This is not my usual post, and one that I hope I don’t get in the habit of doing since I try to keep things upbeat around here but today I’m sharing a little bit about what’s been on my mind recently. I’ve been wondering how we got here. As a photography industry, how did we get to this point that we’re at.
What point is that exactly? Well, it’s been building over the past several years from what I can tell, or maybe just what I’ve been noticing more myself. It’s a trend away from strictly being a photographer and sharing lovely photos of your lovely clients into people wanting to become more. Photographers will start by branching out into education through workshops and mentoring. There’s not anything wrong with that in itself. It’s another stream of revenue of course, and if you have the knowledge to share and an audience in demand of it, hey great! I know I’ve been fortunate to host several mentoring sessions.
The trouble for me is when that “extra” becomes your focus. When your blog transforms itself to be appealing to, oh, just about anyone besides your photography clients! I know you’re still a photographer and trying to continue to grow that part of your business, but I don’t like being sold to so often. Or preached to. When did photographers become the expert on making design templates for your calendar? Or for giving advice on work-life balance? Or doling out bible verses and feel-good pep talks as motivators? Or how to cook, or schedule my day, or manage my inbox, or whatever else it might be? It’s not just one person doing this. There are a lot. A Lot.
I get that we all have knowledge and have learned things along the way, but I don’t see this quite so much as I do in the photography industry. Maybe florists and planners and DJs are all the same in their subcultures, but I’m friends with several or follow them in social media at the least and I just don’t see it there. What is it about the photography community?
I’m not sure what my point is in all this. Mostly it saddens me. Because people feel that being a photographer isn’t enough maybe? I know this industry is competitive with new people jumping in all the time, but it seems like there’s also the underlying desire that everyone wants to be in the spotlight or be known within the industry for something or be part of the “in crowd”. Oh, and believe there IS an in-crowd! Or maybe because while seeming to want to help, they just make me feel inadequate for not doing or share or being something more.
The truth is *I’m* happy “just” being a photographer. It’s the heart of my business and what I want to focus most on. It’s what grow day by day and fills me with happiness when I see people’s reactions to their photos. I try to keep my nose to the grindstone and focus just on myself but it’s to the point that it’s hard to avoid seeing things like this anywhere I look. I don’t want to be an island, I want to stay involved in the industry, but I’m finding I need to moderate myself better.
I hope I’m not putting my foot in my mouth by actually hitting “publish” on this, and I’m sure I’ll offend more than one somebody. But it anyone has any advice for tuning all this out (besides abandoning all social media and online contact), I’m all ears!
Let’s not end on a sour note. All posts are better with a photo, so here’s a quick shot from Joan and Jim’s engagement session last night. How can you not smile when you see two people looking so in love? THIS is what makes me happy!
Meet the Photographer: Hey there! I’m Kelly Ewell, a Northern Virginia wedding photographer who specializes in engagement, wedding, and anniversary photography. I live in Leesburg, VA with my husband and rescue pup, Piper. When I’m not at weddings, you can find me at the local wineries or renovating our farm, 48 Fields! I’d love for you to connect with me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.