I had an interesting conversation the other day. I was fortunate enough to chat with photographer Ben Von Wong about inspiration, creative vision, etc and he made a rather fascinating comment: “Provide boundaries and problems to spark creativity.” (Paraphrased)
We aren’t just born with knowledge. We have to learn it first. This seems like common sense, yet so many people are afraid of making mistakes they avoid the learning process all together. To get around that, maybe all we need to do is consider the ramifications…
I love going to photo class. It’s always a new adventure and there are always cool projects to work on. All the photo gear is super-fun to play with and I get to learn new things every day.
My students seem to enjoy it as well.
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of work with up and comers in various creative industries; specifically, people who are looking to turn their passions and hobbies into a career. There have been events like lectures, presentations, and portfolio reviews; and I’ve taught a number of visual media classes. Throughout these experiences, I’ve caught myself using a term repeatedly.
Now, you might say to yourself – isn’t that the same thing as a creative professional? It’s a common phrase and it sounds very similar. And I’ll give it to you that each title shares similar traits. But there’s one big fundamental difference. You can consider it grammar or sentence structure, but it all comes down to which trait is most valuable.
So, what’s the difference between a creative professional and a professional creative?
In each title, there’s a noun and there’s an adjective. One of these individuals identifies them self as a professional while the other labels them self as a creative. They both share similar qualities, but depending on the title, there’s a different emphasis. It’s the noun that deserves priority as it defines what the person is, and not a characteristic they possess.
EXAMPLE: Gray elephant. By looking at the elephant, you know it’s gray, but that’s not what jumps out at you. The first thing you see is “Elephant.”
So, that begs the question: which is more important, being professional or being creative?
Dick Weisgrau – he’s the former Executive Director of ASMP. (for those of you who don’t know, the ASMP is the American Society of Media Photographers. It’s basically THE association of professional photographers.) Dick once said “It’s almost more important to be a good business person than it is to be a good photographer”
There are 2 things to walk away from that with: to maintain a career in the industry, you need to be both creative and professional. They’re the 2 most important aspects. However, to sacrifice any aspect of your creativity for the sake of appearing more professional is the first step in removing yourself from your passion.
If you’re a baker, or a sculptor, or an illustrator, or a photographer, or a graphic designer and you have your own company – when you meet someone and they ask what you do, do you say “I’m a business owner?”
No – You introduce yourself by your passion.
Hi. I’m Jon , I’m a photographer, and I’m a professional creative.
Who are you?
Or more specifically he will be after the new year.
I’ll be conducting courses in 2-3 sessions depending on content. To start things off I’ll be focusing on all you guys that may be getting cameras for the holidays and want to know how to use them to the fullest extent. As the season warms back up, look forward to a selection of nature, architecture, and event field trips!
The metro-area will be home base for a little while so if you’re part of an art council, community education group, or simply have some interest in learning how to bend light, please let me know and we’ll get something custom-tailored to what you’re looking for!
Check back in a few days for a list of general available classes to see if anything peaks your interest.