Getting photography advice is one thing


Lately I, like many other people in the world, have been using Formspring.me as a Q & A social media tool. People can log in, ask me a question and I will have the chance to either answer it or not answer it. I like receiving photography related questions on Formspring.me however when I received an email from someone through my website asking me extremely vague questions something has to be said about it.

Problem one is the person did not go through Formspring.me which is where the Q & A gets published and logged. Problem two is how vague the questions were.

my problem is this: in a small room, 9’x12′, on the 9′ wide wall i have 28 glass covered display frames hanging containing collectible pins and pinbacks. The opposite wall has a window. i want pictures WITHOUT GLARE. my question is this: what is the best way to get the pictures i want? when is the best time of day to get pictures? thanks!

So as you can see, the question is hard to answer because there are many ways to solve it and many ways to get a good picture. However, I am not here to tell you have to “get the picture you want”. I am here to help with tips or tricks. If a person wants detailed help like that they would need to take a class or hire myself or someone else for private lessons.

My reply to this email was as follows:

I think you were trying to send the question through
http://formspring.me/scottwyden but you went through my website
instead.

All of your questions would give very broad answers. There are no exact answers

Scott

and the reply to that:

maybe even a few ‘broad’ answers might help… i can’t get a decent pic at all…

and now mine again:

I am sorry but there is no way for me to give you an answer on how to take a good picture. My suggestion would be to hire someone for either private lessons or to take a class.

Scott

and finally the kicker

so much for your “asking Scott Wyden Kivowitz a question” page and getting ‘some’ advice…
i thought i was asking a professional…
thank you very much.

I love helping others as I have proven time and time again. If I didn’t like helping others I wouldn’t offer it in the first place. I wouldn’t blog or tweet or facebook, etc… If I didn’t like helping others I would keep my mouth closed and just shoot.

Giving photography advice is on thing, but telling someone how to be a photographer is another.  If I was offering to give private lessons this would be a completely different story.

So with all of that now out in the open. What do you think? Was I right to not give what in my opinion should be paid advice or private lessons for free over email?  Am I wrong for posting this?

I’d like to hear your thoughts as a photographer, a fan, or someone that also offers a service.

Thanks for reading my rant,

Scott

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. As a fellow photographer, I would have to agree with you on this one Scott. I feel like some people just want a quick and easy answer to a problem, without putting in the effort to try and figure it out themselves. It reminds me of how some people react when I give them my price list for services. "If you want cheap prices, hire a cheap photographer."I would also agree with posting this. Maybe now others will think twice about posting such a vague question and/or going through the right channels to do so.I've never heard of formspring.me before, but it sound like a good idea. I'll have to look into it.

  2. Thanks for your comment Nate. This also goes for so many other things. I always try to figure things out for my myself either by reading up on it, watching a tutorial DVD, paying for help, taking a class, etc.. But sometimes there is no other option but to ask for free help if all else fails. However this person obviously didn't try to do a simple google search before asking a general photography question. Hopefully from now on the questions I receive will be more specific or more about my photography and how I did something which is really what it was all about.If you do join formspring.me let me know!Scott

  3. Thanks for your comment Nate. This also goes for so many other things. I always try to figure things out for my myself either by reading up on it, watching a tutorial DVD, paying for help, taking a class, etc.. But sometimes there is no other option but to ask for free help if all else fails. However this person obviously didn't try to do a simple google search before asking a general photography question. Hopefully from now on the questions I receive will be more specific or more about my photography and how I did something which is really what it was all about.

    If you do join formspring.me let me know!

    Scott

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