I have read a lot of helpful posts this past month on a variety of photography related topics but I have to say BEWARE of the negative helper! This really is not just on the Internet but is involved in so many areas. As an example someone asked on one forum if they should take X or Y lens on a trip and they included a lot of information about what they wanted to do on the trip, both are good lenses and have a good zoom range and both can work for the person that was asking. There were a number of good replies but then there are a couple that came out with “I would not take either lens as the pictures that you will take will be inferior because of your camera and you should buy an entire new camera system” or “Why take either, you obviously have no idea of what you will be shooting so leave your camera at home”. The other day I was listening to a couple of photographers talk and one of the photographers would belittle the other with every comment that they gave. The funny thing was the guy that was being belittled was an amazing photographer, much better than the person doing the belittling. Instead of answering the question or contributing to the conversation the one person had to try dragging the other down.
I see this many times in photography when someone is about to try something new, it could be shooting portraits, astro photography, nature, wildlife or anything. You get the negative helper that will chime in and say something like “why try it, you will never make any money at this” or “you should forget about it as you don’t know enough”. Now I am not saying that we should do something like offer our services to clients if we are not comfortable and confident with what we are doing, but there is no reason why we cannot try different things. As I have said many times if you have a photography business you better know what you are doing. But if this is just someone wanting to try a different type of photography on their own, to grow, we need to keep our negative comments to ourselves!
I also see this in many other areas as well. Someone wants to try something new and everyone around them does their best to knock them down. I do not understand this, why not try doing the opposite, before saying anything ask yourself how you can build them up or help them. The world would be a much better place if we all did this!