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5 steps to help you “Love” technology.

The ability to capture great images and video on a phone is here.

My friend Gary Weitzeil sent me a link to an article on the National Geographic blog sharing the creation of a music video complete shot with the iPhone 4S:

Gillian Chase – iPhone 4s Music Video from Camp 4 Collective on Vimeo.

I was also sent a link to an article about Instagram passing Foursquare in number of users. Instagram is changing how many people view phone photography.

This isn’t just about the iPhone or Apple. Great technology is everywhere, and it is changing how people create great imagery.

I love technology.

Napoleon Dynamite has a hidden gem. If you watch through the end of the credits, you’ll find Napoleon’s brother, Kip, marrying his true love LaFawndah. Kip sings a wonderful love song to her, where he sings this line:

“I love technology. But not as much as you, you see.”

While Kip is the picture of computer nerd, and I don’t see myself in that light…

I too love technology.

Photography’s relationship with technology.

Because I love technology, I follow and embrace change more quickly than some. I’ve been in or around the photography industry for 15+ years now, and I’ve seen a lot of resistance to change.

Here are just a few “controversies” I’ve observed -

  • Digital versus Film.
  • Photoshop versus Natural.
  • Archival printing versus Ink jet printing.
  • Still images only versus Still and Video imagery (Fusion).

The photography industry, like any other industry, is pushing forward. It’s developing new technology to make life and photography easier or better.

At the same time, many within the industry resist the change. Sometimes there is resistance for good reasons. Many times resistance is due to fear or apathy.

Unfortunately, too many of those slow or resistant to change suffered. They suffered a painful switch, when there was no other choice. They suffered loss of business when they fell to far behind. They suffered in a drop of income, a rise in costs or both.

You need to change.

Don’t be one of those who adapt 5 years too late. Be willing to change.

I understand change isn’t easy. However, one truth I know about change is this. It is much easier to accept change when you initiate it.

With that in mind, here are 5 steps you can take to help you embrace technological changes in the industry.

1. Open.

The most important place to start, and the hardest step of all is having an open mind. One reason I adapt to changes in the industry so quickly is I have nothing to lose. My livelihood is not directly linked to the images I take. My mind is open.

Your livelihood most likely is tied to each image you take, so this is what you must remember…

Your images don’t come from your camera, flash, props, studio. Your images come from you.

2. Learn.

Before you jump into any new technology, learn what you can about it.

Read blogs and magazines – from inside the industry side and from the consumer side. My observation is that the photography industry is cyclical. The professional side will influence the consumer side, and vice versa.

Attend trade shows or visit camera and tech stores. There’s nothing better than to visit and see a new technology in person. I had no intention of buying my first iPad. I assumed it was an oversized iPhone, but it is so much more. I didn’t know until I actually saw it.

3. Practice.

Once you’ve learned more about a technology and think it could be a good fit, play with it. Before you make major purchases or market it, make sure it’s going to work.

A good example is fusion. Don’t buy a Canon 7d or 5d Mk II just so you can shoot video. Get an inexpensive Flip camera on eBay, and play with it. Find out how it fits into your workflow. See if you need more help. See how it fits into a finished product.

4. Follow.

You may walk away from #3 and realize either

  1. You aren’t ready for the technology.
  2. The technology isn’t ready for you.

If this is the case, continue to follow it. The best and most useful technologies continue to evolve and grow. Wait and see if there is a better time to incorporate it.

5. Embrace.

Finally, fully embrace the new innovation. Incorporate it into your workflow. Expand your skills in it. Continue to learn and keep up with shifts in the technology.

Right now, I’m in the midst of this very process with my iPad. I’m attempting to completely switch from my laptop to my iPad when on the road. There are a couple of things I simply haven’t been able to figure out, so I’m stuck on #3 and #4, but I’m very close to completely embracing it.

I encourage you to do the same thing with whatever technology will move you to the next level.

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