We are in a situation where it’s all becoming the same, no one can think for themselves and everyone wants an easy answer. Fortunately for them, easy answers are easy to come by……..
I get frequent emails asking about lenses, camera settings, business (I have no fucking clue about business), all kinds of photography related stuff, and recently had someone ask if I could send them a processed RAW file because they wanted their photographs to look like mine. Seriously, no liesies, “…but your look is the look that I want so if you could send me a processed RAW file, that’d be great”
I feel like it has become acceptable to freely give your ideas, your techniques, your process and your soul to anyone that asks, and it’s frowned up on, even offensive, to not be helpful. Everyone wants to be liked, everyone wants to be part of the cool gang, and everyone is obliging. Everyone is obliging to the point that there is no mystery as an artist, the popular style wins through, everything looks the same, and everything is just a watered down version of everything else.
Kool Herc wouldn’t tell people what records he played, stating that if everyone was playing his records then what would make him stand out, why would anyone go to his party over anyone else's.
Likewise, if everyones photographs look the same, what makes you stand out, why would someone choose you over someone else……
When questioned about a specific technique, Bill Brandt replied, “a magician never reveals his secrets”
Why then do we think it’s ok to spill our guts to everyone that asks? Why do we have a situation where we think that we are “All in it together” because that’s not the case at all.
Everyone is in it for themselves, and if they can shortcut to success they will step all over you to get there…..Ok maybe it’s not that extreme, but it’s not far off. False alliances and friendships built on the fact that we are all photographers and we should all be helping each other out are wearing a little thin for me. Just because you have the word, photography, after your name, does not make us the same. Neither does it make us friends, that shit takes time. I’ll gladly help anyone that is helping themselves, but free information because you can’t be bothered to find out for yourself is something that we should all start think about.
So when easy answers are easy come by, the only answer I can give is that there are no easy answers.
Try understanding the question.