This could be an open letter but you are too much of a cunt

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Dear Photographers,

Why must you insist on making everyone's lives miserable around you? I see you with gaudily dressed couples who insist on crossing the road in front of my car when I am heading towards Kasturba Gandhi Marg from India Gate. I judge you, and not the couple, for the road opposite KG Marg doesn't even have the best view for pre-wedding photography. Yet, you insist on taking the poor couple at there at the crack of the dawn. Who even wants to see a couple canoodle at India Gate? Can we let that be for when they have children and run out of options to entertain them? Do you have no respect for the martyrs? Hashtag soldiers are dying at the border and you're minting money.

What is this attitude of calling people to ask for work/payment at 18:51 pm? Some of us poor sods who were not confident enough to call ourselves photographers ended up getting a desk job. You know what's a desk job? It's a verb (I think) or should I ask Kasturi Roy for clarification. The kind where you sit and work for eight hours straight (yes, I will continue to make Instagram stories and be more productive than you and your ugly partner combined). The same kind of desk job that commissions you and pays for your "lunch" bill at the deceptively named Bombay Canteen. I seriously begin to question the existence of my honorary ball sack each time I encounter people like you. I am too terrified to even take Nathu's Sweets bill for redeeming at work. Here you are with your 12% VAT and 10% service tax on Truffle Oil laden side of Fries with Keema Chorizo Pav and Spinach Asparagus cooked with Hand Crafted Egg Noodles' cheque for clearance for one shoot.
I don't know whether to laugh or to cry at the fact that my salary can't pay for a meal like that and your skills can't save you in an organization where art truly matters, but we can't always be ungrateful now, can we?

I digress, but after a long, pathetic day of work (where my colleague and I were, in all likelihood, passive aggressive towards each other over some banality in our ways of working) you expect me to take your call and motherfucking brief you on my projects and ask you about your life. (No, I am sorry. I am not the authority on releasing payments. You know who does that? The person whose ass you insist on licking. Please follow it up with them). 

I wish I had the balls to pull such stunts as you do. And get away with them. I can only wish.

In my mind, these are akin to the stunts that trained professionals perform at on your television screen at home. That advertisements you proceed to skip on your Tata Sky? Those produced by some person at an agency who gets bare minimum to live by conceives that idea and makes sure it's paid for by the company. Those stunts can be comparable to yours. The kind where you ignore the brief, stomp your foot at me by shouting in all caps, "I AM THE PHOTOGRAPHER. I AM THE AUTHORITY. I AM THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE. I AM LOKI, MOTHERFUCKERS." You get my point?

One of the greatest reasons why I absolutely hate my school with added fervour is when I see professionals with the attitude such as this and I wonder, why did Sr Ivy nip me in the bud when I tried behaving like a deviant in grade XII? Did you really have to live up to your name Sister?

Too personal?

How about, why am I being a motherfucking professional and smiling through it all?
I don't know. There are things I don't know. Much like you, who's the photographer and yet calls me up to ideate the photograph for you, draw a mood board, send you the products, click a reference shot and even send that across.

I really didn't think I'd be drawing storyboards in a publishing house. One of the reasons for not pursuing filmmaking was to walk away from it. Yet, here we are and here I am, doing 90% of your work and taking all 200% of your bullshit and getting paid .23% of what you're making in this.

Do you think I'm going to sympathize with you and your kind?

As someone who was taught "hustling", "being observant" and "jumping" to take that aim at the film school, I look down upon morons like you. Call yourself a "visual thinker", an "artiste", a "photographer" or custodian of art, your confidence is that of a person who's written a mathematics exam very well knowing that you can't pass that, no matter what. I say this because I very well know where you're coming from. I may have even been the same person myself. Cover up the lack of your art and skill in the guise of being too good at it. I did it for years in academia until someone showed me my place. Self-awareness comes complimentary with an MPhil degree.

What would I like for you to do?

I would sincerely request you to shove it up your ass and suck your pride. It would be great if people could be taught skills, humility and professionalism at schools instead of "Prairie is a grassland" and "Zaire has amazing crops".

Just take a moment and look at what shit you're sending out. Ask yourself before taking a motherfucking photograph- is this good enough? Will it serve any purpose? Is it what my client asked? Is the Pope Catholic? Do bears lurk in the woods?

Ask whatever it takes for you to understand you are a speck of dust in the larger scheme of things. In the universe. The art you make, the pictures you take might out live you (I can't say for sure in case of digital). However, here we are and here's your work. If you truly take pride in something which 20 people deem shit, maybe it's time you look again and see. If you are 100% sure about your work then maybe it's time you're dealing with the wrong people. Maybe you're a Van Gogh of this generation. Maybe we are all fools.

However, in all likelihood we are right.

You should consider going to a film school/photography equivalent. Go back, learn the basics. There's nothing wrong in doing that. You'll only get better.

Also, would be great if you could keep that attitude that home. It would save harried professionals like me our writing time and we can focus on a game of Ludo instead.

Definitely, not looking forward to seeing more of your work and hi-res images at that.

All crap,

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