Adaptation and Imagination…

At yesterday’s BNI Growth meeting, instead of having the usual 10 minutes speaker’s slot, members were given the opportunity to volunteer for a 3min speaking slot x 3.

I was one of three who volunteered. We are taught at Toastmasters that ‘if you are ever given the opportunity to speak in front of an audience, take it!’ Each time you do this you ‘grow’ in confidence a little bit more and it also gave me a chance to talk about things relating to my business/industry.

We were each asked to talk on 3 things that perhaps present a challenge in our industry today. I spoke on the following:

1. The trend towards using software in the Cloud, citing Adobe’s recent announcement that Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) would only be available by subscription only, whereas previous versions you paid either $699.00 or $999.00 for the extended version. This is both good and bad depending on your viewpoint. In my case I am quite happy to pay $19.99/month instead of having to outlay between $699.00 and $999.00 in one hit. The monthly outgoing is better for my cash-flow (at this stage) than paying out a larger lump-sum.

2. The continuing trend toward photographing people/privacy issues relating to photographing people for commercial and in non-commercial purposes and the sharing of images on Social Media (commercially and non-commercially). It is an interesting area and a whole lengthy topic on its own. Portrait photographers have long had to have Model Releases signed when photographing anyone commercially. In some cases now you even need a Model Release to photograph buildings…

3. The level of competition in the Digital era. Prior to the Digital Age, there were far less people who did photography on a professional or enthusiast level, and even fewer who would manipulate their own images in a Darkroom. As an enthusiast you were a real die-hard if you did that! These days there are people with DSLR’s (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) cameras who would’ve never gone near them prior, and a lot more people endeavouring to make money from photography.

In a photography business it has never been more important to distinguish yourself from the opposition.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to obtain an impromptu, small speaking spot in front of 22 other business owners (who are out there actively engaged in supporting each other by watching out for possible referrals for each other).

In response to mini-talk, I fielded a very good question from one of our members afterwards: The question related to whether software like Photoshop replaces the need to know how to take good photos?

Whilst the tools available in the Digital Age (high-tech cameras) have made it easier to come up with a technically proficient image, and software abounds to alter that image, what (thankfully) has not been taken away from the photographer is their imagination i.e. their ideas. It’s what can set photographer’s apart from each other, however you still need to know how to get the best out of all the equipment/software etc.

We are all different, have been influenced differently and have grown up in different environments with different viewpoints throughout our lives. It is these differences that make us unique, make our viewpoints unique, and thus our individual photographic efforts unique.

Essentially, there are two ways you can look to utilise a tool like Photoshop:

1. Take your image and then adjust it how you will to obtain the ‘look’ or the effect you want

2. Use your imagination, and come up with an idea (before you take your image) and then use the tools in software programmes like Photoshop to help you bring the idea to fruition.

Explore the possibilities of your equipment….

Explore the possibilities of your software….but most of all,

Explore the possibilities of your mind…



Written by David Johnson, Light Inspired

September 18, 2013


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