Unfortunately, being in your booth at an art show, you can’t really leave. You’re stuck having to deal with whoever comes your way. This man proceeded to tell me that photography is not art. His reasoning was that anyone can do it because all you have to do is snap the photo.
Interesting logic. So, by his logic, all a painter does is puts paint on a canvas. Or, all a sculptor does is play with clay. And then there are the things that have been said to me like, “It’s just fabric, it’s not really art.”
It always amazes me the things that come out of people’s mouths. What I find so interesting is that they often say these things without recognizing that you are standing right there and you are listening to every word you say.
I have had people look at my work and proceed to explain to their friend how “it’s done automatically on one of those computerized machines.” So, I quietly point to my sewing machine and say, “This is the vintage machine that I create all of this artwork with. It’s not computerized.” It’s always gratifying to watch their faces when I say this.
So this man just kept talking about how easy it is to just point the lens and click the shutter. I tried to interject that there is so much more to photography than that. He didn’t hear me. He had this preconceived notion that would not change no matter what I said. He seemed to be of the opinion that if you didn’t create it with your hands, it was not art. (Side note: I wonder what he would have thought of digital art. I didn’t ask.)
It wasn’t long before I gave up trying to carry on a conversation with this man. After a couple of minutes, I just smiled and nodded. Eventually he went away.
As an introvert, I only have so much energy to offer. I don’t want to use it up on fools or energy suckers like him. So, my usual approach is to smile and nod and make appropriate sounds at the appropriate times. They walk away happy because someone paid attention to them, and I haven’t wasted too much energy on them.
My point is this: save your energy for your real customers.