Don’t Let Them See You’re Afraid

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by Skip Cohen

You’re all hopefully in the heat of the busy season and the fall conventions will soon roll around, along with planning for your convention visits next year. At the same time, many of you are headed to SCU’s Summer Session in Chicago.

As you attend the various workshops and future conventions, here’s a fun thing to remember. For you newbies out there, although it’s not exclusive to rookies, you’re going to have a chance to meet a lot of amazing photographers.

When you see one of your favorite icons, GO TALK TO THEM!  They’re icons, because they’re special.  They’re special because they’re approachable!  They believe in education and want to share the gift they have of teaching. If they wanted anonymity they wouldn’t be at the workshop or convention. They wouldn’t be lecturing and wouldn’t be caught dead walking a trade show aisle.

When you get a chance to talk to one of your heroes – just talk to them.  Let them know you appreciated their program, their images or whatever new idea they inspired you to try.  You don’t have to suck up – just be honest and remember, every icon started out just like you, not knowing what they were doing, scared to death of their first shoot and feeling awkward.  

Unlike you today though, if they’re over 40, odds are they had no social media, no Facebook or Twitter, no forums and no Internet to really draw from.  They shot film and had to know they got they the shot when the shutter clicked. They could share an image without the post office, UPS or Fedex! The world was a much bigger place and there was less information shared and far less tools and techniques to talk about.

But be careful.  This is just like getting close to a wild animal, whatever you do, don’t let them sense you’re afraid!  And if you believe that, you really need to stay home and consider a new career!

PhotoCredit: Copyright Scott Bourne. All rights reserved.


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