Do you find photography a solitary activity?

From Model Mayhem Forum…

T. Noble writes:

Do you find photography a solitary activity?

I mean other then a model or subject, who else do you socialize with? Other photographers that share your interest and passion? None of my old friends are really interested in photography other then maybe having a poster on there wall of an Ansel Adams pic. It has been my experience that finding others who share this passion to socialize with has been very difficult if not entirely nonexistent.

I have joined photo clubs, but find the people in those sort of groups to be the sort of people that want to share their work and hear a bunch of praise, but don’t really share that much else. Snobbish, neo-yuppy, or old retired types that just like to take pics of flowers or tree bark.

There have been a couple of pro’s in the group, but again, they treat photography like it’s something not to be shared or explained, unless you’re willing to pay them for their expertise, despite being in a club that promotes education and learning.

How about you?

What has your experience been with other photographers? Do you have other photographers that you are really able to be friends with?


Well T. Noble, some photogs like shooting in groups, others don’t. I’ve always been a loner, so working alone is nothing new to me.

Weegee - Betty Page m

Betty Page by Weegee

I work alone in my ‘Lightroom’ as well as when I shoot on the street. I have no photog friends. Family members hate my work and have nothing to do with it. The only time I really have any interactions with people is the rare occasion I shoot posed photos.

It used to be I had a good deal of interaction with my subjects in my early days of photography. Back then my mantra was ‘meet on the street…shoot at the home.’ But I don’t do much of that of work any longer. I’m old and times have changed. People are self-sufficient with their digital cams and $29 Wal-Mart inkjet printers, so they don’t need an old guy shooting pix of them when I approach them on the street.

Sometimes when I see a photog on the street I may say hello, but it is rare that I do. Usually the photog has their lens shade on backwards and the lens cap still on. The last time I spoke with a photog was 2012 when I was in Venice, CA and saw a guy with a Leica. Oh, and a few months ago I spoke with a gal that had a twin lens reflex tattooed on her arm – but she did not seem conducive to chit-chat. (Maybe if I was a young guy?)

I used to be on a number of photo forums, but got banned from them all…

Here is a partial list of sites that have banned me, blocked my posts or asked me to stop posting.

Model Mahem
Rangefinder Forum
AV Forums
Luminous Landscape Forum
Pentax Forum
Wiki Commons
M43 Forum
A.D. Coleman Blog
Peta Pixel
Digital Photography Review
The Photoforum
Fuji Forum (original)
Fuji Forum (new)
Fuji Rumors
Eric Kim Blog
Photography on the Net Forum
PopPhoto Forum
Photo Camel Forum
Cinematography Forum
Large Format Forum
B & H Blog
Real Photographer Forum
Leica Forum Forum
Amateur Photographer Forum
Open College of the Arts Blog

I tried to join a local shutterbug club but was discouraged to join. They had about 20 members and didn’t like my photography. They were landscapers and flower photogs.

A few years ago when I was starting out with museum placements I wrote to a number of well known photogs asking for advice. Only got a reply from one.

I’m an old film photog, so my digital knowledge is limited. But if someone asks me…I tell em what I can. They don’t have to pay me. Photography has been my lifetime avocation and anytime I can help another photog out I will. If you read my blog you know I don’t hold back a thing. I breastfeed it all to you…

Selection from 'Bikers' Mardi Gras' artists' book by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

But, there is one area that I won’t oblige. That area is being accompanied by the ‘roving pack of street photogs.’


I had read about photogs that like to gather at meetups and scour the streets for photo ops. That roving pack of street photogs are usually composed of camera fondlers. Anyone serious about street work wont go for it.

In a 1981 Visions and Images interview,  Barbralee Diamstein Spielvogel asked Joel Meyerowitz how he got into street photography. Meyerowitz recounts how he met Robert Frank as part of his art directing job and went out with Frank for a street shooting session. After that initial meeting, Meyerowitz decided then and there he would become a photographer. Mererowitz also talks about shooting sessions walking around with Garry Winogrand.

The interview also details when Meyerowitz, Tony Ray Jones and a 3rd unnamed photog approached Cartier-Bresson for a ‘tag a long’ they were turned down. Bresson told them to meet after the shoot for coffee. That is how a serious street photog works…not a camera fondler.

So, all in all, yes T. Noble, I find photography a solitary activity.

Artists seem to have a higher than normal suicide rate T. Noble.  If you require socializing for happiness, then work towards that goal.  Check out meetup to get your fix of packs of roving street photogs for you to chew the fat with!

“Never give up! Don’t listen to the haters. Don’t try to be an artist unless you can work and live in isolation, without any thanks….bleak, but needed until you get to the much lauded place.” ~ Scape Martinez

The Flappers -Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection (9)m

From Flappers

A forthcoming 6 volume artist’s book series by social documentary photographer Daniel D. Teoli Jr.

A complete list of artist’s books by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.