Thinking back on when I was starting off as a manager, I always presumed that learning and retaining as much information about the company and being recognized for having that ability to recall the little details others would normally overlook was the ideal approach for moving up. Such has been the case but I’ve also learned that peers don’t necessarily always esteem the person that knows a lot but rather the person who is willing to share what they know.
The same can absolutely be said about online relations. Sharing is caring goes the old saying. The interaction with a person you’re most likely to remember for anything is the one that took some time out of their day to enlighten you on something you always wondered about.
As far as professional photography goes, I’m not too acquainted with the in and outs of the business but I’m as curious about the stuff we’re rarely preview to as much as I would be about the story behind a photograph. I could unquestionably Google all the information I would want to know about freelancing but it’s a much different understanding that you get when you’re face-to-face with someone who’s already well established with what you go to bed fantasizing about.
Following a quick Google search for “Brooklyn Photographer”, I came across Lindsay Taryn - a professional wedding and event photographer around the neighborhood. After a couple email exchanges we jumped on a Skype chat and struck up a conversation where she was more than willing to be drilled with questions I had regarding the business such as how she got started, her gear, her marketing approach and how she balances between a day job and a thriving business that she mainly operates during weekends. Needless to say that her readiness to answers anything was valuable to me. She was one of those handful of people who are professionals at what they do yet who don’t take themeselves too seriously and that in return makes them more likeable.
I don’t reach out to local photographers enough but it’s method of developing connections that I’ve started to rely on more. There’s more than enough quaint coffee shops in Brooklyn where we can meet up and fabricate opportunities.
As far as sharing goes, the reason why I rarely shared any knowledge at work was because I was under the vague impression that by doing so, I would run the risk of loosing importance. For most of us, what we know is an vital part of our identity. We highly value the knowledge we’ve gained through sheer trial and error. Too often people treat the sharing of anything as a business deal, when in actuality you’re likely to develop something more substantial than money which in my eyes holds more value. I’m referring to developing a following.
What do I share? The majority of emails I receive revolve around my workflow which I happily respond back to as quickly as I can. Nothing that I do behind the camera or in front of the computer is a secret. The only feature that would make my work dissimilar from yours is our thought process. Visually we can both capture something differently despite having stood in the exact same place.
Up to this point, I’ve yet to experience any hateration in photography - meaning the unwillingness of any photographer to share their experience of the industry or a random inquiry I might have had regarding their process or work. They’ve all been more the pleasant and Lindsay Taryn was no exception.
There’s more than enough creative opportunities to produce something unique in this world that I appreciate all those who are not affraid to share what they know rather than fear that someone might create something better than them.
There truly is no room for hateration in photography or in any creative environment for that matter.