by Nik Pekridis Published 01/10/2010
What makes us different? What's making us better, more creative, more inspired?
How can we create our own style? What does it need to create image and not just shoot a picture?
Ok, we need technical knowledge, lots of equipment, big cameras, lots of lenses and flashes, PCs or Macs with huge programs and plug-ins - but there is at least one element (or there should be!) that makes us different from the amateurs and the professional who just shoots a picture. Passion, creativity, imagination, inspiration...call it what you will!
I have seen lots of professionals with many years of wedding photography (me included) who make a BIG advance, not because the years of experience but because of a workshop or a seminar - a couple of hours can change the habits of years, workflow and vision.
There is only one way for image evolution - and history shows this - SHARING! When knowledge became accessible and everybody started to share, not only knowledge but also images and ideas, then everybody became better. Because of the web and the social networking such as Facebook and Twitter, photographers from all over the world share and trade imagery, creativity, programs, marketing and advertising tips.
And that's why the quality and diversity is greater that ever. If you take a look at a craftsman panel from 10 or even five years ago it is of today's average standard, thus the overall level today is higher than ever. That does not mean that the old-craftsmen have lost their value, but if someone today wants to be a craftsman or to win at image competitions they need to be REALLY good!
More than ever, good photography is represented all over the world. The standard rises because we mix and listen to the seminars and the convention from international experts who travel all over the world to teach.
Is it possible for everyone to gain from this knowledge and become better? I think the answer is 'yes', but it is also the only way to compete in the market and hold off the threat from non-professionals. If we become better, more creative, more inspired and more passionate for this thing that we call a job then we don't have to fear anybody. We are members of a different group to the 'average Joe' photographer.
And don't forget what Confucius says, "Do your job as a hobby and there is no need to work again"...or something like that!!!
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