I think as a photographer/designer/artist it’s important to take every opportunity that one is presented with- it doesn’t matter if you don’t get paid, get paid a dollar, or get paid a million dollars- it’s all experience. It’s also very important to make opportunities for yourself in order to grow. By that I mean, practicing is so incredibly essential to becoming better. When I first started out, my pictures were terrible! But I started doing shoots for fun with my friends and tried shooting at different locations, different times of the day, and different poses. I could see my work changing and I was proud of the pictures I was developing. More importantly- they were consistently improving. If you don’t get out and experiment, you won’t see yourself grow.
Secondly, you’re not going to get anywhere in life by saying mean things. Think of the people we could be if we spent more time building each other up rather than tearing each other down. There’s a big difference between constructive criticism and just saying things out of spite. Something I’ve always found incredibly helpful is talking to fellow photographers. Everyone has their own style and everyone has little secrets they’ve come across during their time as a photographer, which makes it even more exciting when people share their stories and ideas with one another. Take time to look at other photographer’s work as well- you’ll find inspiration there.