Geez Marie… Lighten Up!!!

Posted by on Sep 27, 2006 in Journal | 4 comments

Photography has been a passion for me the last three years. I enjoy so much capturing landscapes, flowers, etc through the eye of the camera. And for the first couple of years, I enthusiastically shared my photographs with friends and family. I suppose I was like a new mother beaming with pride over each new skill her baby learned. During this "honeymoon" period I was introduced to a website called Shuttercity... it is a community... of sorts... of photographers (amateur and professional) with a shared enthusiasm for photography. Members post their photos on the site and give and receive comments and constructive criticism. So I joined and became an active member of this interactive community. It was great... I was thrilled with interacting with people from all over the world... the whole world right there at my fingertips. I so much enjoyed looking at pictures of other cultures and beautiful places in the world. And I enjoyed getting nice and constructive comments about my own photos. But... here is where I ruined it... I started paying more attention to HOW MANY comments I received and would fret(to put it mildly) that members didn't like my pictures when I got just a very few comments. I'm confessing here... ok... I KNOW how childish my attitude was. At times I quit posting photos to the site... and a few times even went so far as to delete all the pictures I had put on the site... thinking I wouldn't ever do that again because I just couldn't do it in the right spirit. But after calming down I eventually would come back and start posting again, although not as regularly as at first. Well, the last month or so I've been pretty out of it... just little things keeping me pretty bummed. (One of my cats got sick and had to be put "down". But I've already been there in another posting.) Back to this story... this lesson... hopefully to a little growth spurt. So.... I've not done much with the camera in the past month... but one recent weekend my husband and I went to watch a paragliders competition and I took the camera. A little girl caught my eye and I got some pictures of her walking around playing. One picture I took really caught my eye. The little girl was walking holding some sticks over her shoulder with one hand and the other hand was outstretched and she was holding something in her fingertips. It seemed to capture the spirit of childhood play and curiousity and wonder. I was so taken with it, I decided to post it on the Shutter City site... but I didn't want attention focused on it being a realistic portrait of a little girl. I did some editing in photoshop (trial and error till I got an affect that I liked) and made it look like a painting or at least more abstract. I thought others would have the same "ah ha" moment I had and see how the picture showed the innocent curiousity of a child. So... I posted this picture on the Shutter City... and low and behold... nobody got the message... well two people made comments.... one from a guy who comments on every picture posted... and the other comment from my brother in law Mike who introduced me to photography and I thought the only reason he commented was to encourage me... he said "keep putting your vision out there". Well, I lost it and decided once again that I was never ever gonna post another picture on the SC site and deleted the half a dozen pictures I had posted recently. I was just toooooo sensitive about it and took it way toooooo serious. I figured to spare myself from feeling bad, I just wouldn't go there. Sounds reasonable... an easy solution. I vented to my husband and he reminded me that art is subjective . I vented to my son and he told me "grow up Mom". He gave me honest criticism with no sugar coating. He also told me that that it must mean more to me than I think since I was making such a fuss over the whole issue. And he was right.... (how come you're always right Matthew??)... I did enjoy participating... I sincerely have appreciated the time some of the members have given me by sharing photography tips, I have enjoyed looking at some awesome photos. So.... after contemplating his criticism, I realized how I had taken something that was FUN and just ruined it. How childish! How immature! How thin skinned! (You'll like that one Matthew... the "thin skinned" description.) I told myself I wanted to participate, enjoy, learn, and not take it TOO SERIOUSLY... I mean... after all... it's just a forum to share photographs for goodness sake. So...I posted two new pictures on the site last night and when I looked at my gallery after work today, I had some comments... which was nice... but the best part is I LEARNED SOMETHING from someone. Vic Chapman, a most knowledgable and kind man .. who lives across the Atlantic Ocean in England... had given me some advice on how to improve my pictures. And in a separate email to me, he wrote to tell me that he didn't want me to think he was "picking on me" with his constructive criticism. SEE... this is the good part... the opportunity to develop a kind of relationship (albeit... long distance) with some people with the same interest and tons of knowledge who care enough to teach and mentor!! So Marie... hopefully you've got it right this time... lesson learned... even if it was a small lesson having nothing to do with "life or death" matters. Hmmm... you know... to take and apply this attitude to other areas in my life would pretty cool!! Maybe this lesson isn't so small after all!!! **** Last things. I'm posting a picture of the little girl right here cause I still like it. I do want to keep putting my vision out there!! : ) little girl email sc.jpg


  1. Vern taught me how to be always right, if you think I’m bad about it you ain’t seen nothing compared to him…

  2. I love the picture..

  3. Hey Marie,

    I think your pictures are GREAT!!! I am glad that I ran across them. They blessed my day.


  4. Hi Marie,

    I was directed yet again back to your website, in fact it was by forwarded email from your neighbor, who had received an email from your husband directing him re “Susie” I just want to say that I enjoy all of your writing, loved the photo in this story.

    I find that in reading what you write it at times helps me get through my day, such wisdom at times. So thank you all, you Marie for writing, your husband for caring enough to share with his friends, and to your neighbor for knowing that I too would enjoy what you write.

    Thanks from Downunder….Shirley

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