On Sharing.

I have never understood why so many photographers like to keep information to themselves. Perhaps it is a self confidence issue, or maybe they spent years perfecting a unique technique or system. Regardless the reason, it isn’t smart. A couple of years ago we were hired to produce a series of workshops in South America. Early on, we realize it would not be possible to launch the event. The reason? The local photographers hosting and coordinating the event did not want other photographers to see what they were working on.

Do you become a Grand Master chess player after reading Aron Nimzowitsch’s “My System,” or a great Chef by simply following Mario Batali’s Italian recipes?  Would you become a rock star after reading Keith Richards wonderful “Life.”  Of course not! So, why do you think that by sharing your Lightroom presets, a Backup workflow, cool editing shortcuts or new lighting techniques you are losing something invaluable? Quite the opposite.

Apple observed the flood of illegal music file sharing that began in the late 1990s. Instead of building higher walls and better fences, they built iTunes and started offering legal, easy-to-use, and flexible à la carte song PAID downloads. Record Labels obviously win, artists, who receive 65 percent of the purchase price of digitally downloaded songs, also win, customers who don’t need to purchase an entire CD when they want only one or two songs, win, and Apple clearly wins. In a nutshell, everybody wins. Instead of hiding in your studio so your trade “secrets” are not “stolen”, find better ways to share your ideas, to involve others, and to celebrate often.