In life, it’s always a struggle to find your “tribe”. The folks that you can count on, the ones you can share triumphs without being seen as gloating and the ones you can share failures without being judged. For whatever reason, creatives especially seem to have trouble with the concept of being open. Consequently, it makes finding that supportive tribe even more difficult.
I’d like to call an end to this silliness and shout to the world the message that we are all stronger TOGETHER! It’s not a sign of weakness to talk about your latest creativity block. It doesn’t make you less of a photographer if you just can’t figure out that latest technique. Above all, someone else’s success does not—I repeat—does NOT mean that you are therefore not successful in your own right.
We need to remember to band together in this crazy thing called life and this ever changing business. Despite usually being solo acts, we learn nothing alone. There is something to be learned from every person if you’re willing to listen. Standing all alone on your own photography island is going to get very lonely (and boring)! Reaching out to others, with authenticity and sincerity, is where growth happens. Where learning happens. Most importantly, it’s where support grows from.
With the right supportive community, you can find your sounding boards for figuring out your struggles. You can find your inspiration from someone who just said the right thing at the right time and sparked your creativity. You can find that person who happens to be a bad ass at the technique you’ve been trying to figure out and they can help you. The more we share, the stronger we become.
But Lisa, what if they take my idea/technique/method?
So what?! Whatever idea or technique you’re sharing is, and always will be, executed differently by each person that uses it. They’ll never be taking exactly what you do because we each “see” the world a little bit differently. We’re all different and all have different interpretations of the the same ting. Heck, all of photography is basically the same techniques over and over. The right balance of shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. And look at how many infinite ways people have all expressed themselves with the combination of those three things! Teaching someone a technique isn’t giving away a trade secret. It’s elevating the industry. Talking about your client management strategy doesn’t mean you’re clients are going to like you less, it’s elevating someone else to find their way at fulfilling their photography dream. I guarantee you that none of us are doing something so incredibly unique that we have to keep it a “trade secret”. Being defensive and secretive is not necessary. The best of the best in our industry know this. They know that sharing and teaching is not a threat to what they do. By elevating others in the industry, they’re helping the industry raise the bar on quality and creativity. They’re sharing the love and excitement of photography with the world. They’re fostering safe space for creativity to grow.
And if the best of the best of the industry aren’t afraid to share and elevate, why shouldn’t we all? We all have something to give. Make sure you share it and above all, always elevate!
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