Change is one of the most difficult things, in life, to accept. We try to hold onto things, people, and our beliefs. There’s a great quote from one of my favorite authors, Dan Millman, who says:
"If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the obligations of life and death. But change is a law, and no amount of pretending will alter that reality."
Everyday new technologies emerge, allowing the average consumer to take better photographs, with greater ease, using automated advanced techniques. The smart phone has literally shaken the world of photography and video. I constantly hear moans and groans from photographers who talk about the “old days.” How much better things used to be, how stronger the industry was, how the art of the craft turned into some joke. A newspaper photographer recently looked at me, frustrated and angry and said “It didn’t used to be this way.”
I’m tempted to join this pity party, but it’s pointless. Every industry, like life, changes. It’s inevitable. I refuse to buy into these glory day stories. I’ve grown a business in the day of automated dslr photography. But I think that’s not a bad thing. Photography brings so much joy to so many people. It allows them to express themselves, to see the world differently. I think it’s a narcissistic thing to deny anyone the joy of photography.
It’s really no different than our perspective on life itself. Relationships come and go, heartbreak puts us in an unrelenting fog, loved one’s pass away, and people move on. I wish I could hold onto those people forever. I want so badly for life to be perfect, for it to be easy. But it’s never going to be. It’s never going to change. Change is a law.
Basically, my message to photographers, who fantasize about the days sitting outside the film labs, and drinking espresso, working on looser deadlines, and fining their art over others heads is: get out of the negative and do something about it. No matter how much technology evolves, the most valuable asset no one can take away is “the photographer’s eye.” It’s something you can’t teach and you can't buy. Our industry is not dying, it’s evolving, and it’s changing. Don’t lie in bed scared and depressed. Get out there and change the industry, offer more, do more, be unique. Being anxious, complaining, and having negative thinking has never changed anything in my entire life and it never will.
Photography is like an ex and they just found someone new. Don’t try to get them back, they are gone forever. Move on and find your path. Seriously. Get with it. The industry isn’t dying, you are. And with every breath, with every beating of your heart, you are slowing turning into dust.
I won’t let you down, I will never quit, I will be the best, and I won’t fear change.