By: Jacob Hales
“Hey guys, it’s Chad, welcome back to my profile! I’m a photographer and filmmaker located in Raleigh, trying to make a name for myself. Check out my YouTube channel and my VSCO!”
If I had a dollar for every time I received a follow request on Instagram from someone like Chad, I would have, like, 30 dollars, which is 30 dollars too many. These are the people who beg for your follow and like all your pictures, only to unfollow a few weeks later without you knowing. They are what I call “Content Creators.”
Just the phrase “Content Creators” sends chills down my spine. I have such a negative feeling about it that you’d think it’d murdered my wife and kids. I get the same feeling from the word “vibes.” But that’s a story for another article.
There are plenty of quality photographers on social media—photographers like George Muncey and Ray Roberts. But, there is a special place in hell for those that post photos just for Instagram clout. And it just so happens that Raleigh is a breeding ground for these photographic succubi. In order to avoid them, take these initial steps:
Be wary of any place with neon or fairy lights, Raleigh photogs swarm the few areas that have any potential of creating artificial BOKEH (the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.) Let’s face it, no matter how many photos of pretty girls with blurry neon backgrounds we see we will still appreciate them because of those beautiful, out-of-focus balls of light.
Watch out around train tracks, especially the ones downtown. This is where the normie photographers take their insta pictures—Canon Rebels, kit lenses, pop-up flashes, and captions like “not all those who wander are lost.” These are the people who put “photographer” in their bio and post only pictures of themselves or their friends. I can’t bash them too much though, because I used to be one of them. God, I wish someone would’ve hit me upside the head with skill.
Be careful around gas stations and old country roads, this is where the racers take their pics. I can already hear the sound of garbage rolling down the street. Racers are the people who buy Honda Accords and turn them into crimes against humanity by adding shark fins, mufflers, and spoilers. They buy expensive cameras just to take pictures of their “cars” and then make fun of other people for not buying full frame. What?
Last, but certainly not least, be careful around parking decks and roofs in the downtown area, as they are home to what I like to call the parking deck photographers. These are the worst kinds of people. How do I know? Because I am one of them. We take pictures of “models” wearing indie clothes and bright colored sunglasses with the skyline in the background. We post things on our stories like “who tryna shoot” and “models needed for a project.” I am not the worst when it comes to the parking deck photographers—there are some that arrange meetups or make photoshoots. I’m not that damaged.
Please be wary of every one, and don’t let random people take pictures of you. There are some terrible people out there. That’s not to say that there isn’t some extraordinary talent in this city, there are plenty of people who care about their craft and respect other’s work (literally the opposite of what I’m doing). Just be careful before someone DM’s you and asks to shoot.