I know as creative's we are suppose to use the term visionary loosely, actually many prefer that we ourselves don't use it, but that other people use the word to define us. I for one don't care what the rest of the creative culture thinks... I'm a visionary simply because I can focus on the BIG PICTURE.
But in reality, so can other creatives, it's a beautiful thing when you break it down, seeing people go for their dreams, achieving goals, and ultimately doing what they love, but from an inside out perspective it's frustrating. It's not the competition that's frustrating, that's expected, it's the overall saturation of "photographers" out there. Everyone is a photographer! And with technology becoming cheaper, education becoming accessible, and social media giving everyone a platform to showcase their work I don't see things slowing down anytime soon.
Now I'm not complaining in any kind of way, I understand these same things that frustrate me are tools that I can also use to help enhance my talents. I too can create a higher quality image thanks to tech becoming cheaper, I too can learn a new skill set thanks to the ever evolving online education platforms available to me, and I too can benefit from the simplicity of Instagram. But what do you do when you're profession has become watered down? Clients are no longer seeking for a great photographer, they simply just want a clear image, or a great price. They can't tell the difference between art and an image that is just properly exposed.
In a world where everyone has a camera, rather it be an iPhone, Fujifilm Instax or Nikon D810, you instantly become undervalued, people no longer respect your craft because they feel as though they can do it too. Yet they still are in need of your work. It's honestly confusing.
I tend to think I'm alone when it comes to this level of frustration though, I have photographer friends, and they too are struggling to make it, yet they seem to be fine. Maybe they just find enjoyment in photography and that's enough for them, maybe my previous focus on business has corrupted me to think that everyone who is a creative should operate and think in a business minded way, or maybe it's the fact that I take what I do seriously...
And I take it serious on every platform, rather it be a paid job, or a personal project of mine. The Places & Spaces project has finally hit 10 weeks today, and to be honest it's been a rough beginning to the year. This project has set me back in so many ways and I have yet to shoot anything that I'm happy with. Everything thus far has been unplanned, I've dealt with a cancellation each time, resulting in me finding someone last minute to shoot, which as you may expect, didn't go well.
Week 10 is no different, once again the subject I was planning to shoot canceled, and then today the replacement canceled... I'm all out of friends, and everyone is busy, anyone I have reached out to has simply told me they couldn't and there was no follow up expressing that they wanted to shoot at a later time. I'm starting to wonder is it me, or is my work not to the likes of others. Perhaps my marketing? All very stressful things to think about. Each week I've done this project I've stated how these same issues weren't going to happen anymore... Yet they have.
And I think I finally figured out why. I've lost who I was through all of this. Yes I'm a visionary and I can focus on the big picture, but lately I haven't been focusing on anything in between. Which is what this blog, RIVALS and my story is all about, the in between moments. My online life looks to be solid, when people go to say my Instagram they see a barrage of photographs that are edited and in focus, but they don't know anything about me, they just know my occupation. There is no human element to any of this and that's what the people need. Earlier in this post I talked about how the world is oversaturated with "photographers" but throughout writing this I've realized that I too am just another photographer. At least to the masses, I'm another creative who is simply taking an in focus picture to the rest of the world. I shouldn't be selling my artwork, but me.
Wow, well this rant was rewarding haha. I hope you all enjoyed the post, it was honestly just something I needed to get off my chest, and typing it all out really did calm me, but hopefully it has dual purposes, and it can help you the reader as well.
Wish me luck with Week 10 of the Places & Spaces project... I have 3 more hours of daylight left!