I'm going to be writing weekly now (see explainer post). Why is this called AFAIK? To come up with a catchy name for this series I looked up a pdf of internet acronyms (like a n00b), and one of the first on the list was AFAIK: As Far As I Know. It's 100% not an acronym anyone on this planet has used ever, so obvi it's perfect for my purposes. I'm a 20-something, so all of these loud mouth blog posts can all be prefaced with "as far as I know". Kinda dumb, but that's kind of my brand by now, right?
If you’ve ever met me in person, you know I have a lot of things to talk about at any given time. You can probably imagine, then, how difficult it is to come up with a weekly post about a single thing. Probably a good discipline for me to learn. Let us begin!
I could apply a similar strategy to this website that I apply to my Twitter: Rant and rave about things I know next to nothing about. Instead, maybe I can begin to rebuild this blog by posting some insightful (ha) and more substantive writings that 140 characters will allow.
Instead of maybe going into political opinions, I’ll stick to something I know something about for the time being (Until such a case will appear that needs a healthy dose of my non-expertise).
Let’s talk photography for a moment.
Why now? “It’s a week before the election, let’s talk about that instead.”
“No!” *slaps own face* “Quiet, you!”
Speaking of Twitter, I was scrolling through Twitter and landed on a tweet that started a whole domino effect of thoughts on photography, life, and how no one and nothing is safe.
For reference, Jeremy Cowart is a pretty big photographer these days. You’ve probably seen his work before; he’s shot photos of Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, etc. Anyway, he’s great. Has an incredible artistic eye, and is just a regular family man. For the past few months, Jeremy has been promoting his next project: a hotel. I still have to splash water on my face when I hear that because it sounds insane: a photographer building a hotel.
Go look it up, it’s a cool idea and it will probably work out well for him. His concept behind his hotel is golden and works perfectly in this cultural moment we are in.
Here’s the part I want to hone in on: He’s backing off from photography a bit.
He’s not the first big photographer to shift their focus (no pun intended): Chase Jarvis did this a little while with his company Creative Live, an online workshop company. It’s a genius idea: take all of those photography and new-creative wannabes and get them to pay you to teach them how to make stuff. So perfect for today since everyone wants to be an artist of some kind.
As someone who works in the photography/videography/art industry, I’ve seen other successful photographers also taking this step back.
The photography world is evolving, like most worlds right now. No one is safe.
Back in, I don’t know, 2011 maybe, someone asked me what I was going to do after college. I said, “I’m gonna be a photographer, people will always need pictures.” I, like a lot of people for some reason right now, saw photography as an emerging market. One that will always exist, and one that has a chance of making me any money whatsoever.
I would say the one sector of photography that will probably last a little while longer as a career is wedding photography, but I’m already seeing iPhone 7 Portrait mode becoming a threat to that. Why pay $2000 for a person with a DSLR when your dad has one in his pocket?
That’s of course a little crazy, obviously dads aren’t going to suddenly weed photographers out of the job by jumping in with their iPhones. It’s, rather, what iPhone 7 portrait mode stand for. Before, you needed to spend $400+ to buy a camera to play the game. Soon, you won’t need to drop extra money for a ticket to ride the photography train, you’ll already be paying AT&T monthly and you’re good to go.
It’s all changed super fast as it is. I remember the day in 2007 when Steve Jobs announced an iPod, an internet device, and a new phone. SPOILER: it was just one device. Apps didn’t exist yet, and the camera on the device was a foggy mess. Now, it’s 2016 and an iPhone can almost completely simulate a DSLR. How much longer until the iPhone (or a competitor) comes out with a phone that IS a DSLR?
Who would have thought the taxi industry would be under fire from technological innovation with Uber and Lyft?
Who would have thought America would be voting between an egotistical orange and a criminal for president?
Everything is subject to change.
What we’re seeing now is photographers evolving their photography skills into tools for bigger and greater things. With so many photographers out there, it’s become grunt work, something almost anyone can do. Technology has made it easy, so of course, a lot of people are getting into it. A career that doesn’t seem to take much work? Great, sign me up.
“People will always need pictures” They just may not be paying for you to take them.
While living in the present we must be looking ahead. We don’t have time to look back.