My privilege is where I exist now. I am a creator and teacher.
Product Photography has fulfilled my creative desire right from the very start of stumbling into a studio and thinking ‘this is where I belong’.
Whether I’m shooting products for a brand marketing team or helping other photographers upskill with my workshop training, I’m actively pursuing my dream job. This is a privilege. I have been lucky. I now perceive my business offering to the creative world of marketing and photography as a being a ‘full’ service. It has taken a little while to reframe the inbuilt perception of who I am and what I do. However, I believe I can do this successfully and with no hint of confusion or struggle. I can serve brands with high quality marketing imagery, and I can also train others to do the same. I can be a creator and teacher. I can exist on both sides of the coin and serve in a much better way.
I think when anyone decides to start sharing what they know, it is a major step in their evolution from being a highly skilled and valued contributor to being regarded as a trusted expert in that field. This new role is something that I have had an interesting time adapting to, as there could appear to be a direct conflict between the two activities I place side by side.
Does one distract from the other or lessen the effectiveness of the either offering? In grappling with this question, I have sought advice of others and I’ve had to remove my own ego (possibly old self) from the equation. The duality of both shooting and training under one roof would not have been possible whilst I only viewed myself as a photographer, and not as someone transitioning to a place where I can be more than just one thing. Previous questions such as should I be passing my hard-earned skills onto others who may be in competition would have at one time haunted me. If this can be seen purely in simple noughts and ones, I would be quite literally arming other creators with the experience and tools I use when creating my own marketing assets. Am I therefore reducing my own value? I’ve considered this question. I’ve given it enough time to know my answer.
Having confidence in my own ability is one way of ensuring I can remain outside of the trap of selfish introspective thinking. The other is to look objectively at the world around me and to see why decisions have already been made and why I cannot change them even if I wanted to. The photographer who works in an in-house environment or is a freelance creative cannot be a real tangible threat. Why? Because the in-house route has already been chosen by the marketing team. The decision not to outsource has been decided. I have no influence over that. The freelance creator that could be seen as competition has completely their own individual ways that they wish to conduct their own business. How they are approaching clients, what they like doing, what their USP is and how clients perceive that person is unique to them. No two creative producers can ever be the same. Creativity, by definition, is a process where something new and valuable is formed. There can be no conflict here. And let’s consider just for one moment the complete and utter randomness and erratic human psyche. The number of iterations in just one idea are seemingly endless!
I strongly feel it is totally possible for me to be both a creator and teacher, and that I can be there for whoever requires those services. I also believe there to be no conflict of interest or degradation of the level of service on either side of this creative coin.
So, is it to be heads or tails…What is going to be next up?
If you’re a brand marketing team looking for an addition to your creative suppliers, or if you’re a photographer requiring assistance in training your own levels of ability and confidence, then please contact me. I am here.
Trust me. I’m a photographer. 😊