Friday, 2 March 2007

Greed - Seven Deadly Sins Of Photography

Behind The Walls - Image © David Toyne

This is about more than being acquisitive and demanding. It's about NOT letting others get the credit or praise for their part. It is NEVER giving without having expectations of the other person. Greed wants to get its 'pound of flesh' or a bit more...

Artistic creativity is a strange business but in photography it gets even stranger. I think this may be due to insecurity about whether it's an art or a technology? Maybe it's due to this worry that it was in photography where I first encountered creative greed. And let me say that to me the sin of greed is most offensive to me. I shall elaborate...

The reason I started writing these articles was to help people. Plain and simple. I just wanted to occasionally shed some light or make something click for people that are where I was once. This is due to my early experiences in photography where I found help difficult to come by. You see I first discovered the phenomenon of creative greed as I started out. As I had been around artists all my young life and never come across this phenomenon it was something of a rude awakening.

I'd had a camera for only a week when I stumbled across a professional photographer. As I was really struggling I asked them for help with a very basic problem. It required about 15 seconds of their valuable time. Instead of an answer I got a very public mocking. I was left feeling a little red faced, non the wiser and very patronised. I'd had my first encounter with a greedy photographer.

In contrast in the many years since this negative experience I have asked many other photographers many questions. Usually I have received a warm reception, obtained great advice and encouragement and in some cases formed lasting friendships. It was only later with experience and hindsight I realised the difference between these two schools of creativity.

Photographers who suffer the malaise of creative greed have the fear that they must keep all information and skill for themselves. That some how if they help anyone they may have a success that is rightly theirs. They actually resent your interest in photography and your success is a threat to them. These people are actually not that great creatively. Their greed and selfishness only masks a deeper insecurity and often a poor ability.

Mistakenly these lost souls think they can create in a vacuum. They think by holding people back they move forwards. They do this by taking from everyone and give nothing back. Sadly for these creative vampires it's their loss. They fail to see that one of the great things about being creative is when you put a couple of creative people together in a room and they are both generous with each other then the results are fabulous and the time spent benefits all concerned. Where as if you remain afflicted with creative greed you end up walking a lonely road with very little to inspire you. You stagnate and your work reflects this.

1 comment:

Paul Indigo said...

Hi David,
Quite a coincidence. I wrote about Johny and am in touch with him. See my blog http://paulindigo.blogspot.com/2006/01/joy-of-street-photography.html

Delighed you've discovered his work too. He's really worth a visit.
Cheers,
Paul