There are more opportunities than ever for the creative image maker today, but the way you earn a living is different from ten, twenty, fifty years ago and it will be different twenty years from now. Take a look at the recently announced Light L16, which places a camera with sixteen lens in your pocket. Is this the DSLR killer? Perhaps. But, does it really matter what tool you use to create images?
When Inventor Nicéphore Niépce developed the first photograph, he set in to motion a never-ending progression of advancements for the craft of photography. Louis Daguerre developed the Daguerreotype process giving the public access to photographs and George Eastman made it possible for more people to create photographs. Advances in cameras, film, optics, automatic features, software, the Internet and digital revolution continue to disrupt the industry. More people today have access to photography. The state of the industry is normal. Normal in the photography industry means change.
Although change is a constant, one thing remains the same. No one has your vision. Today, you have more tools than ever to create and share your vision with the world. Take time to create a cinemagraph. Make a time-lapse series of images. Rent a Lytro, a mirrorless camera or the newest video camera and play. Develop a new photographic presentation style using software you’ve never tried. And when you’re done, share your advances, mistakes and successes on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
There is nothing wrong with combining photography with other crafts and technologies to create something new. This is how many people in our industry have become leaders and advanced our profession.
My recommendation is don’t get too comfortable. Keep on top of the new breakthroughs and trends in our industry. Don’t look at disruptors in the photography world as opportunity killers. Instead, view the new technology as something to apply to, and advance, your photography career.
Don’t resist what’s next. Embrace it, test it and be an innovative leader. That is how you make it in our industry today.