go down.
Are you a people-pleaser? Have you ever not spoken up on a shoot for fear of upsetting people? I'd love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
Lead image by Wouter de Jong via Pexels, used under Creative Commons.