Create more value than you extract
I love this quote from David Hobby (aka Strobist). I like to think of it rephrased and focused on helping people. I think of it as “How can I help my friends? What can I do that they can’t do, that will make things better for them?”
David talks about “Manufactured Opportunities”. A project that you initiate, that you create. One where you take your skills and use them to give someone else something that they can’t give themselves. The rest of his Ecosystems 101 explains how that’s beneficial to you too.
Recently I was able to do just this. Kings and Queens, who are close friends of mine, were preparing to appear on Britain’s Got Talent. For those who don’t know this sort of show – where have you been? It’s a national, prime time TV talent show where the public vote has a large say in who makes it to the final, and who gets the big prize. A prize which comes with life changing money and life changing opportunities.
I saw an opportunity to use my photography to help them, and a chance to practice having a clear photographic intent. That’s something I preach in my book: Being a Photographer. For this project the intent was clear: Create some visual images that Kings and Queens can use to motivate the public to vote for them in large numbers.
We soon arranged access to an old textile factory, set a date, and did a shoot. We produced these photos and then everyone set to work. We pushed the pictures a lot on Facebook, we published them on Twitter, flyers were made.
As for the public vote on the live show… Well this time it didn’t work out. Kings and Queen’s weren’t voted though to the final round of the competition. But somehow I don’t think that’s going to hold them back too much. Check out these videos of them to see what I mean!