I went to my town meeting last night. It was a typical “town meeting” where everyone needed to be “right”, and no one was winning. A citizen came up to the mic during the public hearing session and made a statement that really resonated with me. He said “ No one ever wants to change the status quo It’s human nature not to want change. Everyone has their little power centers that they want to hold onto”.
I had a flashback that brought me back to a smoke filled room of dirty dishes with leftover remnants of brown rice and a whole lot of people having the same old discussion of how we all needed to stop “ the War” and change the world. That was almost 40 years ago but I’ll remember like it was yesterday when a “freak” came in and said “Why doesn’t somebody f……. do something? You’re all just sitting around and talking – like the status quo”
To be honest, I don’t think there is a status quo. Nothing ever stays the same. You either move forward or drop back, but there is no stepping in place. It’s not sustainable. And that’s nothing new – it’s always been true – but never more than today due to the exponential rise in technology. And it has never been more true in regards to the state of the photographic industry. I see so many photographers paralyzed by their own fears of taking a risk and thinking outside their own boxes.
Few people overcome their fear of change and rise to the occasion of “doing something” as opposed to reacting to something. Most plod along, feeling no control over their destiny – letting fate take its course. A lot of photographers are just hoping to “ride it out” until there is nothing left of their businesses.
Every once in a while, somebody makes a bold move and looks at “change” as an opportunity. History proves me right. If you look back through time, you will see a pattern. At the most pivotal times of change – the cream always rises to the top – and the sludge gets left behind – on the bottom.
As far as the photography industry – I think it’s time to decide if we are ready to “embrace” change and rise to the top or die a slow death. But we have to start seeing the opportunities that always come with change.