After a week of high emotion and a shift in the way I was thinking for not only my business, but my clients- I receive this well worded letter from one of our sweetest brides. I couldn’t have said it better myself. With all of the pressure to let go of your artistry and let the consumer do as they wish with your photos…a lot of excitement and tension has arose in the social media world. I took a big stand against it myself. Even losing friends and changing the way I run my business.
The Shoot & Share community had released some very strong statements. Shoot & Share is about photographers serving their clients and giving their clients the freedom to do what they’d like with the photos that the client paid for. Brides are loving it and so we’re going to keep making great changes and updates, but we will always, always believe that the client is the focus and that they should have the freedom to do what they want with their photos. ~ As stated by David Jay (Owner of Shoot & Share)
The Shoot & Share business model encourages us to give clients full rights to change my finished images in any way they wish. My biggest argument with this is that he is pressuring photographers with his ideals. Ideals that want us as artists to give the photos to the client and experience “freedom”. Freedom for the client to do anything they want and for us, as photographers, to not worry what they do with our work. People are being pushed to “Do the right thing” because that is the world we live in.. You can see how this upset many artists. I feel that this is making photographers/artists think less and less of their work. I will not stand for it and it thrilled me that my bride caught onto this and respects my work and the work of all artists enough to speak out.
I was moved that Dayle would think to write me such a powerful and encouraging letter to me. It was so beautifully worded and encouraged me in a hard time. With her permission we are sharing it with you. Pass this on to ANYONE you think needs to hear this.
F-Stoppers wrote a great article showing both sides of what seems to be so controversial.
A note to artists.
It pains me to think about the way our societies’ respect and value for artists and their work has slowly eroded over time. If you’re an artist, who finds themselves nervously awaiting a client’s reaction after you’ve sent an invoice, or have ever had to defend the notion that the the pursuit of your art is actually a valid career path at family gatherings, this note is for you.
There was a time before the term “Starving Artist” was coined. When artists ate, and ate well. When they could support a family and were respected in the same way any other professional who provided a service was respected.
The recent change in our collective mindset started with one simple lie.
The lie that art is an intangible owner-less thing. An entity devoid of any real definition or mastery. As if every creative idea is floating just above our heads, waiting to be plucked out of the air by anyone. Because of this ideology, the artist is often painted as a greedy tyrant, hoarding all of the universe’s ideas and creative forces hostage, releasing them only to the highest bidder (hence the invoice reactions). Do I support the notion that everyone has access to a creative force within? Yes. But not everyone is an artist. Forcing these two categories together is as dangerous as suggesting that the average stargazer with a telescope could easily jump on to the next manned mission to the moon.
The difference here is work. The countless hours of training, education and preparation. The refining and honing of your skill that allows you to communicate your idea, to translate that inspiration moment into a language. To form something that began as formless, in an intentional way.
I want let you know that despite what many may believe, there are still those who can see the difference and have noticed the time you’ve put in to refining your skill set (often done without public recognition or a monetary reward). And we support decisions you make to defend the product of your hard work.
This is one of my favorite stories about the value of an artist:
Legend has it that Pablo Picasso was sketching in the park when a bold woman approached him.
“It’s you – Picasso, the great artist! Oh, you must sketch my portrait! I insist.”
So Picasso agreed to sketch her. After studying her for a moment, he used a single pencil stroke to create her portrait. He handed the women his work of art.
“It’s perfect!” she gushed. “You managed to capture my essence with one stroke, in one moment. Thank you! How much do I owe you?”
“Five thousand dollars,” the artist replied.
“B-b-but, what?” the woman sputtered. “How could you want so much money for this picture? It only took you a second to draw it!”
To which Picasso responded, “Madame, it took me my entire life.”
It is a sad truth that slowly, those who have named themselves “champions of the people”, specifically in the tech realm, have contributed in stripping the artist of their value, voice and choice by providing canned “solutions” to creative problems through a series of algorithms. BUT there is a silver lining. EVENTUALLY people will get it. Soon the market will be so flooded with shoddy workmanship that the bar for quality will plummet.
This is good news for a talented, skilled artist such as yourself.
Let the creative stock market crash. Continue to do incredible work and to advance in your skill because soon, the public will see the difference between a cell phone shot slapped together with a filter, and an artfully composed and edited photograph. No script, program, or auto settings will ever be able to compete with the creative human mind which is the sum of all all of your thoughts, desires, experiences and lessons learned, working in tandem with a carefully mastered set of skills.
So let society think they’re having their cake and eating it too, for now. Because when when automated scripts stop being good enough, people will need REAL work. The kind of work born of passion AND precision.
The kind of work you’ve been doing all along.
Your Faithful Champion of the “Starving Artist”,