Friday, February 13, 2009

Throwing Off the Bonds of Fear

Let's face it, things are scary right now. Commercial photographers face shrinking editorial pages in magazines, advertising budgets slashed to the bone and a rise in high-quality, low-priced stock images. This at the same time we stare directly into the face of rapidly changing technology: new cameras, updated software, new media distribution streams. And all of it collides directly over our wallets. It's enough to drive your normal, mild-mannered photographer into an agoraphobic depression.

But I say, "No more!"

Those of us who have chosen to be photographers don't do it for the money. We do it because we have to. Deep in our sliver-halide encrusted souls we yearn to communicate through our images. We crave the knowledge that somebody out there is looking at one of our pictures, saying to themselves, "Yes. I get it. I understand." We strive to connect - to make an impact - with our viewers.

If that impact is on the behalf of a client, so much the better. We thrive when our message is molded and amplified through the collaborative process.

If we are brave enough, perhaps our message is one from deep within our own experience, speaking universal truths only apparent from an individual's point of view.

But fear will stop that dead. It holds us, makes us hesitate when we should act. Fear is the communicator's greatest enemy. So we must lose all fear, be it fear of failure, fear of ridicule, fear of success, or the classic artist's fear that people just won't like it.

So I say, be not afraid of the future! Be not afraid of markets, of financial melt-downs, of global unrest or political strife! Be not afraid to lay yourself bare, to say the things that must be said! Be not afraid of living!

It is time to throw off the bonds of fear and walk proud, to shout, "I am good at what I do, and as I let go of fear, I will only get better!"