Here's what I love about this post. It's simply a great rant. David walks the talk and is active in a number of different forums. After one of his comments I picked up the phone and called him. That led to a lengthy conversation about the challenges in the industry and in turn the importance of making yourself and your work different. I offered him the opportunity to do a guest post and here it is.
You'll find more about David on his site. I wanted to share two of David's videos with you, because he's anything but a commodity item. After you've watched either or both of the videos, put yourself in the shoes of his client and imagine their excitement and enthusiasm. We're a word-of-mouth business and you've got to make your work standout.
To preface my note - these thoughts are stemmed from a photographer who went public and shared how today's brides are better off buying disposable cameras and having their guests take the photos, instead of hiring professional photographers! Perhaps, guests should all bring cupcakes, iPods and their own floral arrangements too?
Here are my thoughts about that particular article... What really bugged me is that the article is from a photographer. I keep saying it and I know photographers keep on saying "nuh uh!" - but photographers new, old, student and everything in between are nearly at 100% at fault for the industry being the way it is.
I keep saying quit being all open source, sharing all the "individualism" of one's own style, how they process and how they shoot, because the photography industry is flat-lining at an exponential rate. But! I get it though... new photographers and lazy photographers want the quick buck, the easy way to do something. BUT! And here's the big jagged pill that the egocentric photographer doesn't want to swallow. All this open sourced'ness is resulting in the homogenization and commoditization of photography.
Combine that with photographers stroking their egos with self importance of "look what I can do" - sharing every effin thing they know about how to take a photo, how to process a photo and how to do anything in photography - creates two words that come to mind - Flat Line. No peaks, no valleys, no individuality. Just a bunch of presets, actions and over-processed glib crap. But hey, let's all jump on the ship of sharing ideas, how to do our work and be popular telling clients all they need are crappy disposable cameras, give our colleagues the keys to each other's kingdoms on doing things and keep on driving down the photography industry.
Just imagine if BMW, Ferrari, Apple, or any other company did the same thing that many of today's "photographers" do. Everyone's cars would look even more the same, our computers would be more the same, and everything else would be all the same. What a very grey world it would be filed with lazy, conforming people lacking all the genius our human minds were given.
Like I shared with a college class in San Diego. If you can start with a blank canvas and fill it with our own ideas, our own identity and our own perception of the world. Why the hell would we as a creative collective want to copy each other's ideas, identities and perception of the world? That doesn't make someone a photographer, it makes them just a lame-ass and no better than what Milli Vanilli did back in the 80's.
So I challenge anyone who is reading what I'm sharing to get behind the camera, get your shot right in the camera and then go home, get on your computer and use whatever program you use to edit your photo and NOT use a preset, action or someone else's idea on how to process your photo.
Then, when you're totally satisfied with how you processed your photo with your own take on things, your own identity and your own creative mind. KEEP ALL YOUR BLOODY CREATIVITY TO YOURSELF. Quit short strokin' your ego with self importance and then go back out and out do yourself with your next shoot. Rinse and Repeat each time until what you do is your own self expression and not some copycat cloned piece of crap that you got lazy on.
Of course, this is my opinion. But I still stand firm & don't believe that the great masters in the photography industry or any other creative industry that has stood the test of time - ever sought out to ape or parrot another artist because they're too lazy to do it themselves.