Jay Ryser Photography | Just need to get this off my chest

Just need to get this off my chest

February 17, 2018

For those that don't know, I run a Facebook group devoted to wildlife photography.  It has about 11,000 members.  It started out as primarily local photographers, and it's expanded far beyond my initial intent.  

In the last part of 2017, I made a decision that I thought was ethical and designed to protect the animals that I loved.  I made a rule that folks could no longer post locations of where they made the image.  I did what I thought was right, and my life was made miserable for a while afterwards.  I wasn't expecting everyone to be thrilled with the rule, but I have to say, I was shocked by the degree of hostility that was aimed at me after initiating the rule.  I never would have guessed that a simple rule would create the conflict that it did.  I would up booting people from the group that refused to follow the new rule, I had people that, despite being "friends" with them on Facebook and interacting on a regular basis, were now bitterly complaining about me, writing nasty, insulting things on my time line, and sending messages filled with hate and obscenities to me privately.

The group lost around 300 people.  And I'm perfectly fine with that.

On the one hand, this has not been a picnic for me.  On the other hand, ultimately, I'm glad to be rid of these people.  If trying to do something ethical is enough to provoke hostile behavior, I'm better off without them.  I am left with a feeling of disillusionment, though.  I'm doing less wildlife photography now.  I'm disappointed that folks mob single animals with more regard for getting an image than the welfare of the animal.  I don't want to be a part of that.  I think I need a break from it.


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