Monday, March 23, 2009

Photography's Big Picture

It's almost lunch time on the East Coast and today the Dow Jones Industrial is up almost 4%. Hooray.

This blog is supposed to be about my photography, creativity and things related to the industry. It's not really for photographers (you can get your shutters clicked in a million other places). But I'm glad you're here.

I've mentioned in the past that because of the economy I had to take a part-time job. I wasn't going to take just any job, though. It had to be a job related to photography. So I took a part-time teaching gig at a charter school in Scottsdale. One of the things that I tell my students is that photography isn't only about taking pictures. Photography is about life. Not only do you capture beautiful pictures in interesting places, but photography forces me to have relationship with people and my environment. Photography is so much deeper than the obvious picture.

A year ago I was incredibly busy. I heard that a recession was coming. For some reason, I didn't realize the full impact of what was being predicted. In July I shot a huge project for a wonderful client. We had a lot of fun and made great images. Also in July the Dow Jones Industrial began to fall. By August, I could see that I was getting fewer hits on my Web site and the phone wasn't ringing as much. My brother David, said, "It's not you, it's the economy."

I wish we never had a recession. It's terrible. Yet behind every dark cloud is a silver lining.

I think this recession has helped bring this nation a little closer together. We're not perfect but we elected a President who would have been, during fatter times, been criticized for drug use, his age and other things that may not matter. This recession has also exposed the greed of those who are already so wealthy that during their lifetime cannot possibly spend their bonuses, let alone their salary. I'm appalled at the thought of someone getting a bonus that's akin to everyone else hitting The Lottery (while many across the nation are losing their homes). It seems they should be the ones bailing out America.

During the good times, I bought an HDTV so big that they can see it in Space. Yesterday I unplugged the satellite connection. As I pulled the plug on the receiver, I remembered buying high-performance cables that cost about $100 per cord. The satellite is lost in space. I still have my cords. The time has come for us to conserve and see what was already here all along.

Over the weekend, my wife, Susan, and I were talking about how good things really are (despite all of the tribulation). We've discovered a place where we can get coffee that is $7 for three pounds and it tastes almost as good as Starbucks. We now buy perfectly good things that previously were never considered. (Yet we also have conversations that we start by saying, "When we're rich... ")

At dinner we had wine. I'll admit that the $5 wine isn't as good as the $20 version. But we're having wine tonight too.

Right now it's a little after 9 a.m., the Dow is up almost 4½% (7599 points). We aren't where we were in July, but the phone is beginning to ring again. I'm shooting on Friday. The week after, I will be delivering 17 giant sized bags of beans to the St. Mary' Food Bank.

What I do for a living merely involves photography but it's really all about life and relationship with people. If you are a photographer and have read this far, you need to find a way to help others. Donate. Give. Volunteer. Sometimes we need to plant a tree that we'll never sit under.

Photography can save the world.

1 comment:

  1. I read your comment about pulling the plug on the satellite and thought of Lisa and I. We just "pulled the plug" on our Netflix subscription for the same reason. I keep thinking, "It's only $5. Can't we just keep it?", but Lisa wisely reminds me, "That $5/month can add up to pay a bill we can't cover right now."

    It's good to keep things in perspective, ain't it? Which brings to mind your other comment I liked: "The time has come for us to see what was already here all along."

    Well put.