Bestselling author and marketing guru Seth Godin published an interesting thought to his blog yesterday that is very relevant to aspiring photographers. He writes,
When everyone has access to the same tools then having a tool isn’t much of an advantage. The industrial age, the age of scarcity, depended in part on the advantages that came with owning tools others didn’t own.
Time for a new advantage. It might be your network, the connections that trust you. And it might be your expertise. But most of all, I’m betting it’s your attitude.
The photography industry is definitely one that has experienced (and is experiencing) a leveling of the “tools playing field”. Even more so than before, it’s what goes on in the 12 inches behind the viewfinder that sets players apart.
The short 4-minute-long video above is probably the most inspiring thing you’ll see today. It’s the story of Jaleel King, a man who became wheelchair-bound at the age of 8 after being shot in the back by an angry neighbor. The blast from the sawed-off shotgun almost killed him, but he fought through that challenge — and every other challenge that has presented itself since. Read more…
When the web first emerged, web design knowledge was a scarce commodity, and developers were able to charge ridiculous amounts of money to create simple websites. Now that everyone and their mother knows how to do simple HTML, you’ll need to learn a lot more and offer something unique to stand a chance in the freelance market.
The exact same thing is happening in the photography industry. As the cost of shooting, printing, and distributing photos goes down, simply knowing how to take “good pictures” is no longer enough. Read more…
Do you feel like the quality of your photography falls short of where you want it to be? Don’t worry: every creative goes through a period in their growth in which there’s a disappointing gap between their “taste” and their work. Here’s an inspiring video in which Ira Glass encourages people going through this to push through and to not give up.
Here’s an old clip in which Steve Jobs talks about how he sees the world:
When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.
All the most famous and powerful images captured throughout history were shot by ordinary human beings as well…
Here’s an inspiring video in which photographer and speaker Dewitt Jones talks about how he looks for “right answers” when he was doing assignments for National Geographic. Rather than specific tips or techniques, he mostly talks about high level ideas while showing off some of his stunning photographs.
Here’s an interesting video in which Jack White — singer and guitarist of The White Stripes — shares some thoughts on work ethic and restriction, and how they relate to creativity:
Deadlines and things make you creative, but opportunity and telling yourself “you’ve got all the time in the world, all the money in the world, you’ve all the colors in the pallete you want, anything you want” — that just kills creativity.
For photographers, this means you should keep on shooting even if you feel dry and devoid of fresh ideas — “maybe something good will come out of it.”