Just exactly when did photography go from attracting people that were interested in the craft of photography, pro and serious amateur alike, to a large group of narcissistic egomaniacs that are interested in advertising themselves? Was it the advent of the internet, and all those smiling faces peering from within the avatars (holding an ungodly expensive Leica usually)? The rise of social networks, and I wonder how social they really are, where everyone wants to be "liked", whatever that is? I look at some photo type websites, and nearly every posting has a string of links leading to the "photographer's" own work/website. Hey, it's just a thread on an online forum, not your personal advertisement. And why does your avatar show YOU and not your work? It reminds me of when I went out many years ago w/ my painting mentor to buy my first easel (tripod to us folks). He cautioned me not to eat the soft, chewy looking eraser I'd just paid a king's ransom for at some snobby art store, and he laughingly said that I could go get a beret and cigarette holder now, and grow a mustache. Am I suffering from old dufferism? I have double checked that, and it's not just me. A few other people I talked to wondered about this too? Anyone have any ideas why, and when, this happened? Maybe it's these new electronic wonder digital cameras that do everything for people except put the print on the wall? I mean, every soccer mom w/ a DSLR and a big lens is a pro wedding photographer now, right? Not having to focus, figure out exposure, film type, etc may have attracted a lot of people that might otherwise have just been snapshot shooters w/ no pretension of being the next Richard Avadon/Ansel Adams, w/ their self published photo books showing their oh so serious self portrait on the cover, on the back, and inside the book a few times just for grins? I'm clutching at straws here.