In a world inundated with technology and information, it is easy to assume that “everyone knows…or should know (by now).” Surprisingly, there are clusters of people who have resisted the movement and the universal urge to belong to a robotic lifestyle, managing to maintain their bond with “nature.”
There was a time when someone had to teach you how to fish and hunt for your next meal or two. You actually had to make your own weapons or gear, get up before the sun and walk/paddle into the wilderness and fish it out of a stream or ocean with your bare hands, rod or net, or hunt with bow and arrow, spear, axe, traps or lures in order to survive. If you didn’t learn, you didn’t eat (as well as the rest).
To document these daily rituals, that later became a “sport,” an artist either drew your likeness onto a cave wall, canvass or a photographer had to load film into a camera and “pop” away, in order to immortalize the participants.
The art and business of photography is the same. We weren’t born knowing, but for some, learning came easy. Trial and error was an expensive lesson in the realm of film and triumph. Each image had sentimental value and told a story worth a millions words and one satisfying emotion: gratification.
Technology has made some people lazy, especially, photographers. It has killed the hunt and fish ethic and left it to die on the floors of retail outlets, beside receipts around the globe, slaying dreams of becoming a highly trained professional. One is no longer required to leave their homes in order to shop for their next meal or any household items. Technology has given false hope to many, whom THINK that they are great, when they are only beginners, shooting every shot in PROGRAM MODE. The equivalent to driving a hundred miles in cruise control and flying cross country on auto pilot. It’s cheating you out of the experience and learning process and joy of mastering photography.
A seasoned individual can walk into almost any environment and almost know from experience, what lighting adjustments, equipment and lens that they will need for the occasion. By shooting in program mode, you will always be left guessing and will have great difficulty maintaining a respectable client base, if this is your objective. Unless, of course, you have no intentions of becoming or being considered a professional. One never knows what the future will bring.
Ironically, acceptance is key to success in any business. And if you take the art and business of photography seriously, then you will be taken seriously and chances will be taken on you. Seasoned photographers will be more open to mentoring and teaching someone who has displayed a sincere interest in learning, respect for the craft and others, a humbled spirit and patience, paired with an aptitude for learning, instead of those who are “unreachable” or think that they know enough or know it all.
So, if you get hungry enough (want to know), you will patiently learn how to fish for information that will help you grow as a photographer (where to find it), hunt in any condition for the perfect opportunity and take some fantastic photographs (when the time is right). Practice patience and find patience comes with practice.
k/d/morris – photographer
Operation Give Back: Photography
‘It’s easy to be a leader. It is harder to be trusted.’
k/d/morris – poet