Mentor becomes disgruntled

Started Sep 10, 2010 | Discussions thread
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The Schillings
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Mentor becomes disgruntled
Sep 10, 2010

I am a part time music photographer. I shoot for a number of publications and websites and have begun making some money at it. I shoot live performances of the bigger acts, and have started marketing myself to the local scene for both live and portrait work.

I got into this business two years ago mainly because I wanted to combine my love of music with my newfound attraction to photography. Another photographer that I met, who has been doing concert work for several years as a source of income, was kind enough to give me some guidance in the area of making industry contacts, gear, and general tricks of the trade. I was very grateful, and have reciprocated to both him and other up and coming photographers that have since asked for my help.

What started out as a mutually respectful relationship with my mentor (not sure if that term truly applies) has since turned quite sour. As soon as I started to make some money at this, and started gaining access to larger shows, started booking promo shoots with bands, and started shooting for some of the outlets that his friends shoot for, I am now considered a thief and a backstabbing snake. He feels his kindness has come back to bite him. His reaction has included spreading lies behind my back, and a quite unprofessional smear campaign on social networking sites. Although I am quite positive he and his friends have personally suffered no lost opportunity, he totally sees my gain as everyone else's loss. He is alone in his feelings, as I have discussed the situation with several other photographers that he claims are losing out, and they do not share his viewpoint, at least that is what they are telling me.

This is not my primary source of income. I have no intention of gobbling up a shrinking pie and giving anyone hardship or bad feelings. This is totally a hobby that has turned into a sideline for me that I feel warrants fair treatment for a quality product within an industry of hard working professionals.

Part of me wants to continue and try to salvage a friendship. Another (growing) part of me feels this person is quite insecure and will always view me as an adversary. I am also worried that I am naive and unaware of some street "code" that I am breaking.

If anyone else has run into this type of situation, I would be quite grateful if you can offer any advice.

Thanks so much.

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