I have seen absolutely beautiful things happen in the photographic industry. I've seen strangers become best friends, I've seen great ideas born, and I've seen photographers grow from beginners to mentors. I've seen so many things that make me proud to be part of such an incredible community.
The sad news is that I have also seen the ugliest side of it. I have seen jealousy and bad words, I have seen photographers set aside fundamental techniques of their classes or talks, and I have seen new photographers get discouraged in the face of cold responses by more popular photographers. No one benefits from negativity in that way, so we may well try to eliminate it.
We are going to change things.
I am talking to you. With the part-time worker, the student, the professional, the educator, the king of Instagram, and with everyone else. We are all crucial parts of this industry and we all have the power to push forward. This manifesto is something that I've had in my head for a while and I'm writing it for anyone who needs it (myself included). I believe in these things to my heart and they are the driving force behind everything I do. It all comes down to a simple little fact: we are all in this together.
I think it's time to start being awesome.
This is idea number one. The biggest. I have seen many photographers turn into islands. Lonely, discouraged, and negative islets. At some point someone thought it would be a good idea to see each other as competition and I have no idea why this idea proliferated.
We will make something clear immediately: your life and your career will suffer a lot if you believe that, I promise you. I am not your competition. You are not my enemy. You are my fellow artist and I am on your team. I want to see you win. I want to see you create beautiful things. You might think that there are only a few clients and a few workplaces, but I assure you, there is a lot. Each artist out there has his own style and each potential client has his own taste. There is always a possibility for you no matter how many other photographers there are in the industry.
So here is a proposal: let's stop seeing ourselves as a threat to our business and start looking at each other for inspiration, education and encouragement. We are all passionate artists; Let's start treating everyone like this.
The competition knocks you down, the community makes you stronger.
It seems quite obvious, doesn't it? Let's be friends.
Work on your style. Learn new things. Get out of your comfort zone and let your comfort zone grow and expand. You can always always improve and let's be honest here, you always want to. It is what makes humans so great in so many things. We all want to be awesome, so let's be amazing together.
As you improve, we all improve. It's that easy. I think it is time to recognize that we are not just individuals, we are part of a community. Every time an individual improves, the whole community improves. If you learn something new, the photographic community is pushed forward. Better yet, if you share what you have learned with another person, the photographic community is pushed forward again. That means that you improve, the photographic community improves, and you feel good. Win-win-win.
I want you to succeed. Truly. I want to see you hire jobs in awesome weddings and have your photos published in the best magazines and the coolest blogs. I hope they hire you for a wedding on the Moon and that it ends up published on Vogue.
Excerpt from the Ben Sasso Manifesto, the original article in English in this link