Haleigh Rohner Photography » Blog

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  • Hi! I'm Haleigh Rohner, a Phoenix-based wedding + portrait photographer. I have been a photographer in the Phoenix metro area for the past 6 years. My specialty is preserving memories that allow you to leave a legacy for your children and grand children. That is why weddings are my focus. Weddings are such a special time, where two families are being merged and creating a new family. I love the traditions and heritage shared between a couple on their wedding day. All of my packages include digital images that will be preserved through an online site through which you, and your family can download your photos for an entire year after your wedding. I'd love to be a part of your big day. Contact me if you'd like more information. -Haleigh

Note to Photographers and the Photography Industry as a whole.

I’ve been going over this post in my head for about a week now. I’m not sure who will even read it, to be honest. I am not a well-known photographer with a national following of other photographers, like some of my friends. I do know that it needs to be said. So, here goes. I am going to do my best.

If you are a photographer and you are reading this… please continue. There have been numerous occasions within the last couple of months of which I’ve become aware where photographers have stirred the pot within our industry regarding their opinions about safety and other things of value to our industry. In most cases, their reasoning for sharing their opinions was very warranted. However the ways in which they decided to express their opinions were TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE! Photographers have had their name and reputation tarnished because of the way in which their peers decided to voice opinions about them. It is absolutely beyond my comprehension as to why photographers would take it upon themselves to reach out in forums and other social media, such as facebook, to share opinions. Colleagues, I am not suggesting that you should not have the opportunity to express those views, and educate newer, less experienced photographers than yourself. I am, however, suggesting that you DO SO IN A PRIVATE MANNER. The way in which some photographers have chosen to do so, as of late, lacks professionalism, makes me sad, and honestly embarrassed to admit that I am a part of this industry.

We as photographers ALL have SO MUCH IN COMMON! Afterall, why did we all take on this profession? Why? I can tell you that most of us DID NOT just find a camera and decide that it’d help pay the bills. Most of us came into this profession because we are artists that all have a unique view of the world. Some of us discovered it as a teenager when their father gave us our first camera, others discovered it when they had their first child and couldn’t stop staring at the beauty that we’d created and set out on a quest to make our camera see what we see. We wanted to share it with others… we want them to preserve our perspective for YEARS TO COME! We want to help other people to preserve different wonderful stages in their lives, from weddings, to young families, to high school graduation, and the list goes on. Why do we do that? This industry, as a whole is filled with some amazing, wonderful people with FANTASTIC, GIVING SPIRITS!

So, why is all of this cyber bullying going on? I just don’t understand it. Does it make you feel better? Does it allow you to sleep better at night to know that someone else is having a sleepless night… at your expense. Does it make you feel better about yourself to know that someone else knows LESS than you. Two days ago, I witnessed a woman cyber bullied about a photo that was on her facebook page. It was taken 8 months ago. Someone decided to share her photo {along with a very large opinion} and it spread like wild fire…. during the two hours that my baby took his afternoon nap.  The poor girl probably didn’t even check her facebook during that period of time. She had pages and pages of hate mail. ABSURD! I emailed the girl to apologize to her on behalf of our industry. And do you know what she told me… that not ONE PERSON that had a negative opinion about her photo took the time to email her in person. NOT ONE! So, next time you feel the need to teach something to your peer{s} please do so by private message, and not firing squad. Please remember that there is a person behind every photo and business. And that person has feelings too!

The key to this all is EDUCATION! Not bullying someone into doing something different. How do you teach? How does someone learn? Through gentle kindness and education. Sometimes I am afraid that we all get so caught up in our own passions, and convictions, that we don’t take the time to be KIND. Encourage and lift others! Karma is a wonderful thing to have on your side!

show hide 14 comments

jennifer armstrong - February 4, 2012 - 12:07 am

beautifully said. Sad that you needed to, certainly. But spoken clearly with grace, kindness & an open heart. Well done. And thank you.

Martha Bravo - February 4, 2012 - 5:03 am

You are so right.

tami - February 4, 2012 - 8:04 am

This was beyond written with a strong conviction for what is right and calling out what is wrong. I’m extremely proud today to call you my friend and reminded why I”m glad to have you in my circle.

I hope that photographer you contacted knows that she isn’t alone right now, that there are many others standing up with her and ashamed for how others have behaved.

Grace - February 4, 2012 - 8:20 am

Good for you, Haleigh! I’m not a photographer but have seen similar behavior in other creative circles as well. Publicly tearing someone down to build yourself up speaks volumes about one’s character. It’s a shame that a vocal minority can tarnish it for so many others.

Christine - February 4, 2012 - 9:05 am

Very well said! Those bullies are cowards. Thank you for calling them out!

Robert - February 4, 2012 - 10:13 am

Well said and good on you for speaking up.

Sarah - February 4, 2012 - 10:35 am

Great comments! Totally agree with all that you have said!

Shannon S - February 4, 2012 - 12:31 pm

What a great way to say what I have been feeling. I would add that the trickle down effect has had everyone going on and on about other things, besides safetly!

Kara May - February 4, 2012 - 12:41 pm

You are a gem in this industry Haleigh. I’m proud to call you my friend. You said it best. Thanks so much for posting this. So many who feel the need to belittle others in our industry need to read this. xoxoxo

Sarah Smith - February 4, 2012 - 6:29 pm

Well said! What an amazing example you are! Not only for such a well written message, but by reaching out to her with such a gentile heart! I feel so blessed to have photogs like yourself in my life who take time to help me & encourage me & not make me feel stupid b/c I don’t know as much. You did an amazing job of expressing yourself and I am so proud to call you a friend and fellow photographer!

mugsie5 - February 4, 2012 - 6:46 pm

Wonderful blog. Our nation is doing this in all areas and it is time for people to become civil. Kudos to you for posting this

laura - February 4, 2012 - 10:25 pm

I am sad that this is happening in the industry. The saddest part is that through the cyber world we don’t have to look at a face or feel the warmth of another person to keep our mouths and opinions in check. Text and type are so impersonal that it is easy to lash out our opinions and really hurt someone. Even if we don’t mean the words to come across that way. Human contact and vocal inflection makes a huge difference that people just don’t get through the internet. The fact that this spread ( I don’t know what ‘this’ is) so quickly saddens me. I don’t have a phone with internet capabilities so if it happened to me… well I wouldn’t know for hours or a day if I had already checked my FB page. I have jumped off of some of the forums as there were people there who weren’t constructively critical of work but just plain mean. I have a tough hide too.
I am so glad you privately emailed this girl! That must have meant a lot to her! I hope that she heals quickly from the harsh comments of that day.

Michelle Feeney - February 6, 2012 - 7:59 am

Thanks for sharing this Haleigh. It was great that you recognized this was happening and took the time to reach out to her. I’m sure she appreciated it.

Ally White - February 6, 2012 - 10:46 am

Very well said Haleigh!

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