by Skip Cohen
Okay, so somebody help me out here...I got an indignant email from a person I didn't "friend" a little while back on Facebook. They were "disappointed" because I didn't allow them in my Facebook "family". I didn't because they had no head shot; we had no friends in common and there was nothing that suggested they were even a photographer. I wasn't being rude, just practical. I'm at 5000 and never started a fan page - so people get added as other people fade away.
We've got the same challenge with Facebook Wedding Photographers. It's a great forum for professional and aspiring wedding photographers. It was started by Chris Fawkes from Australia a couple of years ago, who asked me to help him by being a co-administrator. We changed it to a closed group roughly eight months ago and grown from 3000 to almost 12,000 members, but it's not without its share of challenges.
One of the biggest challenges comes with people wanting to join the forum, but their Facebook page tells us absolutely nothing about their involvement in photography. We're doing our best to keep the forum strong with photographers sharing images and questions that are professional, but every now and then there's one bonehead who just doesn't get it.
If you're a photographer, then why wouldn't you at least have a head shot in your profile? And, with that head shot, if you're new to Facebook and looking for other photographers, why wouldn't you have a camera in your hands or at least be creative and put something relevant in your about section.
I'm not picking on anybody who just has a great head shot or a picture of your kids etc. The issue is about not putting the right information in your profile and then expecting people to be mind-readers. Even worse is not having any information and then being upset when a group doesn't let you in or somebody doesn't friend you. This definitely falls under my "life is too short" philosophy. Seriously, save feeling hurt, indignant and upset for the really great crisis moments in life!
From freelance writer Robert Brault I found a great quote that fits so well:
"Life is short, God's way of encouraging a bit of focus."
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.