my precious...

Friday, July 02, 2010

what is selfishness?

webster defines it as this:
"...selfishness = devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others..."


so far, I've run into two types of photographers.
"...the first one embracing the idea that resources, tips, clients, knowledge are so scarce so we must "take and guard" what is "ours." sarah rhoades

this kind-of photographer reminds me a bit of gollum from the lord of the rings.
you see, before gollum was gollum, he was smeagal.
nice smeagal that happened to find something he loved...
but he loved it to the point that it consumed him.
his thoughts, his desires...all he could think about was his precious.
he became so secluded that gollum was accustumed to talking to himself - because talking to anyone else caused him to think they would try and steal his precious...
"...he wants the precious. always he is looking for it. and the precious is wanting to go back to him...
but we mustn't let him have it..." gollum

this gollum-like photographer is the type of person that can't get excited about the success of others.
instead, they feel threatened by others and the green-eyed monster creeps in.
it is the outlook of the person that wakes up in the morning with the assumption that life is about staying one step ahead of that person and surviving in a world of very limited resources.
the type of photographer that isn't interested in really learning their craft...simply enough to stay one step ahead.  this type of photographer ultimately isn't interested in growing as a photographer.
this is an attitude and outlook rooted in fear and selfishness.
selfishness over a present that isn't exclusive to only you.

the other type of photographer is an "open-handed" photographer.
someone who realizes that photography is a present.
you get to see life through a lens.
ask yourself this, did you immediately know what to do with your camera as soon as you picked it up?
nope.  you learned.  learned from people who had gone in front of you.
and you tried to emulate it.
this is the type of photographer that shares knowledge freely.
someone who hones their craft and challanges themselves to learn more.
someone who isn't interested in simply copying.
instead of feeling threatened by the thought that someone might steal their precious,
they are happy to be happy for someone else to love and learn about their precious, too.
this type of photographer recognizes that there is plenty of clients to go around.
instead of living in fear, this photographer is rooted in freedom and confidence that this is a precious thing gifted to them.   
open hands.  not closed fists.

don't get me wrong.  I'm not at all pointing fingers.
I'm speaking from my own experience.
I feel it sometimes...that gollum voice in my head.
but I am recognizing more and more that this is not how I was intended to live...
in slavery to protecting my precious.

photography is a gift.  and I love it.
and it wasn't only mine when I found it.  and I know that others behind me are going to find it too.
I'm am genuinely happy when others get to feel that first surge of creativity... to see others experiencing that first awesome capture...that first knowledge of how to shoot out of auto.

it's a good thing...this precious gift of photography. :)

p.s.  I found these articles on shooting fireworks...for those of you wanting to "hone" :) this weekend.
happy 4th of july! :)  and


elizabeth said...

Love this post...and it will remind me often to stay away from my Gollum thoughts. Looking forward to trying some firework shots!

Chris said...

What a great post. I am still relatively new to photography. But I am quickly learning that while I love photography I love teaching others about it more.

DESIGNEDbyemily said...

What another GREAT post from you. when I grow up I want to be a photographer. I was blessed to have an 'open handed' professional photographer/friend, not only share but encourage me to go for it. I think I'll always feel like a rookie...the learning opportunities are neverending, that is most of the fun right? Over the past year I've been blessed with a friend who took interest in photography and I've been able to open my hands and share all that I know (which feels like a thimble full) and now we challenge eachother to reach new heights. It has actually deepened both friendships and brought us even closer through our 'open handed' shared love for this. I pray you experience more of the 'gift' and not so much of the 'gollum'

Dawn said...

Hey I just found you through the blog hop. LOVED this post! It is soooo true - I have experienced it myself too. It is so disappointing when a photographer gets secretive and uber-protective of "the precious". It's so very sad.

Love your work - you have a great eye.

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