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Last week was pretty interesting.  Another one of the reactors in Japan started to leak some more, Michelle Buchannan has created a presidential exploratory committee, Libya, and… a photographer named Jesh de Rox with his “beloved” workshops listed at 20k for a one on one.

Some background info:

Of recent year there has been more speak-togs giving more fluff talks than actual workshops, but taking in money from willing individuals to hear what they have to say about getting ahead in the photography business.  From many reports, it was really much to do about nothing and in the end it was the speak togs who benefited from milking the money from the transaction.

“wedding” speak-togs selling snake skin to individuals.  Sadly, I will have to add gullible to the individuals.

Now this Jesh de Rox, is offering the 16.5k (down from 20k) one on one, which overshadows his $500 or so speaking packages, that really does not tread on anything new.  Neither is it revolutionary.

  • Find an emotional connection?  check.
  • Give 110% client service? check
  • Handover 20k/2k/500 to hear that?  Chec… heeey waitaminute!

There are probably more resources for you to find out about the workshops and the drama revolving around them.  I implore you to read Zach Arias, photogzilla’s satire and the more level-headed Ron Dawson on this.

On the flip side, there are much more greater things for individuals, the photographers like myself at shock with this 20k schlick to be infuriated over with.  The earthquake in Japan, Libya, our own political events, caring for the impoverished.  If we can check twitter and buy and do all that we want with our fancy cameras, we can definitely make due with just laughing at the speak togs milking others for money.  There are seriously more important things to be infuriated about.

I will be forthcoming, as always, that I am a part time librarian assistant working hard to be a full time photographer adventurer.  And no I am not religious.

So no I do not earn 100% income from photography.  But.  That doesn’t mean I can’t use my head to steer myself away from speaktogs and their broken promises and fluff.

What should be said, and I understand that there will be those who disagree with me, that it is really sad that these individuals willingly give $2000 to Jesh’s whopping $20k (now discounted to 16.5k and you get a waffle maker too!) workshops/inspiration.  It looks more like people are willing to pay someone a huge amount of money to tell them these basic things when you boil it down:

  • Do what you feel passionate about
  • Be confident that you can do what you are passionate about
  • Finding your passion
  • Sprinkle in some photography nuances
  • Looking for yourself

Which then leads me to say, if this is so and that you need to pay someone to make you ask yourself these very own questions; then you have larger issues to deal with than pursuing an at times grueling career as a photographer.  Sometimes, it really sounds like those very individuals aren’t individuals at all.  More likely a person needing to be told what to like, what to be inspired by, and … bought.  I am sure this sounds harsh, but, really which is more of a mental quagmire- asking why someone would be willing to find “perceived value” and then paying that premium for really basic things like finding what inspires you or actually writing a critique on those very choices?

Do you really need to spend in the thousands to a person who really is searching for their own identity?  Should you really spend a whole lot of money to someone to literally just hang out?  Are we that despondent and desperate to find ourselves that we have to resort to that?

As I wrote on one of the only wedding photographers’, that I do admire, facebook wall, this world is pretty big.  Really big that you can literally find something to be inspired by just around the corner.  You do not need to pay someone to be inspired or impassioned for this, all it takes is a little bit of personal perseverance and action.  Understand that there is no shortcuts, as another one of my fav. wedding photographers told me, and no there was no payment made for this piece of advice: there are no magic bullets, nor shortcuts to being successful as a wedding photographer.  [was only mentioned to me because I wanted to pick up another piece of camera equipment to play with]

I am continuously searching for my own self.  No I have not found out everything there is to me or to what I am looking for.  But that is the joy of it.  I see the world as an adventure!  Investing into personal backpacking adventures- Thailand, Ireland, Italy, around the states all led to gratifying my own personal journey.  Was it fast and short?  No.  Solo journeys led me to think about how small I am, how small my own beliefs are, how small my career goals are in comparison to the world and what is going on around me.  Solo adventures led me to backpack the back roads and experience things that I would “normally” have not seen if I did the touristy route.  Understanding how I dealt with my mishaps while traveling, helped bolster my own career objectives.  As well, having been a personality scientist, it only bolster the knowledge that I have learned to reinforce what I do know about myself.  These adventures costs just as much as the one on one sitting with Jesh.  But I knew where it led me and had the extra benefits with gaining a much more colorful experience, creating new friendships, and continuous need to want to see more of the world.

But this is how I am finding myself and how I generate my own passion.  I can’t tell you to do the same thing as it might not work for you as it did to me.  I can only suggest that you attempt to make a mental change and think of life as an adventure.  For better or worse.  So.  What inspires you?  What are you passionate about?

This is a capitalist market, just don’t buy into the hype.  Photography and with everything else, is a gift so don’t burn yourself out.

*edit* as of this writing he has finally posted up a response to the responses.  🙂  Anyway, yesterday’s news.