Guess which movie character shot the nice street photographs above. I realize it may be hard to guess, so here are a few hints: The character we’re looking for is a student at Columbia University. He works part-time as a photographer and pizza delivery boy. And he’s helplessly in love with a redhead named M—— J—— W——.

You have two seconds (and an extra screenshot to help you out). Go.

It’s your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man himself, Peter Parker! The screenshots here are from Spider-Man 2. And if you’ve watched the movie before, you may remember seeing Peter get fired by the tactless Daily Bugle editor for trying to sell street photographs instead of Spider-Man photos to be included in the editor’s libelous articles. “Get your pretty little portfolio off my desk before I go into a diabetic coma,” the editor says. Street photography obviously does not appeal to him.

So what does Peter do? He gives in to pressure and sells the photograph his editor wants despite knowing full well that it will be used for a ridiculous smear campaign against Spider-Man—against himself. It must have been unpleasant for him, but the truth is that he’s sold out.

Don’t get me wrong: I feel nothing but sympathy for Peter. Watching the scene just makes me think that many photographers (well, many of the general population) are forced or tempted to sell out sometimes. It’s quite easy to have an idea of what goes through Peter’s head when he hands over his Spider-Man photograph even though the purpose it will serve is against his beliefs. Even though it will cause the tarnishing of his reputation.

Making a career out of photography, especially street photography alone, can be very demoralizing. It’s hard to sell art. Even if the artist has a good vision or unique style, it may mean nothing to other people, including those who can greatly affect a budding artist’s future. Because street photography has become so common nowadays, it can be tricky to assess the true value of a good street photograph. A big chunk of a photographer’s market probably won’t even know how to begin with appraisal. And things are especially hard for photographers who have to pay the rent, attend class, get to work on time, and cope with mental anguish. Just ask Spidey.

This, however, doesn’t mean it’s impossible to succeed as a street photographer. One can be more traditional—hawk photos to galleries, make use of connections in the industry, etc.—or try out new methods. An effective way for street photographers to share their work is to use social media to reach out to an audience that will appreciate beautiful photographs for their true value. Thankfully, it’s relatively simple to do. If only Peter tried it out more. (Then he would probably smile more often and wouldn’t have had to sell street photographs to a tabloid.)