Every once in a while the blogs or forums I sometimes visit pops the bitter question of “newbie” photographers “under cutting” the “established” status qvo. And it becomes bitter alright every single time. More to the point is the question of why we even give advice (free or otherwise) to “those people” (business and technical alike) when they turn around and steal “our bread”.
The actual degree of bitterness never ceases to amaze and it strikes me as somewhat hypocritical when quite a few of my peers make a very decent living of selling instructional books and holding up workshops and seminars. Blogging became increasingly profitable as well for the “free advice” dispensers out there. It’s a bit hypocritical because everyone basically dips into this big pool of knowledge, “outsiders” and “complainers” included.
It all seems to me like selling shovels to wide eyed prospectors, teaching them how to use them … no wonder when the occasional one strikes gold right under your nose. (Not necessarily) blind (but trained) squirrel theory. Worse yet, the ones failing to capitalize on the gold rush adamantly ask the ones who can, to stop (and that represents the core of the bitter bunch).
It is funny though, I’ve never heard any of the more dedicated members of our profession complain. They are too busy advancing their craft and spreading their knowledge to stop and bitch. And that’s good because what they do is the only way blood in our profession gets refreshed, the only way new trends and inspiring new work ever gets put out there.
The rest of us who can’t be that intrepid or innovative should do the other, equally important work of educating the world (and along the world, our prospective clients) about our profession, about what makes us tick, about our big struggles and little triumphs. Helping people understand what we’re all about makes everyone’s life easier and represents a better course of action than sitting on the sidelines with a big dark cloud around your head, complaining about how many bookings you’ve lost to the newcomers lately.
This just might be the cure for all our anger and anxiety about what lies ahead in our industry. It might even get our bookings up if we calmly deal with all the half-truths, misconceptions and bad folklore sometimes surrounding our profession.
Just my two Canadian cents…